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Persevere and Succeed

Winston Churchill said: Sure I am of this, that you have only to endure to conquer. You have only to persevere to save yourselves.

All of us in professional services ought to employ Winnie’s wisdom relentlessly. One of the things I often hear from clients when discussing marketing activities is "We tried x, y, or z one time, and it didn't work." Well, gosh. If you try most things just once they don't work.

Advertising studies reveal that consumers have to be exposed to an ad approximately nine times before the contents of the ad begin to register. Professional services marketing activities have not been so extensively studied, but it stands to reason that holding one seminar, writing one article, taking one referral source to lunch, conducting one client interview, or holding one social event isn't going to make a whole bunch of difference to your top line.

It takes fortitude, energy, time and money (although not as much as you might think) to develop clients, because the only way to do so in professional services is to find, create, and sustain relationships. I have no relationship in my life, personal or professional, that was utterly spontaneous at its outset or that would remain completely fabulous without my time, attention, and energy. I'll bet you don't, either. So why would we think that doing one of anything in marketing would make a huge difference?

Think in terms of one step leading to another step leading to another, and then repeating the steps as necessary. Certainly, you need to evaluate your firm's marketing regularly; but don't give up on something too quickly. Plan your activities carefully and repeat them until you begin to see results. While it almost certainly will take more time than you want, if your plan is realistic, if your firm's marketing infrastructure is in place, and if you have a glimmer of a marketing culture, you will see results.

© Melinda Guillemette 2009