A Little Surprise for Later …

May 8, 2014

This past weekend my husband and I had a little escape to Napa and Sonoma. It’s always nice to sneak away and unwind for a few days. Tasting fabulous wine isn’t too bad either ….

Twice in Sonoma we experienced great examples of “surprise and delight” marketing. What exactly is Surprise and Delight Marketing? It’s as easy as it sounds. Find a way to cut through the regular every day normal and go above and beyond, therefore surprising and delighting your client.

1.  Saturday we experienced a lovely Estate Tour & Tasting at Jordan Winery. We spent three hours touring their beautiful property while enjoying the chef’s amazing food pairings all while sipping their Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. The views, food (prepared on site by Estate Executive Chef Todd Knoll) and wine were to be remembered on their own, but it was unexpected, surprise for later, take home gift that sealed the deal for me. When we were leaving, our host, Claire, handed us each a departure gift:

Jordan surprise and delight gift

 

I certainly wasn’t expecting this token … but it did what it was supposed to do: surprise and delight.

 

2.  Saturday evening we decided to go all out and indulge in Chef’s Louis Maldonao’s Tasting Menu at Spoonbar. I may dream about the scallop noodles, spring peas and fermented chili dish for years to come. Our server, Josh, was charming and informative and answered any of the zillion food and wine questions I asked. Everything – from the food to the wine – was outstanding. And then, when we were leaving, Josh handed us a surprise for later gift … a serving of house made granola to enjoy the next morning:

spoonbar photo surprise and delight

 

 

Have these “little surprises left for later” worked? Let’s see … I have already passed along the information to both Jordan and Spoonbar to my friends (also known as: referrals to new customers). Without question, when we return to Healdsburg, we will visit them both the vineyard and the restaurant again (also known as: custom loyalty). So yes, Surprise and Delight marketing does work.

 

How are you surprising and delighting your clients by leaving little gifts for later?

 

 

 

Don’t believe me? Check out this article from the Harvard Business Review: http://blogs.hbr.org/2013/05/surprise-is-still-the-most-powerful/


Move your marketing off the back burner

April 17, 2014

BurnerWhy does marketing your business always seem to get put on the back burner? We get it, you’re busy! But these easy marketing strategies won’t take much time and they’re well worth what you’ll get out of them.

1. Network – You’ve heard it before but we’ll say it again, you’re never going to make connections if you don’t interact with new people. Networking is a great opportunity to meet potential clients in a casual setting, but you still have something to gain even if you’re not with your target market. Simply putting a face and personality to a name goes a long way in the referral business. Sometimes it really is all about who you know.

2. Go digital – In today’s world, people turn to Google first for everything. Potential clients are going to look you up, there’s no doubt about it. But will they like what they see? Take a little bit of time to update your website, add information to social media or post new content. If they can’t find anything about you online, they’re probably not going to contact you for business.

3. Host – Sometimes you have to give a little to get a little. Hosting a brief, educational event for your target audience will get them interested in what you have to say and offer. You don’t have to give them a free session, but offering a little advice about common mistakes or current issues every person is facing will show them how good you are. Next time they find themselves in trouble, you’ll be the one they turn to for help.

4. Send information – Even people you’ve met three or more times will likely forget who you are. Periodically (we suggest regularly) send a brief newsletter to your clientele and prospects. It will remind them of you. This could be a simple hello, a review of what you’ve been working on, new things you have to offer, or maybe something calendar relevant. Whatever you want to say, send it out so clients will have it to use, to pass along, or to keep in mind for the future.

So maybe you don’t have time to put your entire focus on marketing right now, but start with these simple steps and you’ll be off to a good start. Marketing is essential for new business, and you don’t want to miss out!

What moves are on your marketing short list?

Three Point Marketing offers marketing support for professional service providers such as financial planners, attorneys, and accountants.


Mom was right… You need to say thank you

March 27, 2014

The holidays may be over, but that’s no reason to stop being thankful. Giving thanks shows those surrounding your business how much you really value them. You should make it a habit to thank the people who contribute to your success – employees, clients, businesses that help you along the way and more.

We’re often too busy trying to get on with the next big thing to think about sending out thanks, but you may only need to spare an hour, half an hour, sometimes even just 10 minutes of you time. Thank you goes a long way when it comes to doing business.

These are some times when you should be giving thanks:

  • Business with new (and returning) clients
  • An associate has been particularly creative, prompt, helpful, etc.
  • Project milestones or completion
  • Referral from a friend, family member or another business
  • Any business opportunity – whether you get the deal or not

It doesn’t have to be a grand expression; a simple thank you will usually do the trick. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put any effort into it. Small, thoughtful actions are more than enough to show people your appreciation.

Here are some ideas of showing gratitude to those around you:

  • Mail or drop off a handwritten card
  • Stop by with a small gesture like coffee or tea
  • Reward employees with gift cards or other small gifts
  • Hold fun team gatherings outside the office
  • Sometimes a phone call or an email is OK if you truly don’t have the time to do more – be sure to make these come across particularly intentional and personal

If regular thank you’s aren’t part of your business practice, they should be. The quality of your work is important, but ultimately it comes down to the way you do business that will bring in (or turn away) clients.

Thank You in cut out magazine letters

How do you say thank you?

Three Point Marketing offers marketing support for professional service providers such as financial planners, attorneys, and accountants.


Does Your Bio Turn Clients Away?

March 11, 2014

Traffic to attorney biosIn reviewing website traffic for law firms, you’ll find that 56 percent of visits are to the lawyer biography pages. That’s a lot of people viewing your personal law biography. Most professionals just fill their biographies with the standard law résumé facts, but is this information really what your clients are looking for?

Of course, your name, contact information and even a brief summary of your law education are still important. But these days, clients care a lot less about what you’ve done for X amount of years and a lot more about what you can do for them.

Here are some ideas of what to put in your lawyer bio to make you stand out:

  • How, but most importantly, when and how often you can be reached. Links to social media and blogs are also good to include here.
  • Client testimonies, rather than court and bar affiliations or what other lawyers think of you.
  • Awards are OK, but you don’t need to go on and on about how accredited you are. If you’ve done that well, your clients should reflect your work.
  • Specific expertise or experience is important only if you find that you have a niche clientele. If you tend to take on a varied range of work, then you might advertise how diverse you are in the law industry.

If you’re ready to update your lawyer biography, then you should consider switching up the cookie cutter layout and adding some of these details. You’re in a competitive industry; don’t let yourself fall in line with the rest of the pack. Update the type of information you showcase in order to really differentiate yourself and maximize your client list.

What else makes you stand out as a lawyer?

Three Point Marketing offers marketing support for professional service providers such as financial planners, attorneys, and accountants. 


Sponsorships: 3 Key Recommendations for Professional Service Firms

July 24, 2012

We have been asked over and over about how professional service firms approach sponsorships of events and non-profit organizations.  Questions surrounded:

  • How do you know if you are getting your money’s worth?
  • Which activities are good bang for your buck?
  • What criteria should be evaluated when sponsoring events?
  • How do you maximize firm exposure, before, during and after it?

 

Overwhelmingly our experiences show that most firms approach sponsorships without a plan.  They randomly select an event or organization to sponsor basically because someone asked them to, not because they strategically sought out the opportunity.

 

Here are our three recommendations that will help you!

1.     What events are a fit with your firm’s culture, commitment to community or growth goals?

Let’s face it – there are a zillion wonderful events and organizations out there who do amazing work. From helping the homeless to fighting diseases to saving animals, but are they representative of your firm’s culture, community or growth?

 

When you decide on the budget for firm sponsorships, you need to consider the strategic vision and take the emotional connections out of the equation.  Some questions for you to consider / share with your “sponsorship selection committee” include;

  • What events are the firm’s clients / prospective clients attending?
  • Where do employees focus their volunteer time? (and does this represent the true culture of your firm?)
  • Does the sponsorship help expand our brand awareness in the community with the right individuals / companies?
  • What events / organizations does the firm already support? Why? Is it a match for our needs?

 

2.     Are you receiving the best bang for the buck?

Once the sponsorship decision has been made, take time to look through the sponsorship packages / benefits that have been outlined for your firm, and then ask:

  • Are we really getting that much more out of being a gold level sponsor than a silver level?
  • Is there industry exclusivity or can your competitor’s sponsor at the same level too?
  • What else can our firm do to achieve greater return on our investment?

 

Over the years, we’ve learned to never take a sponsorship at the presented face value.  If you want more, then discuss with your contact at the organization what other benefits you could add / adjust.  If getting a list of attendees is the most important thing to you, then ask for it and don’t forget to be specific (if you want email addresses, ask for them).   If having someone from your firm welcome the audience or introduce the guest speaker interests you, then ask for it.  You won’t always get what you want, but it never hurts to ask.

3.     What to do with that table of 10!

This could have, and probably should have, been our #1 recommendation.  We can’t tell you how many times we’ve walked into an event and find a table of 10 filled will all colleagues from the same firm.  Guess what?  The person sitting next to you isn’t a client or a prospect. They know your story, so why would you feel the need to sit next to them?

 

If your sponsorship includes a table of 10, ask to get 10 tickets instead and sit throughout the room.  This will help spread your messaging throughout the room and your word of mouth marketing throughout the event.

 

One rebuttal to this scenario is an event that is to honor / award someone from your organization – then you’ll want to keep all the support together! Makes a larger impact when your professional wins!

 

Remember, sponsorships can and should be part of your firm’s overall marketing plan.  It is critical to support the community agencies, while developing a stronger brand for your firm.  But don’t throw dollars at it willy-nilly; develop a plan to make the most of sponsorships – for you, your employees and your firm!

 

 

Brought to you by:

Jodie Binning, Three Point Marketing

Michelle Class, Marketing With Class

 


Happy 1st Birthday Three Point Marketing!

July 13, 2012

Happy Birthday to TPM!

Today, July 13, 2012, is the one-year birthday of Three Point Marketing, LLC. Just like a baby learns so much it’s first year, so have we!  We’re getting ready to celebrate, but thought we’d share some of the lessons we learned.

The Guest List

One of the biggest lessons I learned this first year is to ask for your friends for help.  I had more coffee and more lunches with friends, former colleagues, acquaintances and friends of friends over the last year than I have the last 10 years.  Everyone gave advice, tips and support.  Some of you became part of my Advisory Board, lending business advice and guidance on important issues to grow the company, and I thank you.  One of those coffees turned in to a strategic partnership with Marketing With Class, which has blossomed in to a great collaboration.  Others were willing to open their contact lists and introduce me to others.  I’m extremely grateful for those who had faith in me to introduce me to your contacts.  What an important gift to a new business owner.  Thank you

Party Games

Sometimes I feel like owning this business has been a bit like playing pin the tail on a donkey – close your eyes, spin until your dizzy, and see if you can attempt to put the tail on the donkey.  But eventually the tail gets there, with time, patience and persistence.  It’s been the same with this business.  I’ve enjoyed the challenges of pinning the tail in the correct spot and appreciate the lesson learned in every turn, spin missed mark.

Birthday Gifts
The biggest gifts have been from clients.  I have been overwhelmed by the results from the marketing strategies we put in place that have positively impacted their practices.  Sometimes it’s the things that seem like little things to me turn out to be pretty big to them. I’m glad I can play a part of making their business more successful, just as they have done mine.  What a gift.

Thank you all for helping us this first year! We look forward to many more birthdays! Now time to celebrate!