Lately, we’ve been running a series of free 30-minute webinars to help attendees grow the equity value in their consultancy firms and prepare for a sale of their business. Attendees at each webinar submit questions, and we’re going to be sharing and answering these questions in a series of blog posts. This week we’re looking at the questions asked during the webinar on what you need to know to attract the right clients and buyers.
1. How would a specialized consultancy firm, such as a law firm, go about quantifying its unique value proposition (UVP)?
The UVP has to answer the question ‘why should I buy from you?’ so start thinking about ways you’re differentiated from your competitors along industry, geography and services lines. In terms of industry, perhaps you focus on one or two industries and are recognised experts in say, construction law, or oil & gas exploration. In terms of your geography perhaps you’re able to offer international clients representation in their major jurisdictions. And in the case of your services think about what might set you apart, perhaps you use technology to automate low value-add services so that your clients pay Lawyers for the work only they can do, or perhaps your firm offers a flexible fee structure, or ‘subscription pricing’ for a steady stream of work, or even fixed fees when you know you can leverage your own IP and juniors while still maintaining quality.
As to quantification, think about the way a prospect can relate to the benefits and therefore what kind of quantification is meaningful. What’s the pain point that gives rise to the need for your service, and how will that situation be improved by using your services? List out all the benefits, quantitative and qualitative then get some feedback from your current clients about the relative priorities. And on that point, the process for developing a UVP should start by looking at what you’ve successfully sold in the past, then inviting your clients to give you the unvarnished truth about why they chose you and the benefits they received. And if that conversation isn’t as comfortable as you’d like, well, all the more reason to do the exercise!
You can read more about the power of a UVP for consulting firms here.
2. When looking to attract new clients, is it better to emphasize the benefit of the services provided or demonstrate the firm’s technical competence?
While doing both is important in the sales process, it is important to prioritize the emphasis on the benefit of the services when speaking to prospects because you will have plenty of time to demonstrate your technical competence at a later stage in the process. When approaching potential clients, they are very interested in finding out the benefits of using your products and services as opposed to your competitors.
So, you must first outline the benefits of your services to clients, and then reassure them that you have the technical competence to deliver these outcomes.
3. Should we have a UVP for each service offering or just one for the whole company?
We advise you to do both. You need to have an overarching UVP for the company and then one for each service you offer. This is because there is a process of attracting, nurturing and converting prospects, which move from the broader lens of the firm, and zooms in on the individual services your firm provides.
For more information on why it is important to focus on clients with the specific needs your UVP addresses, read our blog on the importance of focus for consultancy success.
Finally, as with all of our webinars in this series, our key takeout is presented in our Start, Stop and Continue strategies. To immediately improve your market proposition in your consultancy:
Start: Explain in three jargon-free sentences what you do, and the benefits you deliver
Stop: Putting your technical expertise at the start of your sales messages
Continue: Creating content that showcases the benefits of your services (e.g. videos, articles, case studies)
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