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Professional Services Marketing: How the Best Firms Build Premier Brands, Thriving Lead Generation Engines, and Cultures of Business Development Success, 2nd Edition by Lee Frederiksen, John E. Doerr, Mike Schultz

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19

The Case for Sustained Lead Generation and Relationship Nurturing

The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer.

—Peter Drucker

Three truths:

1. To avoid the revenue roller coaster that plagues many professional services businesses, you need to generate a steady stream of leads.
2. For most professional services, prospective clients do not make impulse buys. Buying has to make it to the top of their to-do lists for any of your sales to happen.
3. As much as you (the seller) might like to shorten the sales cycle, buying complex, important, trust-based services takes time. The initial lead will culminate only if the buyer, when she has a need that floats to the top of her to-do list (the elusive time of need), thinks of you.

Unfortunately for service providers, it's nearly impossible to predict when this elusive time of need is going to arise for the buyer.

In the research report Evaluating the Cost of Sales Calls in Business to Business Markets,1 the researchers found that it takes an average of 5.12 sales calls to close sales that exceed $35,000.2 More than 75 percent of the 23,000-plus companies surveyed stated that a combination of direct and indirect marketing and sales efforts was necessary to get to the sale.

To most leaders of professional services firms, this will make immediate sense. Sales cycles are long. The competition works hard to blanket the best prospects with their messages. Many services are becoming viewed as commodities by buyers (even if they're ...

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