Are you the right horse for the course?

What do clients look for when hiring professional services advisers?

We’ve interviewed over 200 clients of professional services firms over the past 18 months and 83% of them say they look for the right person(s) for the job.

While the backing of a large firm is important when deals/projects are large or complex, this horses for courses approach to appointing advisers provides huge opportunities for smaller firms and individuals who can demonstrate they’re the right person for the job.

What do clients mean by ‘the right person for the job’?

  • Someone with the necessary technical competence/expertise: as evidenced by their past experience on similar projects, their reputation, their ability to influence decision makers, their knowledge and their level of professionalism.
  • Someone who is the right fit: at both a personal and team level, including the adviser’s ability to work well with the extended team.
  • Someone who understands, or shows they are willing to learn about, the client’s business: an adviser who will anticipate needs and protect the client’s interests.

So, how can you demonstrate you’re the right person for the job?

  • Position yourself as an expert in your field by sharing useful, relevant and timely content with your target audience(s) via a variety of channels both online and offline.
  • Provide evidence of your technical competence/expertise through the content you share as well as via case studies and client testimonials.
  • Seek to demonstrate how you work and your fit at both a personal and team level via client testimonials, testimonials from other practitioners who have worked with you on a deal/project, case studies, and your bio. When meeting with prospective clients in person, view this as an opportunity to demonstrate how you work.
  • Ask your clients and prospects questions to find out about their businesses, do your research and then share relevant content with them. Call them to let them know about things which may impact their business. Share case studies and testimonials of work you’ve done in their industry. If you don’t understand a prospective client’s business, ask pertinent questions, and then tell them how you will get up to speed.

Building your personal profile and evidencing your work, your working style, your understanding of (or willingness to understand) your clients’ businesses and the outcomes you’ve helped your clients achieve are key to demonstrating you are the right horse for the course.


Specialising in professional services and law firm marketing. I help firms to retain and grow existing clients and attract more of their ideal clients. My core services include social media for lead generation, voice of the client programmes and tender strategy and development. Outside of work I love to run. I’m a bit like Forest Gump in that I’m not that quick but can keep going for ages. I also enjoy coming up with new inventions. Unfortunately, most of them have already been invented! | * Professional services marketing consultant | * Legal marketing consultant | * Law firm marketing consultant