If you’re looking to build your professional practice, one of your best referral sources is likely to be others you work with. However, in order for them to recommend you to their clients and networks, they need to know who you help, what you help them with, and some examples of issues you can resolve or assist clients with.
It’s less about cross-selling and more about working together to uncover unmet client needs.
6 tips to market effectively internally:
1. Show interest: schedule a half hour catch-up with a different colleague each week – particularly those you don’t know or don’t know well. Going for a coffee or popping your head around the door of a colleague’s office is a great way to get known within your firm. By showing an interest in your colleague’s work, and discussing issues, you can let them know how you might potentially be able to help them out.
2. Give to get: focus on how you can help the other person – what does their ideal client look like? (n.b. you may have to ask this a few times as they may not know themselves), how would you recognise an ideal referral for them? Be on the lookout for opportunities to help them. You can then use tools such as LinkedIn to introduce your colleague to others in your network who they would benefit from meeting (ideally the benefit should be to both your colleague and the person to whom you’re introducing them).
3. Agree to do something for your colleague and then do it: for example you may introduce them to a client or friend of yours if you believe there is mutual benefit or you may forward one of their articles, blog posts, videos etc to your network (or share these with them via social networks).
4. Share client intelligence that they may be interested in.
5. Treat your colleagues and their clients like your own: if an issue arises, or is likely to, which will impact a colleague’s clients, let your colleague know what the issue is and what the key implications are so that he/she can contact his/her impacted clients. Suggest your colleague schedules a meeting with their client, which you can join to discuss the issue.
6. Connect to your colleagues on LinkedIn etc: that way they may see some of your updates and you will see some of theirs. This not only helps to position you with your colleagues but may also may give you ideas about clients or contacts of yours that a colleague could help. Where appropriate, you may want to share their updates with your network.
7. Buddy up: share plans and ideas, set weekly actions, and keep each other on track.
If you want to leverage your internal connections then you do need to spend time developing them. Even spending one hour per week on internal marketing will pay huge dividends.
You need to connect the dots for your colleagues – how are your practices complimentary? Where are the overlaps in issues / clients/ work flows? If you focus on the other person and follow through on your promises, you should notice more colleagues trying to help you.
What other internal marketing tactics have worked well for you?
What internal marketing advice would you give to other professionals looking to build their practices?
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