Today’s market is flooded with professional services firms of all shapes and sizes. The boom in digital transformation has only added to the already robust demand for technology consulting and advisory services.
With so many service providers in the market, how do you set yourself apart from the competition?
Your service offering is only part of the equation. Equally important is your service provider’s brand and the way it is perceived by both the client and the community.
In the fast-paced world of business, how you are perceived can make the difference between staying afloat and going under.
Here are 9 ways a professional services firm can stand out in a crowd:
Make a Difference
The most obvious way a professional services firm can set itself apart is by making a real difference. You can make a huge impact by helping your clients solve their problems and meet their goals.
It’s not enough to be competent at what you do. You must also be excellent at it. You have to be the best at what you do, or the firm you work for won’t have a job.
Your difference should be apparent to both consumers and employees. Consumers want a firm that solves their problems, while employees want a workplace where they feel happy and engaged.
If you want to stand out, your difference must be apparent to all stakeholders.
Deliver Exceptional Value
A great difference starts with delivering exceptional value. The best way to do this is by exceeding expectations. You can do this by doing the following:
- Always deliver on time – Be transparent about the work you are doing for your clients – Provide regular progress updates – Work hard to solve problems – Be flexible – Be patient – Be available to talk – Be responsive – Be accountable –
Deliver a “Human Touch”
Making a real difference is one thing, but delivering a “human touch” is another. It is important to remember that your primary role is to serve your clients, not to provide a technical service.
You can’t just deliver value propositions and expect clients to flock to you in droves. You must first develop meaningful relationships with them.
Firms that “humanize” their brand experience often see dramatic increases in revenue and new business. You can develop meaningful relationships with your clients by delivering a human touch.
This can include attending events with your clients, making yourself available for questions, and sending follow-up emails.
- Be Proactive, Not Reactive
Successful firms are proactive, not reactive. They anticipate potential problems and create contingency plans.
Firms that don’t respond well to change are often viewed as a “one-hit wonder.” This is because firms that once had a winning strategy are seen as “finished.”
You must be proactive, not reactive. Reactive organizations accept change as a fact of life and wait for problems to occur. Proactive firms solve problems before they occur.
- Be an Expert in Your Field
You can’t be successful unless you know what you are doing. To be sure you have the expertise your business needs, it’s a good idea to get a checkup from time to time.
You should know the capabilities and limitations of your staff and the technology you use. You should also know the industry norms for pricing and billable hours.
These three things will help you make informed decisions and deliver value to your clients.
You can also make yourself more valuable by offering a variety of services. If you offer more than one type of service, you can provide your clients with a tailored experience.
- Go the Extra Mile for Clients
You can only do so much for a client, yet you must go the extra mile to make a difference. You can do this by putting your clients’ interests ahead of yours.
To do this, you must put yourself in your client’s shoes. Ask yourself, “What do I want?” Then, “How can I get it?”
You also need to be careful not to overpromise and underdeliver. You can damage your reputation if you oversell and underdeliver.
- Be Thoughtful about What You Offer
The final way a professional services firm can stand out is by being thoughtful about what it offers.
You can’t just say you are the experts in your field and expect clients to flock to you in droves. You also have to be experts at selling yourself and your services.
You should have a clear idea of what your core offering is and whether it meets the needs of your clientele.
You also have to be careful not to offer more services than your clients need. Doing so can backfire because you are then responsible for handling more work than you can handle well.
- Protecting the Bottom Line
The most important thing you can do is protect the bottom line. This is crucial because it determines how successful you will be.
Successful firms protect the bottom line because they know the importance of every dollar earned. They don’t waste resources and they don’t take unnecessary risks.
Profitable firms invest their profits wisely to generate even more income in the future.