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Professional Services Marketing: How the Best Firms Build Premier Brands, Thriving Lead Generation Engines, and Cultures of Business Development Success Hardcover – July 27, 2009

27 customer reviews

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In the old days, professional service firms could survive without much marketing effort. Put together a team of good people, deliver strong service to clients, and you might get by just fine on repeat business and client referrals. For many, those days are gone. While repeat business and referrals are still necessary to grow, they're no longer enough to succeed. You need smart, effective marketing and a culture of business development success to bring in a steady stream of clients to grow your business.

Professional Services Marketing gives you the field-tested, research-based approaches and tactics your organization needs to succeed. It helps you sort the wheat from the chaff among the many and varied marketing strategies and tactics, allowing you to make the best possible decisions for you and your business while avoiding the common mistakes unique to professional services firms.

The book covers five key areas your firm can't grow without:

  • Creating a customized marketing and growth strategy based on what will really work for your firm
  • Establishing a brand and reputation that leads to market leadership, frustrated competitors, and happy clients (and more of them)
  • Implementing a marketing communications program that will keep your firm front and center in decision-makers' minds
  • Developing a lead generation strategy that brings in more new clients than you will know what to do with
  • Winning new clients by developing rainmakers and a culture of business-development hustle, passion, intensity, and success

Professional Services Marketing includes case studies that illustrate the successes and failures of other firms, as well as firsthand stories from well-respected industry professionals. It helps you make the right decisions about what to do, what to spend, and how to place key people in the right roles to maximize their time and energy. Plus, it will help you avoid dreaded mistakes that lead to unproductive marketing efforts and keep you up to date on the latest thinking in the industry.

Centered around primary research on the way clients buy and reliable insight from successful firms, this is the perfect guide to growing your business for consultants, attorneys, technology professionals, accountants, engineers, and any other professional services provider.

About the Author

Mike Schultz is Co-President of Wellesley Hills Group, where he works as a consultant and speaker in professional services marketing and business development. He publishes, the leading source for insight, advice, and tools for growing a professional services business, and the Services Insider Blog and podcast series.

John E. Doerr is Co-President of Wellesley Hills Group and has spent thirty years in professional services leadership. He consults, speaks, and writes on the strategy and tactics of marketing and business development for professional services. For more information or to contact the authors, please visit or


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (July 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470438991
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470438992
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #859,834 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Ian Brodie on August 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Review from the Selling Professional Services Blog at [...]

One question I get asked every now and then is "Can you recommend a good book on marketing professional services?".

And to be honest, my normal answer is "not really".

For sole practitioners and small consulting firms, Robert Middleton's Action Plan Marketing material is an excellent resource. For larger firms there's very little on marketing that I find helpful, so I usually point them to the relevant chapters in more general works like Maister's Managing the Professional Service Firm, Harding's Rainmaking or Denvir & Walker's Growing Your Client Base.

Well, now I have something to recommend.

Professional Services Marketing is Mike Schultz & John Doerr's new book focused on helping professional firms build strong brands, create a "lead generation engine" and develop effective business development cultures.

Here's the difference with Professional Services Marketing - it's based on what really works in professional services.

As well as running their own professional service firm, Schultz and Doerr advise leading law, accountancy and consulting firms. And as the founders of [...], they have access to the most recent research on lead generation methods, client buying criteria, fee rates, etc.

The impact of that experience and research comes through loud and clear in the book. What you won't find here are unsubstantiated theories or concepts from product marketing crudely adapted to a services environment. Instead, it's based on practical, real-world-tested ideas.

Example: In Chapter 6 - Don't Worry About Your Competition, they debunk a number of myths hung-over from product marketing. "You must be a first mover" - nonsense.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By F. Ferreres on October 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having had access to extensive research, best practices reports and services marketing associations, I wanted to share that I've found the book, so far, extremely vague, light, obvious while painfully salesy about the authors' own services. I am now reading about the diatribe on pricing. Having read and witnesses this debate for years, I can guarantee the writers do not have the necessary experience to provide solid advise to medium/large marketeers.

If you have no experience at all, the book might be helpful even if not well researched or solid. Be careful! If you are more experienced, the advise will be too generic. May still be interesting. Might have one or two ideas that are overlooked. So far, I didn't find anything useful, and to this point, I would not recommend this book to a friend, only to a competitor.

I will keep reading, and pray no more advertorials from the writers surface, as it's becoming irritating. In any case, I'd be very alert, and am very tempted to put this down. The marketing planning section was really a waste of time, even when it's so short as to take 10 min to read. So far, awful. What mislead me was the David Maister endorsement.

I'll keep on reading and if my view changes, I'll make it a duty to come back and do justice. I give it two stars, not one, because it's still a good resource for someone with no experience at all that doesn't connect marketing with revenue. The book does argue that doesn't pay off, and it's right, plus shows some generic metrics (and then tries to sell you an Excel spreadsheet!)
I kept on reading, and it got reasonably interesting. It touches on some preconceptions and offers the reader to question conventional wisdom.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Frohman on September 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's easy to see that the authors have spent very little time actually marketing professional services (their own, perhaps) This is nothing more than a distillation of prevailing thought from the internet. Save your money and buy Winning the Professional Services Sale by Michael W. McLaughlin, which contains actionable advice from an (obviously) experienced practitioner.
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Format: Hardcover
Mike Schultz and John Doerr with Professional Services Marketing: How the Best Firms Build Premier Brands, Thriving Lead Generation Engines, and Cultures of Business Development Success (Wiley and Sons: 2009) venture into an increasingly crowded area--the marketing and selling of professional services.

For full disclosure. I am mentioned in the book along with dozens of others as a contributing author to [...], the online marketing magazine edited by Mike Schultz. I do contribute to the site. Contributing to RainToday and working with Mike has not influenced this review at all. However, since there is a slight relationship here, you be the judge (the best way to be the judge is buy the book and determine whether my review is accurate or not).

A growing trend in the sales and marketing training/consulting industry--and consequently for authors of books--is targeting professional service providers. The sector has been viewed as potentially profitable and underserved. It's a market where underserved is no longer the case. Amazon has over 2,350 sales and marketing books listed that target the professional service provider and most of these have been published in the last five or six years.

So in such a crowded marketplace that has exploded in such a short period of time is it really reasonable to expect that Schultz and Doerr have contributed much of anything new? It might not be reasonable to expect, but they did create a work that does contribute substantially to the subject.

They lay out for themselves a massive task. According to the front flap, the book covers these five areas:
1. Creating a customized marketing and growth strategy based on what will really work for your firm
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