Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Truth in Marketing; I Am vs. I Am Not

Professional envy among attorneys and accountants could be the single most infectious anti-marketing virus out there. It is so easy to look at the success of another professional, and then say to ourselves, “If he/she can do that/say that/market that way, then I can too.”

But when we plan our next move(s) according to what other people are doing we lose our chance to promote our strengths… and we are not being honest with ourselves or our clients. When we say, “yes” to a client it should reflect an honest assessment of what we can accomplish (healthy self-awareness); not what we think others are doing and we should do it to (insecure).

Equally important, your marketing and sales messages should reflect that same self-honesty. Here is a simple exercise you can do by yourself or in a partner/planning meeting to clarify your strengths and tighten your vision around the capabilities of yourself and/or your firm.

Make three columns on a blank page and head the columns, “The Idea”, “I Am”, and “I Am Not.” As you are discussing client tactics, marketing ideas, upcoming oral presentations, or simply doing a self-assessment, write the ideas, thoughts, and tactics in the “Idea” column. Then, place a check mark in the appropriate “Am” or “Am Not” column. This exercise is particularly useful in meetings when everyone is throwing out ideas for discussion.

What you may notice is a lot of ideas are born from seeing another firm or attorney do a particular thing, and then someone will say, “we should do that too.”

It’s easy to get caught up in the passion of someone else’s, or your own excitement. If you can be honest about your strengths, and frank about your weaknesses, you will find that your “I AM’s” will generate great successes and eventually become the envy of your competition.

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