Marketing and sales can be an incredibly difficult challenge for a court reporting firm owner to address. If this is a challenge for you, I want to let you know that you’re not the only one facing this. It’s actually an extremely common and understandable challenge.
However, sales and marketing doesn’t have to be a daunting task.
In working with firm owners across America, we’ve found that there are certain elements that a firm owner should understand before they can really improve their marketing and increase sales in today’s market.
In Marketing Fundamentals for Court Reporting Firm Owners, we discuss ten common marketing mistakes firm owners make and what to do instead. In this article, we’re going to discuss one common and big mistake many firm owners make with the marketing and sales side of their business. This should be thought about before diving into the rest and improving your firm’s marketing.
Are you proactively marketing your court reporting firm enough?
If the answer is, “No,” will you and your firm be willing to proactively marketing your firm enough?
When we speak with firm owners who are not happy with their marketing and sales results and dig deeper into what they’re doing, we often find that they are not proactively marketing your court reporting firm enough. This is a big mistake.
“Our work speaks for itself. Why market or advertise?”
Have you ever thought this? Many firm owners have. There is a problem with this mindset.
Quality work is no longer thought of as a differentiator or a competitive advantage that makes your firm unique. It is expected. Every court reporting firm and court reporter claim to do quality work. However, if you don’t have it, clients will disappear without warning and you’ll have trouble generating repeat work.
Let’s face it.
The market has changed.
As we’ve worked with court reporting firms across America and in Canada, and done our own research, it appears that more firms are proactively marketing and selling their services in the last few years than ever before. The market is now more competitive. If you are not proactively working to gain new clients and retain current clients, you can be sure that your competition is.
The NCRA (National Court Reporters Association) has surveyed court reporting firm owners annually for the past few years. In the March 2014 edition of the JCR (Journal of Court Reporting), Jim Cudahy reported on some of their findings from the 2013 Firm Owners Economic Benchmark Survey. Based on survey results, he reported:
- “Firms with substantial growth are two-and-a-half times more likely to expand their marketing budgets and – get this – 18 times less likely to reduce their marketing budgets. In times of economic difficulty, it is easy to look at marketing as a discretionary expense and cut back or eliminate marketing in an effort to make ends meet. But it is the worst thing a firm can do in such circumstances.”
- “Those firms with substantial growth were just over four times more likely to suggest that their marketing efforts were a factor to clients’ hiring decisions than those with severe revenue decline.”
In the June 2012 issue of the JCR, David Ward stated in his article titled Marketing for Court Reporters, “When NCRA surveyed court reporting firm owners, it found that the companies that continued to market were more likely to grow.”
Years ago, it might have been enough to be complacent and reactive with marketing, to rely on providing good service, referrals, and word-of-mouth. Now, it is not enough for most firms.
Proactively marketing allows a firm to stay in greater control of how much business they have. If not, the firm is subject to external forces and/or individual people to determine how much business they receive. This is a dangerous position to be in. There are far too many external factors that are beyond an individual firm’s control.
How proactive is your firm’s marketing?
If you’d like to improve your court reporting firm’s marketing and sales, we’ve created report and series of articles for you called Marketing Fundamentals for Court Reporting Firm Owners. In it, you’ll discover the 10 marketing and sales mistakes you should avoid (some of them are costing firm owners tens of thousands of dollars a year) and what to do instead. Learn more about it here.
If you would like to speak with us further about your specific firm's challenges, we offer a complimentary 10-20 minute consultation. Request your consultation.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Chris Nesbitt is a small business consultant and managing partner of Strategic Business Directs. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Google+. He has also been a continuing education instructor for the Stenograph Prince Institute Center for Professional Development (a court reporting school).