Gray-Haired Consultants

Want to END Prospecting

FIND OUT HOW TO STOP LEAD-CHASING

Professional consultants and trusted advisors over 45 now have an excellent chance to cut back or completely eliminate LEADS and all that goes with qualifying, nurturing, and selling them! If you haven’t heard about Concierge Marketing yet, visit PMcommunity.org. (more…)

Open Enrollment Closing

Independent Service Professionals: Last Call

OPEN ENROLLMENT ENDS JUNE 30th

robert_frost's_roadWith just a week or so to go, existing members and Local County Coordinators are asked to step up their immediate peer & colleague notifications…assuming they want to MORE REFERRALS locally.

PM Community (pmCommunity.org) doesn’t advertise on- or offline. The primary reason is that the cost-savings keep our member marketing rates where members like: below market value. Regular readers know that $300/yr and $590/yr (annual fixed fees) are a superior value to be positioned for potential NHW new clients. Note: if you can find another venue that even comes close, we’d love to promulgate it to members!

Okay, we get it. Not every new assignment/case falls into the High Net Worth client category.  But, with millions of Boomers now crossing the retirement threshold, it’s reasonable to think that you may get “your share” depending on cluster composition, location and participation frequency. That’s what make the Community such an excellent venue/value!

For the few of you keeping tabs on the Community analytics, don’t bother. We’re not even a blip on cyber-radar and that’s not a bad thing for an organization that does 90+% of its work offline anyway. Granted, at some point in time we’ll lose this delightful cloak of confidentiality, but in the meantime let’s enjoy being/doing what others in the marketplace can’t be/do.


TERRIFIC RESOURCES DESERVING OF MENTION

There a general presumption in the Community that our members are too busy to stay current with magazine subscriptions. We all get a favorites regularly whether for waiting room purposes or private consumption. Although it’s well known that we don’t try to stay abreast of  the ever-morphing web, we will admit that we enjoy our monthly doze of Website Magazine. The article are quite sound and Editor Pete Prestipino is the real deal.  Of particular note last month was the Survey Finding that 62% of SBO’s (Small Business Owners), our clients, commit their marketing to RETENTION, not to new client development.

LOUSY knock-knock JOKEThis means exactly what it says. Instead of blowing everything on finding new clients, the majority spent last year (the 62%) went for retaining existing clients/customers. Contrast this to 2012, when it was 7-1 in favor of banging the drum for new business. Okay, inbound traffic/pull marketing has a lot to do with this, but it also speaks to most of our members adhering to fiduciary standards. In other words, helping clients to realize how important they are and why “we” (are glad to) do our best for them.

Obviously, the goal is loyalty and repeat business because no one new could do as much for you. Yada, yada, yada. On another front, our legal friends at LTN (Law Technology News) are one of the best trade mags for SMBs even if Law is not your primary practice. The articles are of course slanted to our brothers & sisters in law, but the writing is not legalese and the many articles are actually quite insightful. Check them out!

FYI–overall all, independent attorneys are still our largest membership group in most states. Our next largest category accountants (with analysts & auditors) followed by closely financial services & insurance.

These three major groups constitute over 82% of our membership but less than 68% of Concierge Marketing activity so far this year. In other words, all the other categories initiate more referrals than the top three.


LIFETIME MEMBERSHIPS (LM) START (AGAIN) JULY  1ST

As previously reported, the Community will be accepting LMs once Open Enrollment is completed. However, the caveat is that not everyone is eligible to raise themselves to this category. Only those who have been a Preferred Member for at least one year can make this election. FYI–the “cost” (misnomer) is three-times the prevailing annual PM rate. But, for those who have been a County Coordinator (CC) or are finishing up their year’s worth of service, the rate has been cut to TWO-times the prevailing annual rate.

Outside help--safe & secure!Besides never paying any more marketing fees, save for the annual $100 “tri-positioning refresh,” the added benefit is that LMs are ‘automatically’ accorded Premium Member– treatment for as long as their local cluster does not have such a member. Members should know this is equivalent of another $500+ annual benefit to every applicable LM. (Parenthtetically, if anyone’s doing the math, the combined added-value (cost savings) is over a thousand dollars.)

What’s with the preponderance of cost? Well, non-insiders (aka outsiders) may not be aware that PM Community is really all about adding value and not being concerned about cost/”how much.” For this reason that we stopped long-term contracts long ago. Members go month-to-month because our “Opt-Out” at any time provision looms largely. Anytime, any member decides to “walk away,” she simply needs to fire off an email to the VP of Membership’s Office and their membership account stops as of the first of the following month. Any & all prepaid sums not expended are returned in full according to the standard Community Marketing Agreement.

Bottom Line: this is our members’ Put-up or Shut-up Safety Value!

The new Lifetime Membership election shall remain in force indefinitely; but, please note that only Preferred Members may apply after one year in class. With the Premium Member kicker, this is a remarkable break-away advantage.


How many members remembered that June 14th was our tenth anniversary? We suspect very few–and that’s a good thing! Why? Because the Community was designed to be NOTabout people & personalities, rather, ONLY about projects & processes. Confidentiality is our benchmarkCompetence, Trustworthiness & Collegiality is how we roll.  /  ED



Kindly note that all Blogs & FAQ Sessions are strictly for informational & educational purposes and intended for a specific niche audience, namely, independent professionals serving Small & Midsize Business (SMB) clients in North America. Accordingly, such material is not designed for public consumption or any specific trade group or industry.   |  © Copyright 2014 pmCommunity.org.  All other trademarks are the exclusive property of their respective owners.


Hidden Resource: Open Enrollment

Marketing for Independent Professionals

SMB Deal ClusterEVERYONE WANTS A PIECE OF THE ACTION!

Some marketing companies claim to offer everyone everything. Their battle cry is that they are a mighty Full-Service Marketing firm, just ask them.

Others stay within the limits of commonsense. They offer a particular service specialty or perhaps concentrate on one industry or another. Then there are a few marketers that do very little but do it exceptionally well.  There is one that was built by seasoned business executives who model their mousetrap after a highly successful entrepreneurial marketing model of the early-mid 1980s.

For those unfamiliar (or perhaps not born yet! Yipes, anyone under 34), these were turbulent times when the Prime Rate was over 21% and was followed by the Glory Days of M&A!

In any event, the founders designed PMcommunity.org to incorporate the best features of this older-analog model because it was so successful. “The Business Group” served to help buyers, sellers, bankers, brokers, and professional advisors interact more easily, in a friction-free environment, where the primary purpose was to expedite business transfers without compromising results.

In other words, local professionals in various disciplines attendant to M&A events confidentially came together on an as-needed basis without cost or hassle with the expressed understanding that friendly facilitated transaction was in store. Adversarial posturing was prohibited and high availability was absolutely essential. (FYI–there was no internet and fax machines were relatively new.)


OPEN ENROLLMENT ENDS JUNE 30th

Before venturing forward, let’s tell newcomers upfront that our Community features GUARANTEED REFERRALS to all members who participate in our unique Concierge Marketing program. (FYI–Costs are fixed & relatively nominal, starting at $29/year.) This gives you a frame of reference and, hopefully, an incentive to see you qualify.

Comparatively speaking, the Community is DELIBERATELY not well known. We are not open to the public and only qualified independent service professionals (sole practitioners in law, accounting, insurance, financial services, brokering, consulting, etc.) are allowed to join, that is, when recommended by a local peer or colleague who is already a member. Candidly, we like to keep our Clusters small enough to ensure that every member has the opportunity to share the wealth, i.e. new client referrals.

Through Monday, June 30th, the Membership Committee waives the recommendation/invitation criterion for those who would like to take advantage of joining with others to give/take business clients in imminently need–and who will never shop for services in the open market. Our form of Concierge Marketing is designed to create real, honest to goodness, RAINMAKING, that is, substantial new clients brought to members unexpectedly in serious need (already fully qualified) ready to engage  them on the spot…assuming availability naturally.

Those applying afterwards without recommendation will be waited listed until the next Open Enrollment period, or until they are able to secure a member (or County Coordinator) recommendation.


typical clusterNEW FAQ THAT CANDIDATES NEED ANSWERED

Why did PMcommunity.org become an Invitation-Only organization?  By-invitation means that only known entities to existing members would be allowed to join with other registered professionals. What’s at stake is the current composition of the local Cluster that the candidate would be assumed into.

While the local marketing area is called a County Cluster, it may be inclusive of more than one county, or far less than one county–when dense population & demographics dictate. This falls to the Office of Vice President, Membership who handles field logistics and all matters relating to member operations. Note that clusters are reset periodically (weekly, by-weekly, monthly & quarterly) depending on inbound traffic. At any point in time, dozens of County Clusters could be in flux. But, this means virtually NOTHING (fully transparent, as in invisible) to the local area; but quite a bit INTERNALLY re: governance, distribution, referral fulfillment.

For the uninitiated, as a Marketing Organization, the Community function is to facilitate channel flow, expedite (re)search & cross-matching, close the loop as expeditiously as possible.

  • Think: buyer-exact needs to seller-specific talents.] If we were an online marketer, database searching would suffice. But, since we’re primarily an OFFLINE marketer/expediter, we have an agile staff (analysts & project managers) working in different areas concurrently to affect an optimum outcome for each & every assignment. 
  • Think: boots on the ground (internal analysts), feet on the street (going into the local marketplace to extract a Subject Matter Expert as necessary) and skin in the game to deliver optimized results anticipated by participants in our Concierge Marketing.

SUMMER SUMMATION (POTPOURRI)

Starting July 1st, once Open-Enrollment expires, we will be installing new County Coordinators as well as rolling out a new Summer Member Recruiting Drive. The former is a transparent formality based on those who expressed a desired to put their own stamp on their local cluster. FYI–It is a strictly voluntary as a fee-paying Preferred Member and bears no composition or favoritism while in the position of County Coordinator. But, what it will bring, once the year long term expires, is a full year’s credit (waiver) of marketing fees.

The New Membership Recruiting Drive (July and August) allows members (other than Standbys) to accrue months of future free marketing fees–up to twelve months). How does this program work? Easily, just like last November only with a new wrinkle for the extra aggressive Spreaders of Good Marketing News.  Details to follow.