Again today I encountered this debate, which is really no debate at all. We are both saying the same thing, only looking at the business pipeline from different ends of the pipe.
In a meeting with prospective clients, I was explaining how our focus is on maximizing visibility and reinforcing our client’s expert positioning in order to encourage referrals and generate leads, only to be met with the reply that the best way to generate business is still through face-to-face interaction.
Yes, I agree. Selling a professional service is all about building strong relationships. Most professionals say that if they have the chance to sit across the desk from a prospective client, they will win the business. And that is where marketing comes in. You need marketing/public relations to create opportunities to have those real world, in-person, face-to-face sessions.
How can you expect to have those opportunities without generating leads, creating interest, demonstrating credibility, and positioning yourself as an expert in your field? Those goals can be accomplished through marketing, from e-newsletters and social media profiles to bylined articles and media quotes. Effective marketing is the first step toward securing those all-important in-person meetings in the first place.