“Your research on our business and careful questioning of our partners provided a great marketing plan broad with initiatives, but scalable to match our needs and capacity.”
EVP, XL Construction
“Bruce was a great investment, providing detailed, objective information for making key decisions regarding how we position and deliver our services.”
CEO, Lawyer Business Advantage
“Bruce led us in strategy development that let us reach a new level of clarity and ideas for who we are, what we’re doing, and how we’re going to achieve it.”
CEO & Founder, Rubicon Consulting
"What Bruce does is original. People don’t talk about Virtuous Cycles of Marketing. . . After a while it gets really easy because it becomes part of the company DNA."
Kevin G. Long
President, Employee Benefits Law Group
"What immediately impressed me is Bruce’s ability to identify the key issues that win business for us."
"Your approach completely changed the way I think about my market."
"Bruce’s analysis was invaluable for setting marketing goals. He also helped with a master plan to achieve those goals. I cannot praise enough the value of Bruce’s approach and the efficiency of its execution."
"Bruce’s approach is different. It’s customized to his clients, and though it starts with marketing, once implemented, it permeates the entire organization. It’s a deeper, more positive approach."
Law Firm Marketing Director
"When we took our new messaging ‘out on the road,’ we definitely had stronger positioning vs. an aggressive competitor. We were able to articulate our benefits with a lot more impact."
VP Marketing, PayCycle
There's less selling when your value is clear
The Challenge: A highly experienced forensic accountant was struggling to find a better way to reach and educate family law attorneys. Many don't understand the value of forensic accounting.
Reverse-Engineering Success: My interviews of family law attorneys revealed that approach was a dead end. Attorneys that don’t understand the value of a forensic accountant were unlikely to change. The real opportunity was with attorneys who understand the value in concept but are uncertain how to respond to client concerns about cost and value.The Business Result: Thinking like the family law attorneys who understand the value of a forensic accountant led to a new offer. The Initial Consultation is something family law attorneys can recommend without having to ask the client to make a large commitment. The cost is low, but the insights and options discussed are of great value strategically. Clients who will benefit from a forensic accountant see those benefits firsthand while still in the planning phase. Better outcomes and easier to manage cases turned the attorneys into advocates.
The right positioning enabled a quick 180
The Challenge: The CEO was under pressure. Having taken a significant private equity investment promising growth, he needed to figure out why his slam-dunk product wasn’t selling. Maximizing billings for thin-margin home health agencies navigating complex Medicare rules ought to be an easy sell.
Reverse-Engineering Success: In-depth client interviews revealed a huge mismatch between actual and assumed buyer persona. Nurses-turned-owners simply don’t think in the same terms as other business owners. To them, patient care comes before efficiency and profits.
With patient care as their driving force, the nurse-owners were wary of the big, profit-driven healthcare companies they felt put profits ahead of patient care. Nurse-owners didn’t see a difference in priorities; they saw an offense against their values.
The entire company began thinking like nurses. Operating efficiencies became the solution to the problem nurse-owners actually faced: how to operate on thin margins while ensuring their patients got the care they deserved.
The Business Result: The company saw a remarkable and immediate reversal of fortune. Growth attracted new investments to launch an acquisition strategy. The actual service and pricing remained completely unchanged.
What do you do when 1 partner brings in 80% of new business and competition threatens your specialized niche?
If you are like a lot of law firms, you hire a marketing agency to re-brand your firm and build a modern website.
The agency they hired charged a lot of money but failed to deliver results. The agency focused on why the attorneys THOUGHT they were successful.
I took the opposite approach. I reverse engineered actual relationships with their Best Clients. They learned their secret sauce wasn't their expertise or experience, but attention to solving the client's BUSINESS issues. They now market their legal skills as a VEHICLE for delivering business results.
Thinking like their clients made all the difference.
Revenues are way up. Margins are up. They have more work deep in their sweet spot. And . . . all the senior attorneys now bring in business.
The Challenge: The founder and CEO of an ultra, high-end home automation design/build contractor was having trouble converting a string of industry awards into more booked contracts.
Sales cycles were painfully long. Clients couldn't sign final contracts until build out because audio and video products change so frequently.
Reverse-Engineering Success: I used interviews to reverse engineer their Best Client relationships so the CEO and sales team could think like their clients. Awards care about specific SKUs; Clients care about capabilities. Clients were buying an experience, not the specific speakers or BluRay player.
The Business Result: The sales team started signing contracts up to a year sooner -- often before their competitors even knew there was a deal to be had.
Clients love the process. It is built around what they care about.
The Challenge: Executives at a $200M commercial contractor found client nurturing awkward. They were basically geeky engineers who saw business development—they would never, ever say “sales”—as unprofessional.
Reverse-Engineering Success: Client interviews revealed clients admired them as expert problem solvers who found innovative ways to "get it done." Past clients--who as the #1 source of new projects were often future clients--loved hearing stories about projects that stayed on track despite unexpected challenges.
The Business Result: Once the executives shifted their focus from asking for business to sharing stories of success in the face of challenges, they went from twisting arms to get meetings, to having people WANT to talk to them.
They also found clients seeking them out for exactly the types of projects they most wanted. They were attracting more of their Best Clients.
The Challenge: The software engineers with an innovative SaaS solution could not figure out why their "can't miss" offering was getting no traction.
Reverse-Engineering Success: Client interviews reverse-engineered where they had found client success. It turns out their Best Clients did not think like software engineers, so the company was positioned entirely wrong.
The Business Result: Repositioning the firm based on thinking like their clients created a quick 180 requiring no code changes. Within a few years they consolidated their fragmented market and made their investors a ton of money.
The Challenge: A decade-old payment app found a super-sized SMB strategy did not translate to the mid-market. While they shifted their target from owners to CFOs, they did not recognize the buying dynamic was entirely different. At risk was the Board mandate to enter new markets.
Reverse-Engineering Success: Thinking like their customers quickly changed their fortunes. Owners were deeply involved in the purchase decision and wanted the best product. By contrast, CFOs expected the integrator of their accounting platform to provide a solid, dependable solution. System integrators must deliver a no drama solution across many applications, so they sought fewer but closer relationships.
The Business Result: Success came quickly once the marketing and sales strategy refocused on the system integrator as the most critical link in the sale.
The Challenge: The founder and CEO of a 20-year-old marketing consultancy grew concerned when business declined several quarters in a row. His consultants did great work and clients knew it. The challenge was that getting meetings with past clients and new prospects was getting much harder.
Reverse-Engineering Success: Unlike most of my clients, I didn't need to interview his clients to reverse-engineer his Best Client relationships. The CEO’s problem was he was talking about himself, his firm, and the types of work they liked to do. Clients don't have time for an obvious sales pitch.
Using examples from other professional services firms, I showed the CEO the value of thinking like his clients. When he did that, he started talking about client results rather than the work he and his team performed.
The Business Result: The results were immediate and dramatic. Clients who hadn't accepted a meeting in over a year, were quick to accept meeting invites. The very next quarter set a record for new business.
The Challenge: The PhDs running an environmental consulting firm knew their market had lots of potential but were stymied at how to find new clients. Sales training took away their fear but didn't position their firm to win.
Reverse-Engineering Success: An extensive set of client interviews reverse-engineered their secret sauce. They had been only half right about why their Best Clients selected their firm.
The Business Result: With the complete picture they were able to think like their Best Clients and attract more of Best Clients. They were able to scale by training new staff with insights that were intuitive to the Principals, but until now unstated.
The Challenge: While some sales reps complained they couldn’t meet quota without steep discounts, others maintained the company was leaving tons of money on the table. Something wasn’t as it seemed.
Reverse-Engineering Success: Customer interviews revealed the company was selling the same offering for two very different applications for different customers in different markets. The second application was below the radar but far more lucrative. The solution was a radical product realignment: two separate products utilizing a common code base.
The Business Result: Two under-performing products became a pair of thriving products once each was “right-priced.” The lower priced offering delivered volume in the company’s traditional markets without undercutting the “insane” margins generated by the higher-priced offering selling for 33X.