In professional services like law cyberspecurity is what clients demand. That's even from the get-go at the RFP stage. Some such as clients in financial services require the law firm to have the same security protocol as they do, as required by law. So, any telecommuting among the workforce, including vendors, could become a deal-breaker. Here is some analysis of that.
However, there are also the career mobility issues. Man is a social animal. When workers are not onsite they are not engaged in the transmission of mirror neurons. Those, researchers in Italy found, account for our ability to be in synch with our fellow man and other species. Without it, the human race might be incapable of empathy.
The ambitious always sensed telecommuting was not the best of all worlds. They found excuses to be back onsite, reminding the brass and colleagues that they still existed. Also, they pushed to be invited to group events such a offsite retreats and industry conferences. Even though telecommuting is increasing we who do our work that way remain children of a lesser god.
However, for the less ambitious or those who never felt comfortable toiling in the traditional office, telecommuting has been the platform for producing our best work. Social to us equals distraction. For new business development, yes, I find reasons to pop in onsite now and then. I attend conferences. And, there are the e-meetups which are free.
In addition, I continually experiment with marketing and sales tactics. Much of those I pick up from observing my clients. For example, recently I interviewed the main players at a professional services firm on the West Coast for the "About" section of its website. Its meme is that it does what it does to move the dial on clients' being able to find leads, then convert them into sales. Everyone in the organization is responsible for helping clients sell.
That was the ethos at Chrysler during the Lee Iacocca turnaround. The boss hammered that everyone, including the security guard at the plant, was there to sell mini vans and K-cars. When I reframed my marketing pitches from quality communications to assisting clients in selling, I started getting the business in the first go-round.
Success increased when I included graphics symbolizing selling in my own marketing material. Clients want to sell more X, not be told how wonderful their Y (organizational structure, employee morale, communications) will be. This weekend I am copywriting material for banner ads and other content directly targeted at consumers on the web. That could develop into a new niche business for me.
Among the other tactics which have been unusually effective is e-direct mail. Yes, there is a low percentage return. That's always been true of the direct mail game. But those who do respond are the better type of client, with budgets for big ticket items. Also, unlike responding to RFPs, I am not in competitive space. My pitch is the only one prospects are considering in that 20 seconds.
A third is to leverage cute, which only a female Baby Boomer might be able to pull off. I was able to get the attention and therefore the business of former clients by focusing on atypical holidays. Forget Christmas. That space is crowded with goodwill gestures from vendors. Instead I shop around for darling low-cost gifts associated with Halloween, Valentine's, Ash Wednesday - okay you get it. A pair of pink pull-up Valentine-decorated socks brought new business from dead accounts.
Marketing has shifted from formulaic to being embedded in voodoo. Since I telecommute, watching the brass watch me doesn't drain my energy. I have what it takes to conjure up inspired ways to motivate browsers to become buyers.