What books should someone read if they are starting out in professional services marketing?

Posted on: December 21, 2006

There is an earlier list for lawyers, accountants and surveyors in the FAQ section of May 2000. There is also an extended reading list relating to selling and sales skills as an appendix in my book Dynamic practice development – Selling skills and techniques for the professions.

There are also helpful book reviews on the web sites of the PM Forum and the Professional Services Marketing Group.

You should also review the recommended books in the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) certificate and diploma syllabuses.

Title Author Publisher Comments
Books I have written
Dynamic Practice Development – Selling skills and techniques for the professions Kim Tasso Thorogood Whilst there is a chapter on marketing, this book is designed to introduce lawyers, accountants and surveyors (and the marketers that support them) to the concepts and issues surrounding selling. Those who are trying to move their roles from a marketing/ communications focus into business development will find it a help. There are separate chapters on account management and competitive tendering.
Media relations in property Kim Tasso and Graham Norwood EG Books Whilst targeted at the property sector, there are examples included from the legal and accountancy professions who operate in property. It is designed to help people with no prior training/experience of media relations (press releases, articles, enquiries, crises) to develop the basic skills. Recommended for marketers who need help in managing media relations for the first time and selecting/managing a PR agency or recruiting/managing an in-house press officer.
Understanding the professions
True Professionalism David Maister Free Press David has written many books (e.g. Managing the professional services firm, The Trusted Adviser, First Among Equals etc) on the management of professional services firms – and they are all very good. This one I find particularly helpful in understanding the mindset of a professional.
Marketing fundamentals
Kotler on marketing Philip Kotler Free Press As one of the leading gurus, every marketer should read some of his work. This one is not focused on the professions but provides a good introduction to marketing.
Marketing Insights from A to Z Philitp Kotler Wiley As above
Marketing the professional services firm – Applying the principles and the science of marketing to the professions Laurie Young Wiley A relatively new but excellent book on marketing written by an author who has worked in industry as well as at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Marketing – Essential principles and new realities Jonathan Groucutt, Peter Leadley and Patrick Forsyth Kogan Page
Marketing for lawyers Matthew Moore The Law Society The first book written on the subject and possibly more useful to help lawyers get to grips with the subject
Marketing in commercial property Martin Newman EG Books A very old book and a focus on marketing properties (rather than property businesses) but one of the few on the subject
Specialist marketing topics
Internet Marketing – Strategies for law firms Nicola Webb (editor) The Law Society A good comprehensive starting point for those involved
Essential law for marketers Ardi Kolah Butterworth Heinemann Again, not specifically for the professions but an important book nonetheless
Creating Powerful Brands in consumer, service and industrial markets Leslie de Chernatony and Malcolm McDonald Butterworth Heinemann Two gurus (McDonald’s book on marketing planning are essential reading). One of the best introductions to branding – even though this book wasn’t written specifically for the professions
Media relations for lawyers Sue Stapeley The Law Society Relatively old but still relevant. Solicitors will find it useful too
Marketing Communications for solicitors Mark Oglesby Cavendish A good, basic introduction
Effective internal communication Lyn Smith Kogan Page
Commonsense Direct Marketing Drayton Bird Kogan Page One of the first books ever written on the subject. Not focused at professional services firm but good
Direct and database marketing – Targeting, interaction, contact and continuity Graeme McCorkell Kogan Page An early but good book on the subject – used as standard text for Institute of Direct Marketing
Client relationship management
Client management for solicitors John Freeman Cavendish Relatively old but still useful as it provides the perspective of a solicitor in a small/medium practice and has good insights into the fundamentals.
Client care for solicitors Avrom Sher Sweet & Maxwell Basics of how solicitors work with clients – good insights
Developing knowledge-based client relationships – the future of professional services Ross Dawson Butterworth Heinemann An excellent book albeit mostly of interest to those in larger and/or more sophisticated firms who already invest in knowledge management systems and can use this in the service development and relationship management processes
Excellent Client Service Heather Stewart The Law Society
Client at the core Bruce Marcus and August Aquila Wiley & Sons Two (US) veterans of PSF marketing
Relationship marketing – bringing quality, customer service and marketing together Martin Christopher, Adrian Payne and David Ballentyne Butterworth An old book and not specific to the professions but the first real work on the topic
Selling
Connective Selling – The secrets of winning “big ticket” sales John Timperley Capstone The author has much experience of working in professional services and this is a good book for those faced with selling to large commercial organisations.
Creating new clients – marketing and selling professional services Kevin Walker and Cliff Ferguson Cassell Both have much experience in professional services marketing. The latest version of this book is called “Managing Key Clients – Securing the future of professional service firms”
Proposals, pitches and beauty parades John de Forte and Guy Jones Financial Times Pitman An old book but John has much experience in the professions – a good introduction
The new strategic selling Stephen E Heiman and Diane Sanchez Warner Introduction to a leading sales methodology (including the DMU) – not specific to the professions though but very good
SPIN selling Neil Rackman McGraw Hill Not for the professions, but this sales methodology is used by a number of large US and UK firms
Business development in property Patrick Forsyth EG Books Patrick knows the professions well and has written many books on different aspects of management and marketing/selling skills
Marketing and selling professional service firms Patrick Forsyth Kogan Page
Other books of possible interest
Profitability and law firm management Andrew Otterburn The Law Society A good introduction to the financial management of law firms

 

I do not restrict access to the FAQs but I politely request that you let me know by email and acknowledge the source (www.kimtasso.com) if you wish to use the material anywhere.

As always, if there are particular topics you would like me to address in the future, please let me know. You will also find a source of more and up to date information on a broad range of management and marketing issues in the professions by checking out the blog where I also post regular reviews of books that might be helpful.

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