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Happy Clients

How not to lose money with Advisory Services

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Expanding your advisory services can lead to more revenue and happier clients, but it all depends on how you plan, prepare, execute, and market. Your blueprint is the driving force behind your success.

Plan wisely

Want to lose money quickly? Be unprepared for the new service. Clients expect timely assistance, so you must deliver on your promises. If you or your staff are ill-equipped to meet the demand, it only results in chaos and a terrible reputation. Then, there’s the m-word: “malpractice.” Now, you have negative reviews, potential disciplinary proceedings, and higher premiums.

Before changing your menu, assess your experience, tools, and skill set. Avoid the temptation to keep up with the competition. It’s better to know your boundaries and stay within them. There are enough problems to worry about in our profession, so it’s better not to invite new ones. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does my office have the know-how to offer this new service?
  • Do I have the tools and resources to provide the deliverable?
  • Am I opening myself up to unnecessary liability?
  • How will I resolve errors and omissions?
  • What are my exit strategies if it doesn’t pan out?

Prepare efficiently

Once you know what you can offer, it’s time to establish the price, scope, and turnaround. No one can tell you what to charge because every firm and practitioner has different costs. Using another colleagues’ pricing schedule may do more harm than good. Perhaps they have lower overhead, less expensive labor, or did not arrive at a correct figure.

It’s your job to make sure the pricing makes sense for your venture, not someone else’s. Plus, it helps you avoid price-fixing issues. 

  • How many input variables do I need to offer this service?
  • Are the complexities recoverable in the proposed fee?
  • Will my staff experience repetitive or one-of-a-kind tasks?
  • Does the price account for the expected high or low popularity among clients?
  • Will it be a stand-alone service or bundled with complementary items?

Execute correctly

To launch a new service or product, you must convince clients they need your help. State the deliverable in plain, yet impressive terms. Clients want to know how your solution will improve their lives and how much it will cost. The anticipated sales process puts you at an advantage. 

Some clients use the opportunity to scope creep or discuss unrelated issues. Keep the conversation on topic by scheduling a follow-up appointment to address other concerns. You’re more likely to close the deal.

  • Why will the client want this new service?
  • Where else can they go to have it done?
  • Can I confidently express the benefits of the new menu item?
  • How will I handle pushback?
  • What are the top five questions the client may ask?

Market appropriately

You’re in for a surprise if you believe a client won’t feel uneasy when you try to sell them on a new service. They’re bombarded with offers wherever they go—and least expect it from you. As a service provider, you need to lay out a marketing plan that fits your client base.

You could use a newsletter, postcard, webinar, email campaign, or in-person meetings. Regardless of what you do, ensure you have a professional and trustworthy tone that adheres to the Federal Trade Commission’s marketing practices.

  • Update marketing materials to better facilitate the service’s dissemination.
  • Advertise the service regularly using online and offline mediums.
  • Decide if you’d like to present the services as a discounted add-on to increase initial engagements.
  • Ask a select group of clients to serve as a focus group.
  • Review the service’s profitability and be ready to make price adjustments.


Spending adequate time on the engagement, from development to rollout, gives you a higher chance of a positive outcome. When developing new ideas, make sure they fit your business model and not your competitors’ models. The focus is on making your firm more profitable.

Selling is part of everyone’s industry, even if it’s subtle. When you’re not up to handling the most challenging aspects of a menu change, use your staff or hire someone who has the expertise. It doesn’t have to be a stressful experience.

A clear marketing message can increase your paid engagements. If you don’t get the expected reaction, switch mediums and revamp your copy. Don’t give up; your clients may need extra time to absorb the information before deciding. Make a short list of the clients you know would benefit from your advisory services and reach out to them. After having a great experience, they may become your best referral source.

Editor’s note: This article is also available in Spanish.

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