Author Archives: Brenda Pontiff

Embracing the Issue/Action/Impact Formula

These three little words, issue/action/impact, may be the most important words any professional services provider, sales executive, or marketing leader can champion. I first heard them used together by my mentor at one of the Big Four accounting firms in the mid-90s. My boss, the late, great Steve Doyle who led regional marketing and business development operations, impressed upon me the importance of utilizing this formula to define client issues and challenges, highlight appropriate service solutions to meet those challenges, and espouse the monetary or risk-mitigating benefits said solutions provide. Think about it. This is what selling boils down to and in today’s market where buyers are highly informed and have access to so much information, they’ll appreciate this kind of succinct, holistic approach.

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Marketing and Business Development: Same Thing, Only Very Different

There has been so much discussion of late in the professional services world about the virtues of business development and account-centric approaches, I’m surprised we still aren’t seeing a great deal of change in the status quo. The reasons for the cultural stall may differ between the accounting and legal worlds, but one truth remains constant: until firms distinguish the difference between marketing and business development, as well as the human resources that support each function and where the two converge, progress will be slow and clients will not benefit from thoughtful evaluations of business needs and imperatives.

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