“A professional services firm’s articles, proposals, presentations, studies, brochures, and books are the physical embodiments of its expertise.  In effect, for professional services firms, their words are their products, and it’s critical for them to exhibit great writing”, according to an article by Alterra Group.

Superior writing distinguishes firms from competitors

But as Alterra outlined, professional services firms often don’t pay enough attention to the writing process and therefore discover this oversight can damage their sales and marketing efforts –“because it gives clients and prospects the impression…the firm’s ideas are equally low in quality.”  Bad writing — simply put — makes “it difficult for prospective clients to see…quality”.

Clear writing makes buying decisions easier

Clients are helped in making purchasing decisions when professional services firms express ideas and expertise clearly. This helps executives understand the depth, complexity, relevance and value of a professional services firms expertise.

What’s the downside to poor writing?

Bad writing, Alterra details, “incurs real costs”.  Poorly written newsletters and white papers “go unread by executives”.  Poor “conference and sales presentations yield few if any leads”.
“Big investments in ‘thought leadership’…’decline quickly’ when..poorly researched and written”.

Industry media, existing and potential clients — and industry thought leaders who might be inclined to cite and hence, amplify a professional services firms message — will ignore poorly written materials.

The value of writing persuasively for discerning audiences

Many professional services firms do generate well-written works.  Alterra cited McKinsey & Co, who employ a “cadre of top-notch writers” to produce…McKinsey Quarterly and other publications.  “McKinsey recognizes what one supply chain management consultancy quantified: that excellent writing is a key aspect of business generation”.

How to achieve success in professional services writing

Ralph Grayden of Antelope Media details a few ways to achieve superior results in professional services writing, including retaining and trusting excellent writers with subject matter knowledge, ensuring client interests guide topic selection, avoiding excessive industry jargon – and last but not least — brevity.

John Grimley provides clients with writing, editing, research and strategy services.  If you would like to discuss your specific needs — please complete the form below to arrange a time for a discussion:

Posted by John Grimley

John Grimley provides custom communications services to professional services firms operating in international markets.

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