When we think of certain professional services, the image of a warm and cozy atmosphere doesn’t immediately spring to mind. For example a financial services company, an attorney’s office or a dental clinic, just seem to feel cold just thinking of them. Many professional services providers believe that a bland and sterile looking environment communicates that they are serious. Creating a customer friendly environment wasn’t even an option.
COLD, CALCULATING AND CUNNING
Today, we are changing the way we view professional services and the providers of them. Earlier, prior to the wave of huge scandals that touched our lives, we were a less-suspicious society. The Enron scandal was scary, but Bernie Madoff hit really close to home. He devastated people I know, both in MN and NY. It’s still going on for some of them, and they may never recover. It’s terrible!
CLIENTS AREN’T FALLING FOR IT
One of the big changes has been that people are less likely put blind faith in the institution anymore. We’re not as impressed by the gorgeous offices that offer breathtaking panoramic views. We’re looking beneath the professional appearances and stable facades of the lobbies. The exterior trappings of wealth and success are now suspect. We’re going deeper into our own core values and we want to do business with professionals that are more like us.
WE WANTED TO TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT
This was the exact motivation for attorney, Jennifer O’Neill. Back in 2005, Jennifer started attending my branding events. An eager audience member and participant, Jennifer easily grasped the concept of branding and what it could do to set a law firm apart from its competition. In 2006, she was hired by one of the big Minneapolis firms and started working with Saltar Solutions
In the early days, we worked to establish her brand, hone in on her specific client base and understand her differentiator. She used this information and my guidance to build a solid foundation for her brand. It wasn’t long before Jennifer had a steady stream of clients. She started with the media, getting radio spots, print publicity and was winning awards.
When most people would have rested, she ramped it up. Jenniferexpanded her knowledge base by seeking additional certifications and licenses. She increased her reach by volunteering on boards and became active in legislature regarding Elder Law. Jennifer was successful but was in an office that wasn’t concerned with creating a customer friendly environment. I knew it wasn’t the right fit…
AND I SAT WAITING
As I watched her solidify her brand, Jennifer set and achieved bigger goals. While she drove her business forward, I waited for that call to come. I knew that she would be dialing me up one day saying, “Lauri, I’m ready to try it on my own.”
When the call came, I was ready. After all, I’d had years to prepare, which was lucky because from start to finish we only had about four months for the entire process.
With so much to do one of the things was perfectly clear, we needed to create a customer friendly environment that clients loved visiting. We knew exactly what the look and feel of the office was to be. Jennifer had told me many times what her vision was, right down to the color on the walls. She had it down pat and we just had to build on her already firmly established brand.
As you can see in this video, Jennifer has a brand that people love and a space that is warm and welcoming, yet solid. People “get it” the moment they enter. They feel it every time they come in and come from miles around to work specifically with her. She’s successful because she cares about her staff, her clients and their families.
AND STILL I’M WAITING
Now, the call I’m waiting for is, “Lauri, we need to talk a bit about expansion.” I’m ready for that one too.
BUT YOU WON’T HAVE TO
Check out O’Neill Elder Law. Experience an environment that was created especially for you.
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