By Liz Glomb

This week I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to sit behind the scenes and live tweet the “How Buyers Buy Professional Services” webinar presented by Lee Frederiksen. The Hinge Research Institute recently conducted a study on the buying behavior of those looking for professional service firms, and in the webinar Lee described many of the study’s findings.

It was interesting to watch the Twitter audiences’ reactions to the information and compare them to my own reactions. On the whole, there were many eye-opening points, but here are my top three takeaways.

  1. There is a large gap between what buyers want and what sellers think they want.

For example, buyers said that a good reputation is the most important criterion, while sellers believed cost and terms were the most critical factors. 54% of sellers thought that cost and terms were extremely important while only 28% of buyers thought so.

  1. 72% of buyers who haven’t referred their professional services firm say it is because they haven’t been asked to.

That is a big number. Those results are especially intriguing when you figure that the number one way buyers select a new firm is by asking for referrals. It’s not that buyers aren’t satisfied with the work of their firm, they just hadn’t been asked.

  1. Reputation is key.

This point was brought up a number of times and I believe that it could be the single most important takeaway from the entire study. Of course, reputation is important for any business, but for professional services it is even more important. But reputation alone won’t cut it. A firm that wants to strengthen its brand has to increase its visibility at the same time.

“How Buyers Buy” offers many insights, but they can vary significantly by industry. So I encourage you to download the report for your industry. Each contains a wealth of valuable and up-to-date information. Best of all, they are free!

If you have any additional questions or feedback, don’t hesitate to contact Hinge.