Editor's note: This article is based on and excerpt from Online Marketing for Professional Services, published by Hinge.

The most fundamental tenet of professional services marketing may be trust. How can you expect potential clients to retain you if they don't trust you? You can't.

Conversely, the pinnacle of professional services marketing is achieving the status of "trusted adviser"—that magical point in a relationship where your client instinctively turns to you for advice on problems that lie, even remotely, in your realm of expertise.

How can you achieve such a lofty status?

Obviously, you have to prove yourself trustworthy. But before that can happen, you first have to get the clients. Historically, that's started with developing a relationship.

Golfing for Clients

When you talk about a relationship, most folks think face-to-face interaction. And for most of human history that's how relationships have been developed.

In the world of professional services, business development has translated into countless networking events, memberships on the boards of nonprofits, industry trade association conferences... and, of course, golf outings.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lee W. Frederiksen PhD, Sean T. McVey, Sylvia Montgomery CPSM, and Aaron E. Taylor are the authors of Online Marketing for Professional Services, published by Hinge.