One thing which is sometimes missing in professional services firms is the clarity of how marketing can make a more direct contribution to business development and income generation.
On the assumption that a firm’s brand is well established as a result of past marketing activity, how can marketing teams help to generate more opportunities for client-facing professionals?
Taking PACE’s pipeline process as a starting point, it’s probably easiest to look at each of the five sections in turn and give some ideas as to how marketing can support the business development process. Read more here
So What is Added Value?
The last of three articles on adding value to client relationships
In the first of these three articles we observed that added value from a client’s perspective is individual and personal – and sometimes the factors that make up added value are intensely personal. I have never had this observation challenged by professionals. They recognise that generic ‘solutions’ to the question of how to bring added value to a client relationship are no solutions at all. Read more here
Why building a network is critical to your success
The building of a robust network (external and internal) is critical to your success.
An established quality network will allow you to develop relationships that not only provide potential business opportunities but also ideas and innovation, information, market intelligence, advice and personal support. The true value of a network develops over the lifetime of your career as more and more hidden connections and resources become available to you. Read more here
It can be challenging creating a consistent business development “language” and process throughout a firm. This can be for all sorts of reasons: existing culture is not BD focused or is, but only in pockets; mergers which mean you are integrating two or more different approaches to BD; professionals who prefer to work on their own, or teams who work in a silo apart from others; professionals who just get on with BD and don’t ask for much support. For firms that do achieve consistency, however, the benefits are very clear. Read more here
In general, business people with a technical expertise (scientists, engineers, lawyers etc) do not make natural salespeople, but some are better than others at using similar skills to grab customer attention. Read more here
Every managing partner of every professional firm we know wants his / her people to do more cross-selling. But few professionals want to follow in the footsteps of bank managers who were once seen as trusted business advisers but are now regarded by many as peddlers of financial products. Read more here
When should you make your move? When you have been trying to develop, or ‘court’, a new client for some time (building the relationship, getting to know the client, perhaps meeting a number of people, but not yet winning any work), how do you know when to start ‘selling’? If you move too quickly the client could see you as pushy with only one thing on your mind, which could destroy all of the positive feelings you have built up so far. If you move too slowly (or not at all) you may miss real opportunities, both for you and the client, and you could still be courting this client many years from now – to everyone’s frustration.
Download your copy of When should you make your move? here
Clients want solutions that deliver as many benefits or as much value as possible, typically for the lowest cost (as many of us might often incorrectly believe, although this is a separate issue). Our ability to develop ideal solutions that offer benefits/value over and above those which are currently available elsewhere, may hold the key to winning more work.
Download your copy of Win more work through innovation here
Meetings seem to have become an embedded part of our business culture. The comments I frequently hear most certainly point to them being a huge drain on resources and often a significant barrier to people getting on with their day jobs. If meetings are necessary and we are to spend a significant proportion of our working lives attending them then perhaps considerably more emphasis should be placed upon making them more efficient, productive, satisfying and enjoyable.
If you decide to improve your meetings we very much hope this article will provide you with some understanding of where your efforts may be best placed.
Download your copy of Meetings – The ugly truth here
We hear about the lack of collaboration in professional services firms a lot. Pretty much every day of the week we hear stories of a ‘silo mentality’ or a ‘protective’ approach to client relationships, which keeps colleagues as far away from clients as possible and a lid on (potential) growth.
Firms talk a lot about the need to focus on broadening services to clients of a firm, and it’s all well-intentioned. But in the end, the old phrase “actions speak louder than words” holds true.
There are exceptions. And the benefits those firms reap from well planned, action-based collaboration are eye-watering, both in absolute terms, but especially in relative terms when compared to firms who lack the will and/or skills to foster collaboration.
Download your copy of It’s all about collaboration (Part 1) here