Winning New Clients

Success in winning new clients requires a combination of process, skills and behaviours. 

The process includes everything from how to manage the activity required to generate selling opportunities to how to manage the selling process when dialogue has commenced with a potential client.

Our experience, and that of our clients, over many years has helped us to establish what the most effective approach to selling is, and isn’t, in a professional services environment:

It isn’t:

  • Sell, sell, sell
  • Pouncing on the first opportunity
  • Focusing only on the opportunities for you
  • Pressure, manipulation
  • Short term greed

It is:

  • Looking through the client’s eyes
  • Having (and demonstrating) genuine interest in the client
  • Moving at the client’s pace
  • Building a relationship of TRUST based on credibility, competence, compatibility and consistency
  • Building lifetime value for both parties

There are many definitions of selling. Many of them use the words ‘persuasion’ and ‘convincing’. We believe that the most effective approach is best described as: ‘building the motivation to buy’ In other words: invest time to develop a deep understanding of an individual’s unique situation, requirements, needs and wants. Then create an approach where a client willingly moves to the next stage of the selling process with you leading to the point where they are motivated to give you the first fee-earning assignment.

The PACES™ selling skills approach provides professionals with a framework to ensure a deep understanding is developed prior to offering a compelling solution in a way that is easy for clients to say ‘yes’ to!

The secrets to successful pitch coaching – Part 1



Professional service firms are not usually full of natural presenters. How comfortable, confident and effective are your people in pitch situations? In our experience most firms have a few fee earners who do enjoy pitching, they also have a small percentage of individuals who should never be put in front of clients at any cost (you know who they are!). The rest of the firm is then made up of people who have never really been shown how to pitch successfully, and many of these would rather not be part of any pitch – if they could avoid it they would! Read more here


“Surprisingly good and thought provoking.  The Zen of marketing your services.”

Feedback from RICS CPD Foundation

“We have just secured a key instruction from a strategically important client with a potential value of £500k. We applied PACE thinking at every stage of the process. We are treating you to a lunch!”

Partner, top 10 law firm

“I used to feel uncomfortable at the thought of having to sit in front of potential clients gaining credibility by telling them how good my firm and I were. I never wanted to be a salesperson. PACES selling skills has shown me how professional and enjoyable the selling element of my role can be. It also help us to win more business”

Engineer, global consulting firm

“the PACES selling methodology has changed the way we sell, because it works!”

Vice President, global consulting firm

“I have implemented the PACE high impact approach to generating meetings and have just secured a meeting with a senior decision maker that I have tried to approach many times before”

Director, construction management consultancy

“the PACE Pipeline model shows me what to do, when to do it and how best to do it! With limited time for business development the thinking has helped me to be more effective”

Director, property consultancy

“Bringing PACE in has probably been the most highly rated training and development initiative we have ever undertaken and has delivered a huge change in behaviours with tangible financial results with significant business wins”

Senior HR consultant, global consulting business

“We worked with PACE thinking to develop an effective approach to face to face selling opportunities. We approach meetings differently to our competitors and continue to win new clients in a tough environment”

Director, major commercial bank

When we decided that leading business development was to be the theme for our 39th International World Conference, held in Cancun, Mexico, this year we had no hesitation in selecting PACE Partners as our key facilitators.

The two Pauls from PACE, Paul Matthews and Paul Denvir delivered four exceptional one hour sessions to our 120+ audience made up of Managing Partners and other senior individuals in our Global Network from around the world. Read more on this testimonial within our case studies >>

International Accountancy Network

“The Relationship Protection Index introduced by PACE not only provides us with a way of measuring the strength of our relationships but is also extremely practical and powerful in identifying actions that strengthen and protect our relationships with our key clients.”

Director, leading engineering consultancy

“I especially like PACE’s practical approach to key client management”

CEO, top 5 actuarial firm

“I thought we understood our clients pretty well. After developing a key client plan during the PACE KCM workshop we implemented actions that developed my understanding of my client enormously, and the quality of the relationship has increased dramatically too”

senior fee-earner, leading actuarial firm

“I’ve not worked with anyone who knows our industry, our market place, our type of clients and key client management as well as PACE”

Regional director Middle East, leading engineering consultancy

“We worked with PACE to develop a ‘future leaders programme’ following a staff survey highlighting dissatisfaction with our existing management development programme. PACE helped us to identify the right candidates and designed a two years development programme. The feedback from everyone involved has been outstanding.”

HR Director, property consultancy

“PACE have been coaching a small team of experienced Partners in leadership and management. Despite some initial resistance from some Partners, PACE’s professional approach, knowledge and experience won over even the most sceptical.”

Senior partners, forensic accounting firm

“PACE devised a leadership assessment and development centre for us. We had doubts about how many professional staff would apply but we need not have worried, the programme was positioned so well with the help of PACE that we were fully subscribed within days. The centres ran exceptionally well and leadership is now firmly on the senior management teams agenda thanks to PACE.”

CEO, construction management consultancy

“We halted a worrying increase in staff attrition rates when PACE helped us to address the management skills and behaviours of our directors. PACE people are experienced managers themselves and it shows through in the coaching and training they do.”

Director, global consultancy business


“We worked with PACE thinking to develop an effective approach to face to face selling opportunities. We then worked with PACE to ensure our leadership team managed and led effectively in the field. Our return on investment was significantly enhanced by investing in our leaders. We win more business!”

Director, major commercial bank

Managing Key Clients


Key Client ManagementNo one disagrees with the notion that excellent client management is important. Good client management means that clients continue to give work to us and they include us in their thinking when new opportunities for work arise. Also, the image of a client-focused business is a positive one for us.

In practice, many businesses find excellent client management a challenge. While there is usually the desire to look after clients better, to win a greater share of their work and to know that competitors would find it extremely difficult to win work from their clients, in our experience. This desire is not backed up by the will and motivation to make key client management a reality. Desire and will are not the same things.

Over the years we have helped many clients improve their retention and development of key client relationships. This experience enables us to support clients through a variety of different ‘client relationship management’ services, including:

  • Tailored skills and process training/development programmes
  • Key client reviews and other research
  • Executive and group coaching
  • Consultancy – key client protection strategy and implementation support
  • Train the trainer programmes
  • Facilitation of board and strategy meetings

Find out more:


What next?

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    Winning New Clients

    Successful firms recognise the importance of managing their current clients and have a real desire to win high value new clients.

    Winning high quality clients takes time.  All firms have limited time and resource available for business development. Firms work with PACE to ensure their business development efforts generate the best returns.  We help professionals develop:

    • The highest possible level of skills and confidence based on the PACES™ approach to consultative selling
    • A project management approach to business development based on the proven PACE Pipeline™ model
    • The most practical and focussed business development strategies

    The nature of our work varies according to each client. It includes:

    • Understanding and assessing current client development strategies
    • Designing the ‘perfect client base of the future’
    • Developing selection criteria for target clients
    • Creating business development plans
    • Identifying who should be involved in winning new clients
    • Establishing a ‘project management’ approach to the process of business development
    • Training and developing individuals in the skills and behaviours of winning business
    • Coaching individuals to implement plans and win new work
    • Guiding people to lead, manage and measure business development activities
    • Coaching support and a helping hand with pitches, tenders, proposals and presentations

    We help our clients to win more of the right work, from the right clients at the right fee!

    Find out more: