I am very pleased to announce the new edition of our book Creating New Clients. Since the book was originally published we have continued to work with tens of thousands of professional fee earners and the book itself can be seen on the shelves of professional services firms of every type and size. We have learned new things over the years but we have also learned that the keys to success in selling professional services remain consistent. In updating this book we have kept the essential elements of best practice that were already there and added the most important new ideas that we have learned from working with a host of very bright people. In the introduction to the original edition we explored the need for such a book and, it is clear, the need is still very much there. The world of professional services is changing at an accelerating rate. In the ‘good old days’ some professionals were able to build very successful careers in a buoyant economy by being excellent at their job and waiting for the phone to ring. This strategy is becoming less and less successful. For today’s fee earner technical excellence is a necessary but not sufficient determinant of success; in many firms with which we work, fee earners today have to be more proactive than their predecessors to achieve the success they are aiming for. We also observe that the overall quality of selling has improved in most firms and most sectors of the marketplace which means that, as standards improve, it takes even more skill and more focused effort to achieve the same level of success. It is unfortunately also true that we still see, on a regular basis, examples of professionals attempting to sell their expertise without the confidence and skills necessary for sustained success. Even the best we have seen are not perfect and it is usually those people who are forever looking for ways to get even better. This book is not intended to be remedial – we believe that any fee earner in any firm, however experienced and successful, will find the ideas and approaches of value. The book remains focused on the specific challenges involved in selling professional services – as opposed to any other product or service – and is based on the belief that long term success has as its foundation trust and integrity and the development and maintenance of the ‘right’ reputation and enough of the ‘right’ long term relationships. The book remains practical rather than overly theoretical. This edition of the book is focused solely on the skills needed to win high quality new clients. For many firms the priority is necessarily on keeping and developing existing client relationships and we have written another book, Managing Key Clients, which focuses on this. The major difference between this edition and the first is that we have taken out all of the detail originally included on the process of winning new clients (The PACE Pipeline). All of this detail is available and up to date in our third publication Growing Your Client Base. We have however kept one introductory chapter on the PACE Pipeline to provide a context for the new business skills with which this book deals. This chapter is an excerpt from the opening chapter of Growing Your Client Base. One further observation. We are very often reminded of the difficulty of differentiating one firm from another and of developing the genuine USPs (Unique Selling Points/ Propositions) that in an ideal world would help a firm’s or individual’s expertise to ‘sell itself’. While it should be a major focus of the firm to ensure that its services are as attractive as possible to its clients and potential clients and to search continuously for ways of building a competitive advantage, in our experience one of the best ways of achieving that advantage is through the – better and more consistent – application of the skills and practices in this book by as many people in the firm as possible. We hope you find the new edition of Creating New Clients to be as much value as have the many individuals who have bought the book since it was first published. Find out more about the book, including on how to purchase here.
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