Get in front of new targets and win more work
If there is one area where the business and professionals need to work together to deliver on strategy, this is it! We can help you develop and implement a business development plan - be this for a specific sector, group or for individual professionals. We make sure you have the right touch points in place. We can also help you manage relationships with your existing clients, be this as part of a key account management programme or as a standalone.
Gone are the days where firms can rely on one or two rainmakers to grow. In order for a marketing and business development strategy to be successful, all the professionals in the firm need to have an understanding of the part they play in driving that success. Getting buy-in at all levels will have a major impact.
We can help you develop or refine business development plans for professionals – whether that be on an individual basis or as part of a team or firm initiative. Sometimes additional skills are needed to make sure that this plan is achievable – for example, individuals might need up-skilling on consultative selling, or training on presentation skills. Client Talk works with skilled coaches and trainers to work with you in the implementation of the plan so that you can see the plans deliver results.
business development or sales?
Business development can mean different things to different professional services organisations. For some it means sales, for others sales support. Some use it interchangeably with marketing, others use the term practice development. Client development overlaps – for others it means the same thing. Little wonder then that confusion reigns supreme in this area!
At Client Talk we use the term Business Development to mean everything from creating relationships, through to creating clients and looking after existing ones.
Getting the right touch points
Central to any business development plan is having the right touch points in place. In order to make sure that you have the right touch points in place you need to understand who your clients are and what you are trying to achieve.
There are multiple tactics that can be employed as part of a business development plan: networking, referrals, speaking at events, content (online and off), social media, podcasts, webinars - all have a cost attached and all should be considered as part of a wider strategy. They should all come back to the client you are looking to attract.
Our consultants are experienced at supporting professional services companies. We can help from big showstoppers, to organising client entertainment or intimate round-tables. Unsure which you need? We can help you plan an events calendar which gets you in front of the right people – so you can focus on what’s important, the relationship.
How can I get the right people to my events?
In our experience people attend events for one of three reasons: the venue, the speaker or the topic. We can work with you to establish what the right balance is for your needs – maximising attendance.
How can I get the most out of my events?
You have built your events calendar for the year. You have the right people invited and confirmed. How do you then make sure you are getting the most from the events? We believe in the importance of getting the professionals in the firm involved before and after the event. Making sure that professionals know how to work a room and are clear on their role can avoid clients or contacts being overworked or forgotten about. If professionals are speaking at events then they should know who the audience is and where the event sits in the firm's business development plan. After the event there should be an understanding of what follow up is expected. We can help with the before and after when assisting with events to make sure you are getting maximum ROI from your spend.
Bids and tenders
Bids and tenders are critical for the growth of professional services firms. Winning that dream client or building your portfolio in a particular area increases revenue, boosts morale and is often the result of months of strategic marketing and business development efforts.
We know that bids and tenders are time-consuming, require many people to pull together and are not always guaranteed to succeed. We can help you reduce the time taken to deliver tenders and help you increase your chances of success.
We view the tender process as a cycle. From deciding whether to bid through to understanding why you won or lost, Client Talk works with you to understand what you are trying to achieve and provides you with solutions that work.
At the heart of what we do is listening. We strive to leverage the power of active listening, be that by listening to you and your needs, or by speaking to your clients and stakeholders to understand what they need, and ultimately articulating and putting forward what sets you apart.
Relationships are complex – and this is no different in business. When you do business with another business you are often talking about a multitude of relationships. There are the relationships between yourselves and individuals at the client. There are relationships internally that impact on the client relationship. There are relationships that are longstanding and relationships that are yet to be built.
We can help you manage relationships with your clients – be this as part of a key account management (KAM) programme or as part of a project focusing on a standalone client or target.
Help with relationship mapping
Carry out annual reviews, or client listening at the end of a project, transaction or tender.
Create client plans to help you grow or maintain your clients
Creation of Key Account Managment programmes
How many times have you heard the saying that it is easier to keep existing clients than to go after new ones?
Statistics are batted about and there is always widespread agreement in professional services firms of the importance of cross-selling. However, the trouble with holding something out as easy, is that it is harder to admit failure. If it is so easy, why aren’t I getting all of client x’s work? This can prevent people from trying.
Often existing clients are overlooked in the race to find new ones. Often cross-selling has been tried and failed. Existing clients usually mean that there are a range of relationships at play and a deep understanding of what the client wants – this makes it harder to stand back.
We can help work with you to create key account management programmes. We can work with you to help identify which clients should form part of this programme. We can assist with stakeholder and relationship mapping and creating client plans.
What are the benefits of having a KAM programme?
Best practice - KAM programmes can help shine a light on what you are doing well as a firm. They are a treasure trove of best practice that should be shared and replicated across the firm.
Known to others - Where a client is a member of a key account management programme they are no longer overlooked. Whilst others in the firm might understand that they are a client, they might not understand the key role they play. By raising the profile internally, other professionals are bought into the success of that client in a way they weren’t before.
Client retention – Where a client is part of a Key Account Management programme you can make sure that they feel special. This means that the client is more likely to continue on a journey with you. You can make sure that the relationship is protected from foreseeable changes and nip problems in the bud. Client listening is central to our philosophy and we can support you by doing the listening for you or by training your professionals to get the most out of relationship meetings.