This is the fourth blog in a series by Martin Bragg, highly experienced business development expert with 20 years experience in professional service firms. Martin has worked in business development for major international law firms including the magic circle and for accountancy practices in the big four and beyond. (See here for Martin’s 1st, 2nd and 3rd blog)
In this fourth blog post, Martin challenges you on whether you are really client focused?
All professionals claim to be client focused. (Or should that be all professional service firm’s website claim to be client focused?) But how do you define client focus, and is that definition the same as your clients? Have you actually asked them? Did your client feel you were focused on them when they received the latest unsolicited email produced by your CRM system? Or were they more impressed when you dropped him a two line email debating the appointment of a new manager by his football team?
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What clients are you focused on?
You cannot physically be focused on everyone. That is the antithesis of focus.
[quote]Professional services are great at what I call, ‘spray and pray‘. [/quote]
Common examples include seminars and newsletters aimed at ‘all General Counsel, in all industries, in all locations’. (Real words I have heard on more than one occasion).
As an individual professional you have the opportunity to develop strong relationships with clients, referrers, intermediaries, peers etc. The only way to do this is to do it! The business development team can help devise the best way to do it but if I am developing a relationship with you I want to develop that relationship with YOU.
Little and often
One off grand gestures are expensive and ineffective. Tickets to the World Cup final are more likely to encourage a client to look elsewhere to avoid any bribery & corruption issues than secure a regular stream of work. Remembering your clients anniversary or their child’s birthday sends a message you genuinely care about them. Throw in a restaurant recommendation next time they are in town for extra brownie points.
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Use our free guide to building your own networking strategy, and free relationship plan templates, email required, to understand how to keep in touch with your clients. [/box]
List your twenty most important contacts and put the list on your wall where you cannot avoid it. Set aside ten minutes each day to find something of interest to one of them and call or email that person.
You can’t be all things to all clients. Ask your clients what client service actually means to them.
Martin Bragg is a highly experienced business development expert with 20 years experience in professional service firms. Martin has worked in business development for major international law firms including the magic circle and for accountancy practices in the big four and beyond. Martin can be contacted via email on firstname.lastname@example.org.