BD tips and insights

By Alistair Marshall

What to do when clients want a price negotiation

Having a price negotiation with a client is not always easy, but it’s an important skill and one that you’ll need to employ more and more. Clients bargaining with their professional services firm is not unusual. It’s perfectly reasonable for clients to care about their money, and it’s smart for you to show that you […]

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Winning tenders, bids and proposals: what matters most?

November 16, 2016 | Posted in: Tenders Bids Proposals | Tags:

Clients often ask me what will help them write a winning tender, bid or proposal. Look through the following list of proposal or tender attributes (or key pieces) and pick the three you think will have the most impact on whether you win (or not): content accuracy clarity of writing completeness conciseness persuasive language addressing […]

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Using firm governance and management to gain competitive (and other) advantages

When leading and large clients determine their professional service relationships, one factor influencing their decision is how well prospective service providers fit with their own values, culture, and aspirations. Evidence of strong governance and responsible management goes a long way to demonstrating this fit and becomes especially important in competitive bids, tender and proposal processes with […]

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By Lilla Smee

Why you need a good LinkedIn profile, and where to start

October 19, 2016 | Posted in: Business Development Skills | Tags: ,

Have you ever used Google to find out more about someone you met at a networking event or conference? Chances are that their LinkedIn profile showed up somewhere near the top of search results, and probably higher than their firm website bio. If someone Googled you, what would they find? LinkedIn is the most popular […]

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What do you really know about your competition?

In contracting and mature professional services markets, it’s more important than ever to know how your firm stacks up against the competition. This applies generally to firms, but it is also really important in competitive tender, bid and proposal situations. Even basic information about your competitors can be a powerful tool for your decision-making – […]

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How easy is it to do business with your professional services firm?

How is easy it for prospective clients to become clients of your professional services firm? Are you or your team inadvertently putting up barriers that are turning off prospective clients? Firms often work long and hard on the marketing and positioning side of business development so the prospective lead or referred client is primed and […]

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By Lilla Smee

5 steps to a successful marketing strategy

August 24, 2016 | Posted in: Business Development Strategy | Tags:

The most profitable professional services firms understand that a successful marketing strategy is part of everything they do; it’s a coordinated process, not just a series of campaigns. Just like politicians who stay on message, the most successful firms have focus: from cultivating referral relationships to tweeting, each activity is aligned to the overall goals […]

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By Alistair Marshall

Selling professional services? Not my job!

August 10, 2016 | Posted in: Business Development Skills

When selling professional services, you can’t simply leave it all to the marketing manager. For any marketing program to work properly, it needs to be supported by an appropriate business development, practical marketing, or sales program (call it what you will). Converting a prospective client into a new client, and potential work into actual business, […]

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Perceived advantage in professional services

July 27, 2016 | Posted in: Business Development Strategy

Maybe you’re one of those fortunate professionals who has such a stand out service to offer that it’s clearly technically superior, demonstrably better, and so reported by objective analysts and high-profile “industry authorities”.  You and your firm have no trouble attracting, winning, growing and retaining right-fit clients. More likely, the professional services you offer – […]

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By Lilla Smee

Pricing lessons from a Big Six pricing specialist

June 29, 2016 | Posted in: Business Development Strategy | Tags:

With the ever-increasing debate around hourly billing and alternatives, and savvier and more demanding clients, professional services firms – and in particular, law firms – need to get smarter about how to manage pricing if they are to remain profitable. It seems inevitable in some areas of law (insurance, property) that it’s simply a race […]

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Feature article

And the winner is…Environmental scanning

And the winner is…Environmental scanning

And the winner is… ‘Sid-an-eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!’ Juan Antonio Samaranch annoucing Sydney’s winning bid for the 2000 Summer Olympics. The exhilaration from winning a tender, bid or proposal is hard to beat and the benefits are many! But what about lost bids, tenders and proposals? An infamous proposal failure was Australia’s lost bid for the 2022 Soccer […]