BD tips and insights

Winning tenders, bids and proposals: what matters most?

November 16, 2016 | Posted in: Win 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?

October 5, 2016 | Posted in: Grow your business, Win Tenders Bids Proposals

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: Grow your business | 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: Grow your business

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: Grow your business | 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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Better business development conversations

June 15, 2016 | Posted in: Business Development Skills | Tags:

Hard sells simply don’t work in professional services; most of us don’t like being “sold” to. As we’ve discussed before, building brand and marketing activities are only the backdrop to real business development conversations and interactions. Unfortunately, when it comes to winning work from prospective clients, many professionals open business development conversations using material unlikely to […]

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Feature article

If you’re bidding for everything, how can you improve your chances of success?

If you’re bidding for everything, how can you improve your chances of success?

One thing is certain in this post lockdown world: it is highly unlikely that any business will decline the opportunity to respond to an RFP. In fact, with revenues under pressure for most organisations, every RFP will likely be viewed as a genuine ‘opportunity’. This means that even for those businesses with a robust go/no […]