Business Development Skills archive

Best practice referrals for professional services firms

Over the years JMA’s research has shown the most successful and profitable professional services firms benefit hugely from referrals (both from individuals external to their firm, and from internal referrals or cross-selling that occurs in-firm). In our latest study 70% of respondents rated their referral relationships or networks as “highly effective” and the number one […]

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Avoiding buyer’s remorse

Do your clients ever suffer from buyer’s remorse? For many expert professional services – especially legal and accounting – purchase is not optional: it’s mandatory, driven by compliance requirements, or as an essential component of project delivery. Worse still, a fair slice of consumption is a true ‘grudge spend’, mandated by lenders, regulators, and opponents. […]

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Co-opetition: if you can’t beat them, should you join them?

Co-opetition or ‘competitive collaborations’ are alliances formed between direct and sometimes indirect competitors. The term co-opetition is used by management academics and economists to describe the phenomenon of ‘competing without having to kill the opposition and co-operating without having to ignore self-interest’. You can think of co-opetition as a sort of ‘if you can’t beat […]

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Breaking up with a client

Breaking up is hard to do. Especially when you’re considering a break up with a client in the professional services context. Many professionals spend so much time winning or delivering client work that they don’t take time to think about the quality of their service relationships. The arrangement may work for the client, but does […]

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Leveraging a tender, bid or proposal win – get (more than) your fair share

Because so many corporate and government clients appoint multiple firms to provide their professional services, winning a place on a formal panel is only a preliminary to getting the client work you really want. And when multi-provider appointments are informal, it’s even more important to drive workflow in your direction. Steps to getting more than […]

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Your favourite blog posts of 2016

It’s a wrap for the JMA BD insights and tips blog for 2016, but before we slide into holiday mode, we wanted to take a look back at our readers’ favourite posts of 2016. These are the top five – have you read them yet? #1 Pricing lessons from a Big Six pricing specialist Our […]

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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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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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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 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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Closed or invitation only tenders, bids and proposals

Closed or invitation only tenders, bids and proposals

Firstly, what are closed or invitation only tenders, bids and proposals? In addition to the generally well-understood terms ‘tender’, ‘bid’ and ‘proposal’, there are ‘open’ and ‘closed’ processes, and then variations within each that can apply to professional services procurement. Open or public tenders, bids and proposals An open tender is just that, open to […]