Business Development Skills archive

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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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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By Alistair Marshall

Eat your way to success

September 2, 2015 | Posted in: Business Development Skills

Eat your way to success? This idea is not as ridiculous as it sounds. People usually eat three meals a day, and these occasions offer you a great opportunity to leverage your networks. You could potentially meet with 15 clients in a work week, based on arranging breakfast, lunch and dinner with a different contact. […]

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Feature article

Responding effectively to (unspoken) questions in tenders, bids and proposals

Responding effectively to (unspoken) questions in tenders, bids and proposals

Over the years we’ve read hundreds of requests for tenders and proposals seeking services from professional services firms. Often RFT/Ps can seem cobbled together bastardised versions of older requests that have been edited by committee and end up asking silly, repetitive or irrelevant questions. Most of the time nothing sinister is going on, it is […]