Grow your business archive

By Linda Julian

Meaningful differentiators of professional services firms

December 11, 2013 | Posted in: Grow your business | Tags:

Too many professional services firms spend far too long trying looking for one out-of-the-box differentiator to beat all the rest. Only rarely is it possible. Some professional services firms make the lame claim that their differentiation is their people. Let’s face it, all people are different, but good and great and kind and generous and […]

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By Linda Julian

How to develop perceived advantage over competitors

November 13, 2013 | Posted in: Grow your business | Tags: ,

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”. More likely, the professional services you offer – while better than many – are neck-and-neck with alternatives. If you belong to the […]

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By Linda Julian

Great marketing is about finding the sweet spot

October 16, 2013 | Posted in: Grow your business

Good marketing starts with the word “no”. No, not the right client. No, not the right matter. No, not right fit for us now. In the same vein, great marketing is largely about finding your “sweet spot”  –  and finding ways to do lots of that work.  Better still, only that work. Maybe it will […]

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By Linda Julian

Painful to replace

October 2, 2013 | Posted in: Grow your business | Tags:

No one is irreplaceable.  No expert, no professional, no one.  But if you want to push yourself up the continuum towards “irreplaceable” status, here are some things to work on. Don’t just focus on routine work – no matter how profitable.  Work that can easily be reduced to a set of rules, routines, instructions, or […]

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By Linda Julian

Keys to differentiation

July 31, 2013 | Posted in: Grow your business, Win Tenders Bids Proposals | Tags:

We all know how difficult it can be to differentiate ourselves from our (often very) successful competitors. However, differentiation is critical to a winning proposal  –  without it, you will simply be one of the pack. Four keys to effective differentiation are: focus on what your client thinks is important – not only on what […]

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By Linda Julian

Unmet, unaddressed, and unrecognised needs are business opportunities

July 17, 2013 | Posted in: Grow your business | Tags:

Clients have needs:  some recognised, others unrecognised.  Among the needs they recognise, some clients may have unmet needs  –  needs for which they have not yet found a professional service solution.  Unmet needs present business development opportunities for an expert professional. By implication, unmet needs can be classed as: unsatisfied  –  no satisfactory service has […]

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By Linda Julian

Measuring business development success

January 30, 2013 | Posted in: Grow your business | Tags:

Too often, the “highs” generated by recent wins can over-shadow the facts when it comes to evaluating the success of business development initiatives. It’s a great idea to develop some formal metrics for measuring business development success. Tracking these will be useful: number of proposals to established clients number of proposals to established clients for areas beyond […]

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By Linda Julian

Business development forecasting

January 23, 2013 | Posted in: Grow your business

Forecasting business development outcomes – wins – is an important and valuable element of successful professional services selling. But forecasting is tough. So often it’s about identifying multiple uncertainty factors, and estimating the impact of each, plus making judgements about options to influence outcomes. Good forecasting of sales lets us (and others around us) plan. […]

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By Linda Julian

Business development metrics

So many professional service firms we meet bemoan the track record of most of their folk in developing new work and new clients in attractive niches. More than occasionally a practice leader confides that their technically competent team knows only how to “feed on the carcasses I kill” or “live like a leech on me”. […]

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Tender writing tips – Nothing is so complex that it cannot be explained simply

Tender writing tips – Nothing is so complex that it cannot be explained simply

Remember, nothing is so complex that it cannot be explained simply Albert Einstein was spot-on when he said “nothing is so complex that it cannot be explained simply”. Tenders, bids, proposals, and informal pitches for business are not times to show how clever and capable you are by using legalese (I’m looking at you lawyers), […]