Lost proposals…was your price really too high?

November 1, 2017 | Posted in: Tenders Bids Proposals

For many prospective clients, the fastest and easiest way to tell you that they’re not proceeding with your proposal, tender or bid is to say “sorry  –  the price is too high”.   Sometimes this is the entire story. Other times, it is simply a quick way to avoid saying what’s really the problem  –  […]

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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

Pricing lessons from a Big Six pricing specialist

June 29, 2016 | Posted in: Business Development Strategy

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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By Alistair Marshall

12 critical performance indicators in addition to the billable hour

November 25, 2015 | Posted in: Business Development Strategy

What gets measured gets improved. Many professional services firms fail to measure critical performance indicators for their business, clients, and staff, and are therefore failing to track the behaviours and strategies which correlate with future financial and strategic success. It’s common for firms to focus only on individual billable hours as a success measure. While […]

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Scoping work simply

July 8, 2015 | Posted in: Business Development Strategy

Scoping and estimating professional services can be hard work. It’s an important skill for professionals to cultivate, as clients are increasingly demanding alternatives to the billable hour.  And alternative pricing options are tricky to work through and develop if you don’t have a good understanding of your real costs to begin with. We see many firms, when asked […]

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By Alistair Marshall

Experts don’t charge low fees

May 21, 2014 | Posted in: Business Development Strategy

Professional services firms are often hesitant to raise their fees in a challenging economic environment. But consider your firm’s growth in expertise and value to your clients as a proportion of the movement in fees you charge – you will often find that fee growth is lagging behind. Increasingly, firms are pricing their services too […]

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By Linda Julian

Painful to replace

October 2, 2013 | Posted in: Business Development Strategy

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

Pre-proposal due diligence

March 13, 2013 | Posted in: Tenders Bids Proposals

Those who’ve done it know well that while tenders, bids, and competitive proposals are great ways to win work, it’s easy to squander precious time and money on bids with limited prospects of success. Here’s a simple framework for pre-proposal due diligence which our consultants find helpful in guiding professional service firm clients to correct […]

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By Linda Julian

Possible key selling arguments

March 6, 2013 | Posted in: Tenders Bids Proposals

Sorting through what’s important to your prospective client and determining what will differentiate you from your competitors can be a daunting task. In hard-fought competitions, how we deal with even minor issues can make the critical difference between winning, and losing. This list is a useful starting point in determining how best to position your […]

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By Linda Julian

Business development metrics

January 2, 2013 | Posted in: Business Development Strategy

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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Feature article

Same-same, but different  –  Best practice for recycling boilerplate tender, bid & proposal content

Same-same, but different – Best practice for recycling boilerplate tender, bid & proposal content

I once had a client say he wanted to do ‘fresh writing’ for the entirety of content in every single tender, bid and proposal response. That’s right…every time…every bid…100% written from scratch. Unsurprisingly the ‘fresh writing’ diktat put considerable extra pressure on his already frazzled team and didn’t help his firm’s win rate. When it […]