"If you don't drive your business, you will be driven out of business." - B.C. Forbes
Our Strategic Business Development programmes focus on three core activities:
· Creating opportunities
· Managing opportunities
· Managing relationships
The programmes are built around training developed by Miller Heiman, a world-leading sales performance consulting firm, that we have adapted for the professional services firm environment.
This programme is based around the Miller Heiman Conceptual Selling business development strategy. Through it participants will learn how to use a proactive questioning process to secure missing information, get inside the client’s head by understanding their decision-making processes, position the firm more effectively and position themselves comfortably with senior executives.
Rather than focusing on what the law firm has to offer – perhaps its areas of expertise or international reach or track record - the starting point in this programme is understanding what the client is looking to achieve, resolve or avoid. Understanding the client’s thinking gives a better basis on which to manage the pitch. Questioning techniques are a key element of this approach, and the programme builds on a four-part questioning process that helps differentiate the firm and its offering from its competition, secure missing information and achieve commitment. These skills are often more important than presenting and talking since without asking the right questions that explore the client’s attitude, beliefs and concerns it will not be possible to understand what the client is really looking for.
This programme is based around the Miller Heiman Strategic Selling strategy for managing complex selling opportunities and developing strategies for success. Participants will learn how to evaluate their competitive position, differentiate their firm and position themselves with the decision makers in the client organisation, address their business and personal motives and influence their decisions.
By focusing on the client’s decision-making process and on the people who make the decision to appoint the lawyers, it is possible to identify which opportunities can be won and which ones should be dropped or parked. This approach helps in focusing the firm’s approach, setting priorities and managing time more efficiently, as well as improving financial forecasting and hit rates.
Winning a project is not enough. For long-term business, relationships must be developed and fostered. This programme is based around the Miller Heiman Large Account Management Process (LAMP). Through it participants will understand how they can build lasting, strategic relationships with their best clients, manage the relationships as a whole, focus on work that will pay off, decrease the importance of price sensitivity and identify and implement essential relationship programmes.
LAMP uncovers how best to manage and grow strategic clients by bringing the entire relationship into focus. The process provides a road map for identifying client relationships with growth potential, and participants will have the opportunity to work up a one- to three-year plan to develop the relationship. It begins with an analysis of the firm’s current position with a client to identify discrepancies and develop a shared vision. Participants document long-term plans for managing the relationship and allocating resources effectively and learn how to develop strategies for managing cross-discipline teams to clarify roles and responsibilities, boost collaboration and ensure accountability. The programme also presents methods for enhancing relationships between law firm and client.
Managing a client’s perception of the business relationship, and mutually identifying the appropriate level of collaboration, can significantly minimise price sensitivity and competitive threats. LAMP helps firms objectively determine this perception and define goals to develop a position as trusted adviser.