We have spent a lot of time in professional service environments and can tell you two things have remained constant:
- Growth has always been (and still is) about building relationships; and
- Management will always be concerned about the sufficiency of the internal habits that build relationships.
Our personal approach to business development in a professional service environment is as follows:
- IMPRESS your clients with exceptional service and a few unexpected value-adds.
- INFORM your clients about other organization wide offerings and capabilities.
- INCREASE the depth and breadth of your client relationships to your organization – yes, you may have to introduce your clients to a few of your colleagues.
- IMPROVE and leverage the varied BD skills of all your teammates.
- INQUIRE about the needs of clients and future clients alike.
- INTEGRATE a BD activity into your calendar every single day. Use whatever BD activity that comes naturally to you – and occasionally some that don’t.
- INITIATE know how to ask for the business – and do it. Your future client is expecting you to initiate this critical (never fatal), conversation.