Accepting the needs for “sales” in professional services firms

We see generally see a number of consistent pockets of critical ineffectiveness and expensive inefficiencies in the go-to-market and business development functions across many professional services businesses around the world– especially in law firms, accounting firms and engineering firms.

Lack of direction and alignment is considerable problem for most firms. It is frequently not someone’s fault, where there is a specific group of people to blame, but rather the environment and culture these type of organizations create – especially partnerships – that reward and prioritize the delivery of brilliant, technically sound advice, but which do not always recognise the art and the science of winning work or delivering brilliant client service in a way that creates loyalty, and loyalty is a key driver of revenue growth, reduced competition and lower sales and service costs.

In many services firms, the term “sales” may be thought of as an unspeakable word, and the skills required to effectively identify good prospects, qualify them, develop good relationships into opportunities and then convert those into profitable revenue are believed to be just common sense or natural strengths for lawyers, accountants, engineers and architects… even though they probably spent the vast majority of their training focused on learning a technical skill.

Our experience is that the mindset and skill set for many of those professionals is not nearly as developed as is required for growing a services business in a highly competitive market.

However, when these professionals are developed in a way that they can relate to, which interests them and where they see the value of how it will help them to be successful in their roles – they are very fast learners and can quickly adopt and apply new ideas effectively.

But when the appreciation for sales, marketing and business development skills are not regarded as being an important contribution to growing the business… then the partners and staff do not develop the skills they should, and these firms will struggle to attract and retain good marketing, sales or business development people.

Mayfair Ranch helps services firm transform their fee-earning, client-facing delivery partners and staff into being more confident, comfortable and capable at:

  • Developing the right client relationships
  • Understanding and articulating value to the client
  • Pricing work and talking about price with the client
  • Creating and delivering winning proposals, presentations and pitches
  • Negotiating better fees, terms and conditions (including recovering fees for increased scope)
  • Establishing and enabling effective client satisfaction and loyalty practices, which create strong client relationships and account retention, as well as creating more opportunities and revenue from existing clients – at a lower cost of sale

We are seeing much greater success in the firms who understand this and who have adapted accordingly, and our specialization for services firms is helping put this capability in place functionally and, more importantly, culturally.