“But why should I invest in client development?” Bizarrely this is still a question we get asked by the lawyers, accountants, and patent attorneys we work.
Admittedly it’s a question that’s asked for different reasons. Some worry they’ll be bothering their clients, that their clients are too busy to have a chat. Others think it’s not needed as their clients will contact them when they need something.
The truth is neither is correct.
The last 12 months have re-emphasised just how vital client development is. When the first lockdown hit it was easy to put BD to one side. Surely our clients have too much on their plates at the moment? And even if they do have time, what could we actually do to help them while we’re tucked away working from home?
It soon became apparent however that this was the time they needed use most.
It soon became apparent this was exactly the right time to invest in client development. We had to make sure our most important relationships were strong enough to survive the most turbulent period in our working lives.
I could give you a raft of reasons why clients need you more now than ever before. I could even share real life anecdotes to support each point. Instead, allow me to turn the tables and explain the 3 key benefits you’ll immediately enjoy if you make more time to talk to your clients:
1. Stronger relationships
The more time you spend with your clients, the stronger your working relationships will become.
The world is an uncertain place at the moment which means business decisions are increasingly going to be made on cost, service and added value as we start the road to recovery. This means you can’t afford to underestimate the vital part your relationships will play in maintaining your practice and your revenue.
2. New opportunities
More conversations will give you more insight into what your clients want to achieve which will allow you to spot where you can help, and these offers of help will produce more work.
And apologies for being blunt, but that’s the reason we all do BD isn’t it?!
And if there are no direct opportunities for new work, your conversations will lead to new introductions and new invitations. Over time and managed correctly, these will open up a raft of new opportunities for you with very little extra effort.
3. New ideas
Your clients are at the coalface. They know what they need, what they consider to be genuine added value, the way they like their services to be delivered, what else they need from you, which publications/websites they read, which events they go to and which groups they belong to.
The more time you spend with them, the more of this information you’ll soak up and it can all be used to improve your service delivery.
This will not only increase your client retention (and, most likely, your client’s annual spend) but used correctly, this intel will also help you become more attractive to a bigger pool of prospective clients.
If you would like to discuss how you can add a little more structure to your client development initiatives, please get in touch and we can find a convenient time to talk. Alternatively, if you’re planning to up your client development game and invest in a client listening programme, we can help.