Here Tim Rusling discusses talent management and development at Director and Partner level.
A-Z of PACE ProgrammesThe list below will provide you with the types of projects we have completed or are involved in. Whether you’re a regular or existing client of PACE, or you are looking at prospective programmes for your organisation, then the project subjects below could help your firm.
We hope this provides you with a greater insight into what we do. If you would like more information on any of the projects above please contact us.
No one disagrees with the notion that excellent client management is important. Good client management means that clients continue to give work and they include us in their thinking when new opportunities for work arise. Also, the image of being recognised as a client-focused business is a positive one for us.
In practice, many businesses find excellent client management a challenge. Often there is a desire to look after their clients better, to win a greater share of their work and to know that competitors would find it extremely difficult to win work from their clients. From our experience, this desire is not backed up by the will and motivation to make key client management a reality. Desire and will are not the same things. With desire the imperative is missing.
Over the years we have helped many clients improve their retention and development of key client relationships. Such experience enables us to support clients through a variety of different ‘client relationship management’ services, including:
- Tailored skills and process training/development programmes
- Key client reviews and other research
- Executive and group coaching
- Consultancy – key client protection strategy and implementation support
- Train the trainer programmes
- Facilitation of board and strategy meetings
For more information on our thinking and approach to client relationship management please select one of the links below:
- Why client relationship management?
- The nuances of client relationship management in professional services
- An overview of our expertise in improving client relationship management
- Case study in client relationship management
- Test your expertise in a key client management healthcheck
- Our latest thinking on key client relationship management
> Contact us
Why Client Relationship Management?
When businesses start to go hungry they are forced to go out to hunt – their most desirable potential prey being the key clients of their competitors.
Given this scenario, firms that make every effort to ensure excellence in everything that they do for their key clients tend to be in a stronger position to defend these relationships and keep voracious competitors at bay. Through these activities defending firms can retain the business of the small number of clients that almost invariably make up a disproportionate percentage of overall fee income. The professional management of key client relationships has never been so important.
Relationships are paramount to professional services firms. The quality of client relationships has a direct correlation to the degree of success a firm experiences. The cost of finding new clients compared to the cost of retaining existing ones, is well documented. Those firms who do not invest in building good relationships, face a greater turnover of clients (and probably staff) than those that do.
Firms that are more successful at Key Client Management tend to view it as a strategy which is fundamental to the firm achieving its most important objective(s), rather than an objective in its own right. This strategy is the broad direction the firm must take in order to meet its business imperatives.
In ensuring the strategy is successful, the key client management programme needs a defined leader or ‘champion’ who can gain buy-in at every level. Recognition and rewards must also be in line with the strategy so that client retention and business from existing clients is rewarded as much as new business from new clients. The most successful firms also work hard to build the necessary motivation and discipline at ground level so that best practice is prevalent throughout the firm.
Improving client relationship management
Over the years, we have helped many organisations improve their client relationship management. In doing so, we have helped our clients:
- Understand the process of managing key clients
- Undertake key client planning
- Manage key client relationships
- Segment their client base
- Conduct successful and responsible cross-selling
- Market successfully to existing clients
- Develop key service skills
- Develop a service strategy
View our Key Client Management Health Check.
The Key client management healthcheck is designed to help professional services firms assess how they perform in 12 core aspects of key client management. In our experience, greater success in these aspects leads to greater protection of key client relationships and generates a more profitable and loyal client base.
What does it do?
The Managing Key Clients Healthcheck is a perception questionnaire that generates a detailed assessment of a firm’s approach to its key client relationships. This report enables those involved in client relationship management to gain a better understanding of the firm’s approaches in these fields by:
- Giving a snapshot of current strengths and weaknesses
- Identifying areas where support and development is needed to realise greater opportunities
How can it help?
Some firms use a number of their people to complete the questionnaire, in order to obtain a more holistic view of its overall performance in this area. As a result the Healthcheck is a valuable tool when used:
- To determine the short and long-term strength of the client portfolio
- To identify and support client protection strategies
- Alongside fee-income reports – to understand how certain activities and approaches, result in particular income levels from existing clients
- As part of a firm’s Personal Development Reviews/Appraisal Systems – to ensure support and development are given in the areas that need it most
- As a guide for a firm’s marketing and business development plans – to focus investment on the areas that need it most
For more information about using our Managing Key Clients Healthcheck service, please contact Wendy Fountain on +44 (0)1932 260062 or email him at [email protected]
View PACE Key Client Management Case Studies by clicking here.
“Surprisingly good and thought provoking. The Zen of marketing your services.” Feedback from RICS CPD Foundation
“We have just secured a key instruction from a strategically important client with a potential value of £500k. We applied PACE thinking at every stage of the process. We are treating you to a lunch!”
Partner, top 10 law firm“I used to feel uncomfortable at the thought of having to sit in front of potential clients gaining credibility by telling them how good my firm and I were. I never wanted to be a salesperson. PACES selling skills has shown me how professional and enjoyable the selling element of my role can be. It also help us to win more business”
Engineer, global consulting firm“the PACES selling methodology has changed the way we sell, because it works!”
Vice President, global consulting firm“I have implemented the PACE high impact approach to generating meetings and have just secured a meeting with a senior decision maker that I have tried to approach many times before”
Director, construction management consultancy“the PACE Pipeline model shows me what to do, when to do it and how best to do it! With limited time for business development the thinking has helped me to be more effective”
Director, property consultancy“Bringing PACE in has probably been the most highly rated training and development initiative we have ever undertaken and has delivered a huge change in behaviours with tangible financial results with significant business wins”
Senior HR consultant, global consulting business“We worked with PACE thinking to develop an effective approach to face to face selling opportunities. We approach meetings differently to our competitors and continue to win new clients in a tough environment”
Director, major commercial bank
When we decided that leading business development was to be the theme for our 39th International World Conference, held in Cancun, Mexico, this year we had no hesitation in selecting PACE Partners as our key facilitators.The two Pauls from PACE, Paul Matthews and Paul Denvir delivered four exceptional one hour sessions to our 120+ audience made up of Managing Partners and other senior individuals in our Global Network from around the world. Read more on this testimonial within our case studies
International Accountancy Network
Director, leading engineering consultancy“I especially like PACE’s practical approach to key client management”
senior fee-earner, leading actuarial firm“I’ve not worked with anyone who knows our industry, our market place, our type of clients and key client management as well as PACE”
HR Director, property consultancy“PACE have been coaching a small team of experienced Partners in leadership and management. Despite some initial resistance from some Partners, PACE’s professional approach, knowledge and experience won over even the most sceptical.”
Senior partners, forensic accounting firm“PACE devised a leadership assessment and development centre for us. We had doubts about how many professional staff would apply but we need not have worried, the programme was positioned so well with the help of PACE that we were fully subscribed within days. The centres ran exceptionally well and leadership is now firmly on the senior management teams agenda thanks to PACE.”
CEO, construction management consultancy“We halted a worrying increase in staff attrition rates when PACE helped us to address the management skills and behaviours of our directors. PACE people are experienced managers themselves and it shows through in the coaching and training they do.”
Director, global consultancy business“We worked with PACE thinking to develop an effective approach to face to face selling opportunities. We then worked with PACE to ensure our leadership team managed and led effectively in the field. Our return on investment was significantly enhanced by investing in our leaders. We win more business!”
Director, major commercial bank
The best firms and the best teams develop the best leaders. Just as technical ability can be developed and fine tuned, so can leadership and management skills.
Leadership is not just the domain of CEOs, Senior Partners or Managing Partners; it is vital at all levels.
Firms come to us to help them develop leadership and management capabilities at all levels of their organisation.
Our expertise includes:
- Assessing leadership capabilities and potential
- Leadership assessment centres
- Future leader programmes
- Training and developing people’s leadership skills and behaviours
- Leadership and management coaching
- Leading business development and client relationship management initiatives
- How to motivate and influence people and teams
- Talent retention
- Facilitating board and management meetings
Our thoughts and experiences on leadership in professional services are often called upon by the national and international business press and by leading professional services trade bodies. To learn more click here.
Find out more:
Successful firms recognise the importance of managing their current clients and have a real desire to win
- The highest possible level of skills and confidence based on the PACES™ approach to consultative selling
- A project management approach to business development based on the proven PACE Pipeline™ model
- The most practical and focussed business development strategies
- Understanding and assessing current client development strategies
- Designing the ‘perfect client base of the future’
- Developing selection criteria for target clients
- Creating business development plans
- Identifying who should be involved in winning new clients
- Establishing a ‘project management’ approach to the process of business development
- Training and developing individuals in the skills and behaviours of winning business
- Coaching individuals to implement plans and win new work
- Guiding people to lead, manage and measure business development activities
- Coaching support and a helping hand with pitches, tenders, proposals and presentations
Find out more:
- Win new business
- Retain their key clients and build greater client loyalty
- Deal with the leadership issues inherent in these expertise-driven businesses
Head of learning and development, top 10 accountancy firm