Maximising your time
Balancing fee earning time with business development time
Time is possibly the biggest barrier of all for many of our clients. Good time management has two essential elements – planning and teamwork.
Firstly, we help individuals and teams to create a personal business development plan. We insist that time slots allocated to business development are rocks in the diary that don’t get moved or replaced.
Secondly, we make sure that individuals recognise that they can’t do everything on their own. Teamwork is essential. When you are flat out busy and you simply don’t have time, somebody else on the team has to step in to ‘keep the plates spinning’. Which means knowing your team, understanding each other’s expertise and planning your time wisely.
How to balance your time
Questas’s Gary Williams says:
“We have a client who takes time management to heart. Before he even opens his email in the morning, he takes 10 minutes just thinking about business development and writing the list of who he’s got to talk to, what he’s got to write, is he attending an event, has he got to get a publication piece finished. It’s the first thing he does every day. It relies on discipline, but it gets results.”
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Being too scattergun with marketing and business development
The scattergun approach happens when the pressure’s on. It often manifests itself when lots of people from the same company are trying to drum up business. But because it’s adhoc and uncoordinated, it’s ineffective and often unprofessional.
We get the relevant people in a room and, using our ‘Growth Model’, we take them through the process of understanding what is happening in their marketplace, who the players are in that market and what is their share or their target within that market. We create a campaign of awareness and reputation building. Where are your strengths, where are your relationships already, where is your reputation? We help our clients to really narrow their focus to get the best return on business development activity.
Not spending enough time and energy on the best clients
Some clients are more important than others! Some are more profitable, some provide more work, some provide work in different disciplines, and some of them have a really good long term future. It’s crucial to segment your client base.
We help people identify which of their clients are most important and we create client plans to develop those relationships, with real objectives for building new opportunities. It all comes back to planning and analysis. Understanding who we know, what’s important to them, what’s their structure, what are their objectives. This is how to build a closer, stronger relationship with your client.
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Questas’s Gillian Sutherland says:
“There is a direct relationship between the amount of time and effort we put into a client and the return on that investment.”