Insights on embedding successful Key Client Management
Part 4 of 6
Selling to Existing Clients
‘The best source of new work is our existing client base’ is a common statement in this industry and it couldn’t be truer. Our people are onsite or in the offices of clients the whole time, yet it is rare for them to find additional opportunities for work. If they see an opening to which they can directly relate the objectives and chosen strategy of the client organisation, two things will happen:
They will recognise the opportunity.
They should feel confident enough to pursue the opportunity, raising it either with their own people or directly with the client.
A surprising number of delivery team members do not know the business objectives of their clients. We recommend that you test how much real understanding your people have of their clients and their marketplaces.
Selling skills training is the first step in enabling people to spot opportunities. Give them the knowledge, understanding and confidence about their clients business so they can recognise how something they perceive as an opportunity can fit into and support the client’s business direction.
Cross selling to Existing Clients
Organisations often work in silos where there may be a significant lack of integration between business units/ core services and/or local offices and this influences the clients’ perceptions of what we can deliver. What we are as a firm is what each individual client perceives us to be.
Yet, multidisciplinary, client-orientated teams provide the right environment for cross selling and truly client-facing organisations organise themselves in this way.
Without this client-oriented organisation structure, the risk is that professionals do not recommend other parts of their company; they may even recommend external professionals in whom they have trust and confidence. Today, companies realise that their fee growth ambitions can only be met by selling further services to their client base.
Despite this, directors and partners keep their colleagues from other disciplines at arm’s length from their clients. Unfortunately these represent typical examples of silo behaviour, exacerbated by silo organisational structures.
People must be encouraged to work together. To create the right environment for cross selling we have to have people who are:
Prepared to share and delegate
Recognised or even rewarded on the number of introductions they provide to others within the company
Real team working is a major facilitator of regular cross selling. Companies must have team objectives. There are often fundamental, structural, cultural, organisational, motivational and behavioural issues that need to be addressed if there is to be any hope of realising the full potential of cross selling opportunities.
If a company wishes to cross sell effectively it has to ensure its people have sufficient current knowledge of the company’s services to be able to immediately advise the client if they have the capability to assist.