Do You Have a Sales Problem or a Marketing Problem?

If you want to grow revenue, do you need to improve your sales capabilities?  Not necessarily.  In fact, of the nearly two-dozen professional services firms I’ve had the privilege of getting to know over the past few years, only one of them had a sales problem.  For the rest, the real challenge was that their … Read more Do You Have a Sales Problem or a Marketing Problem?

The Three Mindset Barriers to Business Development

In my work coaching professionals around business development, I’ve found that there are usually three reasons people turn to a coach: 1. Skills When you make partner, your job fundamentally changes: you’re expected to bring in business, not just work on it. But most firms do a poor job preparing associates or managers to become … Read more The Three Mindset Barriers to Business Development

To Bid or Not To Bid? Four Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Prepare a Proposal

The days when clients would engage you to conduct an assessment as part of a ‘paid selling opportunity’ are long over. Instead, clients want you to spend your own time to understand their problem and propose how to solve it. Further, preparing a competitive RFP response requires senior practitioners to spend hours gathering information, responding … Read more To Bid or Not To Bid? Four Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Prepare a Proposal

Just Keep Swimming: Business Development Lessons from Finding Dory

Warning: There might be some spoilers ahead…but it’s for a Pixar movie, and they all follow the same basic story rules. The key message in Finding Dory, Pixar’s sequel to the 2003 hit Finding Nemo, is a contrast between two approaches to life. On the one hand, careful cautious clownfish Marlon wants to rationally analyze every situation, … Read more Just Keep Swimming: Business Development Lessons from Finding Dory

Five Tips For Turning Your Relationships Into New Business

One of the most common pieces of advice given to professionals who want to develop business is to network: attend industry events, get involved in professional associations, and become a member of non-profit or community boards. Yet I frequently hear from professionals that despite the time they spend meeting new people and cultivating relationships, it … Read more Five Tips For Turning Your Relationships Into New Business

Five Professional Services Marketing Ideas You Can Use Today

One of the hardest parts about marketing and business development in professional services is actually finding the time to do the ground work required to execute a marketing plan.  It’s too easy for immediate client needs or firm management to get in the way.  Unfortunately, marketing activities build on each other, so neglecting them will … Read more Five Professional Services Marketing Ideas You Can Use Today

If Don Draper Can Sell Anything, Why Can’t He Sell Himself?

I’m catching up on Mad Men, AMC’s period piece about advertising executives in the 1960s.  As I round the midpoint of season 5, I can’t help but notice that somehow, despite Don Draper’s brilliance as an advertiser, Sterling Cooper Draper Price is perpetually struggling to find clients.  Is this some sort of leap of faith the writers, who are otherwise so diligent, have added for dramatic effect?  Are we really supposed to believe that they can sell baked beans, but never their own services?

Read moreIf Don Draper Can Sell Anything, Why Can’t He Sell Himself?