And remember—if collaborative business development is going to be successful, you must cultivate your internal relationships just like you do your external referral sources.
- Collaborate – Collaborate across your practice group, across offices, across your firm. As you do with targets, identify which colleagues are most likely to “fit” with you and your practice. Then cultivate the relationship. First, make sure your colleagues know what you’re famous for. And, you need to know what they’re famous for. Identify joint targets and approach together. Whenever possible, visit prospects and referral sources with a colleague in tow. For the biggest targets, consider putting a client pursuit team together across the practice or firm.
- Surround the client – Collectively network across the firm to find out who knows whom at your key prospective clients. Knowing one person at the target is not enough. And, getting in front of more than one influencer or decision-maker at the prospect is more easily accomplished when you have more players on your team than just you. The more positive impressions you make on as many decision-participants at the prospect, the more likely you are to win and expand the business.
- Include the client – Bring your client into your client team meetings on occasion; Invite your client to speak to your colleagues about how they manage certain aspects of their business. This lets them know that you are truly focused on them and exposes them to more professionals at your firm so they get a fuller sense for your capabilities and creates opportunities for relationship expansion.