Too many professionals bifurcate their practice into serving and selling. Then they act surprised that there’s no growth.
Focus all your energy and resources on selling, and you risk business going out the back door. You celebrate new clients, but the top line doesn’t change. Likewise, obsess over existing clients and use busyness to justify your neglect of sales, and you’ll soon struggle to keep your team busy. The point is, both serving and selling are critical tasks for achieving growth.
I have observed that the higher performing partners and managing directors do both. All the time. In their way of thinking, excellence in client service is seeing opportunities to expand services. Likewise, business development is simply understanding the client’s business and proactively offering solutions to anticipated problems.
Engage your client often and he’ll tell you where his company needs your help. Invite prospective clients to lunch or an event often, show interest in them and their business, and you gain the advantage on that future project or proposal. As Woody Allen put it, “Seventy percent of success in life is showing up.”