In many firms, there’s an attitude that the partners who traditionally attract new business will always be the primary rainmakers of the firm. Times have changed. Client buying habits have changed. Don’t be complacent about client loyalty: It requires good management, high levels of service and competitive pricing.
In most small to mid-sized firms, a marketing manager or director reports to the managing partner. As that managing partner, creating the right structure and relationship with the marketing head will enable you to be an effective marketing leader.
Too often, reviewing the marketing operation is low on your to-do list. However, it’s in your interest to push it up the priority list as the marketing director and his or her team can make things happen quickly to enhance your firm’s effectiveness.
I have worked with accounting and law firms, and other professional firms, on hundreds of Request for Proposal (RFP) responses, so I know from experience that one of the most critical stages in the process is the service partner meeting with the prospective client before preparing the proposal. Hopefully that meeting is with one of the decision-makers. If successful, the discussion provides valuable information that goes a long way in creating a powerful and winning proposal.
The Financial Times/ Managing Partners’ Forum (“MPF”) survey in 2012 made it very clear. If your firm is not well managed and if firm management is not part of the relationship team with client CEOs, it may find itself with a shrinking client base.