We have all had coaches in our lives. They might not have been called a coach but they are people that had an impact. In a caring sense it was likely our parents or grandparents, or that wise aunt. In your education, it was likely a particular teacher than encouraged you to do better. Early in your career you likely had someone take you under their wing. Later in your career someone may have developed into your mentor.
For most professionals ‘business development’ does not come easy. There are few coaches that solely focus on business development – helping you develop a practice of quality clients. A good coach would have ‘been there, done that’ and act as a role model due to their experience.
With a business development coach certain outcomes will be:
- An approach that is strategic and focused
- A simple but effective objectives plan with key actions
- Having an accountability team (you and the coach) to keep your efforts aligned to your objectives plan
- Having someone who challenges your thinking
- Learning from the real-life business development experiences of the coach
- Someone ‘on call’ to provide guidance on opportunities
Doing good work is a given
As a lawyer or accountant being good at what you do doesn’t ensure success. Being good is a given. But to build your career you need the proven ability to bring in business. In today’s market place assuming the business will come because you do good work is quite ‘old school’.
To be truly successful requires an accountant or lawyer to build and manage valuable relationships in order to originate new work and enhance existing client relationships.
Larry Stroud – Unlike any Other Coach
Larry Stroud is one of the most experienced legal and accounting Business Development Coaches in Canada.
Larry is one of the leading business development coaches for accountants and lawyers in North America. He has over 20 years of experience in coaching, having assisted professionals in firms of all sizes from small firms and boutiques to large one-office firms and large national/international firms.
Larry is unlike any other coach given he has been on the ‘other side of the desk’ as a partner in two firms responsible for building his own book of business. It is that background that quickly provides creditability and respect with those he coaches.
He has also been a Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer of a major professional firm. Larry is currently the Executive Director of the Managing Partners’ Forum North America and an editorial board member of PM (Professional Marketing) Magazine.
Larry’s Approach to Coaching
Larry does not take an ‘off-the-shelf’ or ‘cookie cutter’ approach. His coaching does not use a generic methodology adopted by many coaches who are part of a franchised or networked coaching group.
Every professional is unique, as is Larry’s approach with each.
For clients in the Toronto area, Larry will agree with the client whether the coaching is in-person or via a video call. For clients in other areas of Canada and the United States, Larry coaches on the phone or via video call.
Larry’s first meeting with a coaching client is focused on getting to know one another and determine if there is a chemistry of working together. Also, during this session, Larry explores the client’s experience with business development including likely skills, strengths and apprehensions (e.g. a fear of mingling at events). In the subsequent meetings these matters are explored further given his expertise to alleviate fears by providing practical advice.
As the coaching meetings move forward, Larry and the client address matters needed to be most effective. Agreed upon will be a vision for their practice and a collaborative action plan comprising a small number of objectives as the basis of the plan. This plan is intentionally small, fluid, realistic, achievable, and one that would not adversely impact on billing targets.
The Time Commitment
Larry meets the coaching client twice in the first 3 – 4 months. In between meetings Larry is available for client calls seven days a week and can be available to arrange a meeting at short notice. Clients find ad hoc meetings valuable to get Larry’s guidance on an important business prospect meeting or preparation of a proposal document.
The number of coaching sessions is flexible and very much depends on the needs of the coaching client. It is ultimately the client’s decision. Larry has coaching clients that continue to have sessions for years – they appreciate the resource and momentum therefore the coaching continues. For some long-term clients Larry’s role graduates to that of mentor stepping beyond solely business development.
If the individual accountant or lawyer is engaging and paying for Larry’s coaching themselves because they wish for the coaching to be kept private from their firm, the cost is discussed and agreed.
For the professional firm, there are three options regarding cost:
- An hourly rate
This approach is most suitable to firms where only 2 – 4 individuals are being coached. Each coaching session involves 1.5 hours – i.e. 0.25 of preparation; 1.0 for the coaching session; and 0.25 post session notes preparation.
- A package
For a firm wanting to have a number of individuals as part of a program a monthly fee can be agreed upon that reflects a discounted hourly rate. The packaged fee is negotiable depending on the number of participants.
- On-going retainer
With an on-going retainer Larry dedicates a significant amount of time each week coaching in a firm. Larry basically becomes the firm’s in-house business development coach. In addition, he is known to roll up his sleeves and help with implementation elements of the individual professional’s action plan to keep it moving forward when they are struggling with the volume of important client matters. The on-going retainer is a highly economical approach to securing Larry’s business development coaching expertise.
To discuss Business Development Coaching please contact Larry Stroud at email@example.com or at 416 728 7409.
“I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend business development coaching from Larry Stroud of Korverge, which was extremely effective. I enjoyed working with Larry.”
Marc Mercier, Partner
Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP
“Larry Stroud of Korverge worked with us on a Development Program that was launched with a three-day retreat that he facilitated. The partners unanimously agreed that it was a success and it created a new momentum in the firm. Going forward, we engaged Larry to guide us through the program, which included one-on-one business development coaching, and our overall strategic business development and marketing planning. Larry had a tremendous positive influence.”
Joel Lazer, Managing Partner
Lazer Grant LLP
“For the past few years Larry Stroud has provided business development coaching for a number of our lawyers. Larry works well with professionals to develop and execute personalized business development plans. We will continue working with Larry.”
Don Allan, Former COO
Dale & Lessmann LLP
“The practical guidance Larry Stroud provides is invaluable to business development being more structured and focused. His coaching is specifically designed to generate tangible results.”
Neil Abramson, Partner, Chair of Litigation Group
Torkin Manes LLP