Adapt to survive – business development in a changing world


DHD have produced the latest issue of the PSMG magazine. Here, the guest editor Richard Parnham gives us an insight on the lead story and other topics covered in this edition.

This year’s annual PSMG conference, which is taking place on the 22nd November 2017 at One America Square Conference Centre, London, focuses on the “business of business development” – how professional services firms can survive and thrive in an uncertain world, and the role that marketers can play in this process.

The business of business development is a topic that also features heavily in this edition of the PSMG Magazine. Not only do we include contributions from one the conference’s keynote speakers – Baker McKenzie’s chief marketing officer, Laurie Robertson, our “in conversation” interview with White & Case’s Matthew Fuller sees him sharing his views on how professional services marketers can become high value trusted advisors to their practice’s internal clients.

One situation where Matthew believes marketers can add greater value is in relation to RFPs: in particular, he believes that marketers should be more proactive in acting as gatekeepers when assessing whether or not to bid for certain projects. This is a topic in which Matthew has a certain specialism: along with Nisus Consulting’s Tim Nightingale, he literally “wrote the book” on the subject: it’s called Strategic tendering for professional services: win more, lose less.

Staying with RFPs, this edition of the PSMG Magazine also takes an in-depth look at a technology solution that promises to dramatically speed up the production of tender documents, while also improving their quality and visual impact – pitch management software. It’s a low-profile technology that is slowly and surely gaining market traction amongst firms as diverse as regional law firms and global accountancy giants.

Being invited to pitch to a prospective client marks an important milestone along the road towards receiving a new instruction – a journey that, in some cases, is the result of many months of careful relationship nurturing. Client acquisition, and retention, is the focus of three reports in this magazine. John Monks from PACE explains how firms can become more proactive, rather than reactive, in their approach to winning and retaining clients. Meanwhile, John Parkinson from Blake Morgan offers his personal view of how professional service firms can take a more structured approach to selling. Finally, Leigh Dance from ELD International shares her research-driven findings about what corporate clients are looking for from their external legal advisors.

Elsewhere in the magazine, we include two reports in which PSMG members share their experiences of leading one-off marketing projects. In our first report, Addleshaw Goddard’s Isha Chander and Fiona Ghosh explained how their firm launched a novel “product”-based offering aimed at FinTech start-ups, designed to raise the practice’s profile and market share in this vibrant market. Later, Weightmans’ Sarah-Jane Howitt and Lauren Taylor offer their lessons learned about the appointment of a new PR agency.

We round off the magazine with a contribution from Tuffin Ferraby Taylor’s David Mann. David’s commentary explains why he believes that professional service marketers should encourage their fellow fee earners to join, and become active members of, professional networks – and launch their own network if no group currently exists. David’s insights come from his experience of helping to establishing an LGBT networking group in the real estate sector, and the transformative benefits that the group has had on the wider industry.

Read more about the conference and see the speaker line up:

To book a place on the conference contact Gail Jaffa:
Tel: 0207 033 9150

View the full e-magazine: