Revenue growth in professional services firms depends, in part, on maintaining close and healthy relationships with clients. In this setting, working closely with clients can reveal opportunities for additional collaboration (read: billable hours). However, there’s a fine line between maintaining a “close” relationship with a client and being perceived as an obnoxious or opportunistic upseller. Let’s take a closer look at four triggers you can use as jumping-off points for cultivating closer client relationships, boosting your credibility as a thought leader, and growing your billable hours.
1. Legal and Regulatory Changes
PSOs should be keeping a close eye on regulatory changes and compliance updates. Areas of business that required relatively little attention to compliance have, in the last few years, become a focus for regulators. Not only do these changes present opportunities for PSOs to keep clients informed, but also to insert themselves into the solution (in whatever form it takes). In some cases, legal and regulatory changes open a window to tax deductions or prompt internal restructuring (which, in turn, may open a window to increased efficiency). Regardless of regulatory changes, outcomes for the PSO remain the same: spare the client trouble or save the client some money. Either way, you offer value.
2. Major Executive Movements
Clients are—undoubtedly—intensely aware of organizations competing in their sector. They’re aware of which competitors merit the closest monitoring and how these companies evolve over time. Major executive movements can provide a significant opportunity for professional service organizations to advise and service their clients. Understanding the timing, nature, and magnitude of executive appointments, promotions, resignations, etc. (involving both competitors and your clients themselves) can be leveraged to advance consultancy services. Different organizations—even different teams within an organization—may find different opportunities in a single change. Clients appreciate proactive intervention and high-touch involvement in times of change. Positioning your firm as a source of guidance, strategy, and wisdom surrounding key executive movements is an easy way to carve out new opportunities for collaboration.
3. Mergers & Acquisitions
Mergers and acquisitions can resonate at every level of an organization. These announcements can herald vast changes in organizational structure, employment, and even in competition. A merger of suppliers can have a profound impact—not only throughout the rest of a supply chain, but with purchasers; those on the receiving end. M&A can pave the way to opportunities for strategic consulting, treasury management, legal counsel, and purchase accounting services. Regardless of the nature of services provided, PSOs can find opportunities enable synergy throughout a merger or acquisition. For professional service firms to fully leverage the potential of the M&A process, it’s critical to be on top of a proposed merger or acquisition as soon as whispers start to spread.
Litigation creates the need for information and understanding between and within the two organizations involved. Winning litigation can be a data-intensive process. Your attorneys (or your client’s legal counsel) will more than likely need all the information, expertise, and preparation they can get to ensure the best possible outcome. It’s also not uncommon for accountants to provide litigation support, pulling and preparing the necessary intel. Beyond that, other technical advisors may be needed to weigh in on strategies and scenarios.
The Role of Competitive Intelligence
The importance of competitive intelligence in prompting action around these triggers cannot be understated. All four triggers involve some degree of current awareness. The sooner PSOs are able to cut through the noise to the news that yields actionable intel, the sooner they’re able to identify opportunities to drive sales. While many PSOs still use publicly-available content aggregators and search tools, it’s rare for any single resource to turn information into insights. The rise of enterprise software specifically designed to streamline the collection, organization, and synthesis of competitive intelligence has made responding to these triggers substantially easier. The best competitive intel software is designed to empower users in learning more from reading less, making it easy to get insights into the right hands—and, perhaps most importantly—in time to act.
To read more perspectives from the Manzama team, visit our blog.
How Smart Firms are Using Content to Engage Clients and Prospects
Leveraging current awareness and competitive intel is one of the most effective ways PSOs compete in the modern information environment. This 30-minute webinar from Manzama Co-Founder Mark Hinkle and Concep Client Services Director Freddie Hustler coaches professional services organizations on modern methods to:
- Earn new clients
- Increase value to existing clients
- Turn business developers into advisers