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Following on from last month’s post ‘Client Relationship Partners: Leader/Motivator/Diplomat/ Strategist and Sector specialist', Kevin Wheeler looks at the range of roles a Client Relationship Partner must now fulfill.
So, you’ve identified your firm’s key clients and Client Relationship Partners (CRP) are in place for each of them. What next?
Well, one of the first things that the Client Relationship Partner (CRP) and his/her service team will have to do before they can start putting together a client service plan, is identify the client’s key decision-makers and the strength of the relationships that the firm has with each of these.
With many strong relationships, the firm will be guaranteed a healthy flow of instructions across a broad range of legal service needs. With fewer such relationships, the firm is exposed to competition from those law firms with stronger relationships, and may miss out on certain types of work completely. In addition, they may lose out if one of their lawyers takes the client with them to another firm, will probably struggle to get the most rewarding work, and may get dropped completely if the panel is reviewed - especially if Procurement is involved.
To identify the key decision-makers, it is important for the service team to draw up an organisation chart showing the roles of key executives across the client organisation. These charts are often available in annual reports or on companies’ websites; they can also be obtained directly from the client – just ask.
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Kevin Wheeler has been advising professional services firms on all aspects of marketing and business development for more than 30 years. As a consultant he helps firms to manage and grow their key clients as well as to win new ones. As a Meyler Campbell qualified coach he works with partners and those approaching partnership to improve their BD skills.
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