Relationship Marketing and Business Development in the Professional Services Sector

Notes on the Business Development Institute’s program

Building New Business With Breakthrough Relationships: Relationship Marketing and Business Development in the Professional Services Sector

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Scott Allen and I spoke at yesterday’s BDI Institute program. Unfortunately, I could not attend almost any of the panels. However, my colleague Veljko Urosevic did take some notes.

Troy Waugh, CPA, MBA

CEO Rainmaker Academy.

  • People spend 80% percent of time training their hard (technical) skills while only 20% working on their soft skills.
  • Discusses the reason why clients leave:

7% leaves because price is too high. ( initially more then 7% says that the price is the reason, but research shows that only 7% really leaves because of the price)

15% leaves because of the technical quality of the service.

68% leaves because of Individual Treatment.

10% other reasons.

  • Talks about two different types of selling: selling products and selling services.



















  • Also talked about levels of relationship

Organizational at higher levels of relationship price resistance decreases

Partnership less competition



Quality Commodity At lover levels competition is fierce


  • Waugh also emphasizes the importance of listening.
  • Compares selling with a waiter profession First part is taking the order, Second part is delivering

Third part is making sure customer is satisfied Fourth part is offering desert Fifth part is collecting the check.

( I am not sure was it Waugh or John Klymshyn that said that customer satisfaction is highest priority, and just upon delivering service and maybe it would be better to charge clients quickly because their satisfaction decreases fast once you helped them on an issue)

Marketing Roundtable:

(I do not have much on this).

Participants: Maxine Friedman; Managing Director, Corporate Global Services, CB Richard Ellis.

Craig Levinson; Director of Marketing and Business Development at Brown Raysman Millstein & Felder

Sally Glick, COM at J. H. Cohn. LLP

Kathleen Reichert, VP Global Marketing Communications, A. T. Kearney


· believes that because of the tough economic situation relationship importance when doing business decreased. (not sure what she meant with this. To me it seems that in the tough market conditions when you are doing less business and under a tougher conditions you would be more careful to chose with whom you will do business: meaning that relationship importance increased)

· She also believes that formal training is not too effective.

· Senior partners at her company have to get involved in all aspects of the business and on mentoring younger staff.

They talked about the problem of losing business when big players (Rainmakers) leave the company.

Rainmakers are not open on involving other partners with their main clients, because they want to keep the big business for themselves, even though it would be beneficial to the company if other partners had access to the big clients.

John Klymshyn

Move the Sale Forward,

The main idea is that business communication, networking, and connecting with people is a learning skill. It is all about making the connection with people and clients. Not many people feel comfortable connecting and communicating with strangers but the most important part is that it is a learning skill.

· Also puts great importance on listening to others.

-his presentation was the best part of the whole conference. It is easy and interesting to listen to him. Easily gets the attention from the audience.

Rotational Table Discussion

I sat on two tables. First one was Larry Bodine. The topic was using as much as you can from events and conferences. His idea was that in order to get the maximum out of an event professionals need to get more involved: just being there is not the point. You need to take active role in groups and try to get a seat on the board of those groups. It will drastically increase your network; it will give you a chance for public speaking; you will have more information about potential job openings.

Although everyone agreed with Bodine’s point, the major problem for most people, especially for those from smaller cities, is finding the time or not having a group that is near the place where they live.

A possible solution to this, given by Bodine, was starting your own group.

Second table was Stowe Boyd,

· Talked about bloging and the increased importance of blogs.

· Blogs as a tool that is replacing standard media as a source of information. When asked by one person about the quality of information on blogs, truthfulness, and possible misuse for commercial purposes, he replied that he believes that authors of blogs are identifiable and that in the case of false information a certain blog would not be able to get any relevant exposure. ( I am not sure if I explained this as I wanted and if it makes sense)


Cem Sertoglu CEO. Select Minds

Debby Foster, Director of Alumni Relations and Sport Sponsorship at BearingPoint

BearingPoint started with a creation of an Alumni Network. They conducted both internal and external research to determine a potential value of an Alumni Program. Research focused on BearingPoint’s needs, on the experience of other firms, and on vendors to support their program (third party researchers).

All three sides in the analysis came to the conclusion that it is relevant to develop an alumni program.

· Alumni are seen as best source for business

· Lot of contacts and information opportunities to generate new business

· Alumni are great advocates for their former companies.

· Rehiring saves a lot of money. It is much cheaper to hire former employees then to train new ones; they also tend to stay longer on their job positions. Chance of a miss hire much smaller.

· It is important to offer something back to the alumni.

The BearingPoint experience with Alumni Program was great. The program repaid its investment and is able to sustain itself without outside financing.