Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Business Development Mistake #9 - Focusing on the Wrong Clients

So which Clients should you focus on developing business with? When in doubt, start with the ones who are writing you checks. 

Typically more than 80% of business comes from current Clients, so start by strengthening and expanding relationships with them. Presumably they already value your services and they often have additional work or can be excellent referral sources. Plus, you should already have a keen understanding of their businesses. 

Next you may want to consider Clients in related businesses or industries who face challenges similar to those of your current Clients. Then look for opportunities to cross service some of your firm’s other Clients. Make connections with other attorneys, professionals or referral sources whose practices are complementary to yours and whose Clients could also benefit from your services. You should also focus on potential Clients with whom you already have established relationships or connections but whom you are not currently working with.

Only after you have exhausted these options, should you consider expanding to new prospects with whom you don't have existing relationships. It's not that these aren't great potential Clients, it's just that developing business with prospective clients can cost up to five times more than working with existing clients - and your likelihood of success will often be lower. Make the most of your valuable - and limited - business development time.

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