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With ice on the ground there are probably a lot of us wistfully reminiscing about the giddy, hot days of summer.  So, we’re looking back to August and our series of four articles about Client Care and Key Account Management.

We’ve all heard of key account management and client care… it’s a bit like cross selling… one of those holy grails of legal marketing and business development that firms agonise over and try to perfect (often at huge expense). But what’s it all about?

In week one, we set the scene and asked ‘What is Key Account Management’?

So… the gauntlet was well and truly thrown down… we were all in agreement that now is the time to start sharing the love around with the existing clients.  What… all of them?  We hear you cry?  Of course not nobody has that much love to share around.  We want you to choose – methodically, dispassionately and with set metrics – those clients that have the most potential to influence and contribute to our firm’s strategic plan.  That doesn’t just mean the clients that you can get more money out of but also the clients that you need to keep to underpin your market offering as well as those that contribute in other ways.  But how?  Week two set out some practical tips for identifying and selecting key clients.

By this stage in our article series, everyone had started work on assessing their existing clients.  It will have been a dispassionate, scientific process, based on clear measures and criteria that we all set out.  So, now what?  By setting out a clear process for selecting your key clients it allows you to learn a great deal about them (and the opportunities) in the process.  You will know more about these clients by the end of the selection process than you probably realised possible.  But now it’s time to turn the focus, a little, onto you and, in particular, your relationship with your clients.  The third week tackled how to actually develop relationships with key clients.

But the biggest barrier to success lies not in the theories but in the practices.  Whilst most firms agree that KAM is a fundamentally important part of their business development armoury, internal politics and resistance stop even the most prepared from getting a positive return from it.  Indeed, in many cases it never even gets off the ground.  So, in our final article we talked a little about how to make it work in your firm.

 

About the author: Helen Hammond is Managing Director at Elephant Creative.  After ten years of working in law firms and chambers in the UK she set up Elephant Creative to take a different approach to professional services marketing.  Working with firms in the UK and US, Helen specialises in delivering common-sense, practical advice, focused on clear business development objectives.  She has worked on KAM and CRM projects at a number of firms, and is particularly known for her commitment to workable solutions, rather than consultancy hot air.  If you’d like to talk to Helen about this or other areas of marketing your firm, you can contact her on Helen@elephantcreative.co.uk.

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