To achieve stronger client relationships leading to increased fee levels with existing clients within chosen markets. Win more new name clients in chosen markets. Higher value of instruction and contribute to strengthening ASB Law’s sense of identity both internally and externally.
A short ‘scoping’ exercise followed by a tailored programme to increase business development awareness, gain buy-in to new methodologies and improve client-facing capability. The joint construction of a suite of value propositions for later use with ‘live’ accounts during practical ‘hands-on’ focus meetings.
ASB Law had traditionally received small instructions from a prominent FTSE insurance sector client, with major pieces of work going to one of the large London firms. Fresh from their Quantum development programme the ASB team targeted and met with previously ‘unknown’ contacts and, by building an altogether deeper understanding of the client’s business issues and concerns, secured a major piece of new business and subsequently became the exclusive Employment advisor across the entire group.
ASB Law was created by a unique three-way merger when it instantly became one of the top 3 law firms in the South East. The firm has unrivalled coverage throughout Kent, Surrey and Sussex and provides a range of specialist legal services to businesses, private clients and the public sector.
The client base includes big names in the aviation and travel sectors, as well as universities & colleges, local authorities, blue chip companies, accountants and government. The firm acts for a wide range of listed and privately owned companies with turnover figures ranging from £500,000 to £100m and has an extensive client base of private individuals and trusts.
The firm is organised into 5 market-facing businesses each containing specialist teams focussed on providing the very best advice in a timely, professional and easy to understand fashion.
The story starts at a business networking function where an initial conversation between Quantum Director Jeff Downs and a Partner with ASB Law indicated some synergy. Jeff Downs recalls: “It was refreshing to find a law firm talking our language and, given that many in professional services are uncomfortable with words such as ‘sales’ and ‘selling’, this was a good start…” Working initially with two ‘pilot’ work-groups things progressed swiftly and Quantum has since become a valued business partner adding clearly identifiable value via increased fee levels and new instructions.
Chief Executive Christopher Honeyman Brown picks up the story: “From the very first contact with Quantum I was impressed with their thorough appreciation of business-to-business sales & marketing. I believed they would quickly bring valuable leverage to bear in our drive to strengthen client service and improve ASB Law’s marketing reach. I could see that Quantum would help us to effect the sea change in our approach and attitude which I believed was fundamental to moving our business to the next stage.”
During the initial short ‘scoping’ exercise Quantum recommended a tailored programme of development for fee-earners in the two nominated pilot work-groups: Commercial Litigation and Employment. Despite early reservations that people who had traditionally relied on their professional expertise to win business might not gladly embrace the new language and working methods and change their behaviour accordingly, the initiative commenced. Christopher continues: “The first group session was designed to introduce new value-added selling processes and strengthen client-facing skills so that the new processes would be effective. It was a real pleasure to see the excitement with which people enthusiastically embraced the new approach. Stage 2 was the construction of a suite of ‘sales friendly’ ASB Law ‘value propositions’ for each work-group to use in live client situations. We thought people might not commit to these group development sessions, however the opposite was the case – people almost came to blows over who should be involved and a number of people contributed remotely!!”
The next stage in the sales improvement process was to work on live client accounts using Quantum’s account development planning template – SISTEM™ to help to:
- Identify and prioritise ‘best fit’ clients and prospective clients
- Assess current depth and quality of the business relationship
- Plan objectives and tactics to achieve the desired improvements
- Evaluate sales position with client en route
- Manage, monitor and improve the sales position on an ongoing basis.
Activity to ensure that the new working methods continued to be implemented and improved upon followed this. It included:
- Practice workshops around ASB Law’s own value propositions
- Regular review sessions
- Where protocol allows, joint client visits.
Christopher Honeyman Brown concludes: “We have immediately experienced a sea change in attitude and vastly improved approach to new business generation. I am really excited about the prospects of growing our market once our “fledglings” have practiced a bit more and are ready to “fly solo”. I attach the utmost importance to developing the awareness and skills of the ASB Law team so we continue to increase our market share through effective selling of first class services to appropriate clients. Without Quantum’s help we would still be creeping forward rather than moving at a reasonably brisk pace. We look forward to working with the Quantum team in the months and years to come”.