What BD and marketing lessons can lawyers and accountants learn from the 2017 General Election?

13 Jun 2017

As we lurch from one political drama to another perhaps it's time to reflect on what we can learn from recent events in respect of how we conduct ourselves and manage our marketing and business interests.

Here are some personal lessons that I have taken away from the General Election and its aftermath:

1. Really listen to your clients


It's all very well taking soundings from advisors but the people that should really matter are the electorate (i.e. your clients).

What does this mean for lawyers and accountants? Independent Client Service Reviews are imperative in 2017 and beyond; they are not just a marketing 'nice to do'.

2. Don't get complacent, don’t believe in your own PR


Theresa May's U-turn into announcing a snap General Election was based on her mistaken belief that her Party would increase their majority in Parliament. It was a significant error of judgment that perhaps reinforces a view held by many that the Tories are complacent (I could use stronger language but impartiality prevents me). The success of Jeremy Corbyn's campaign - especially amongst the young – is there to see but was dismissed and mocked by sections of the media throughout the run up.

In the professional services you need to be careful not to ignore new market entrants or new business models. These are a threat to many even however immature or embryonic they are at present.

3. Beware of the domino effect


In all the furore surrounding Theresa May let's not forget that it was David Cameron who set the wheels in motion by announcing a Brexit referendum to appease his backbenchers. Cameron underestimated Farage and either ignored or didn't realise just how disenfranchised people felt away from the metropolitan bubble in London.


We are where we are now because of the referendum and the chain of events it’s led us into.

What is the potential domino effect in your business doing (or more likely not doing) something will cause in your business? In my experience there is a parallel here with professional service firms making decisions by committee instead of empowering individuals to make decisions and personal accountability.

4. The devil is in the detail


Did you see that in all the doom and gloom the Conservative party did achieve one thing? They finally overcame 94 years in the darkness to win Mansfield, a supposedly safe Labour seat.

In this case the devil in the detail was that the successful candidate, Ben Bradley, astutely tapped into the local dissatisfaction with an MP local people felt had done little for the town (a feeling reflected by the fact UKIP finished a narrow second to Labour in the previous General Election).

How is your firm analysing the market in its BD approach? Too often I see firms just doing what they've always done, assuming networking is the right/only approach for everyone.


No it's not. Match tactics to individuals (and this applies equally to fee earners and location when it comes to marketing and business development).

5. Emotion first logic second


Reasoned economics alone are not enough. Even the Diane Abbott gaffes and independent challenges to Labour's economic policy did not stop the Conservative majority being pegged back. Emotion, energy, passion and authenticity are a powerful cocktail and can overcome other shortcomings.

How do your clients, professional contacts and targets see you and your firm? Vanilla or vibrant? Beige or bright?

Professional service firms don't act in a vacuum. If you want to discuss how your firm can protect and grow its interests please email me at Bernard@tenandahalf.co.uk and let's have a coffee.

Posted by Douglas  |   0 Comments

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