Tuesday 24 April 2018, Edinburgh

On Tuesday 24 April we hosted a panel discussion which explored how Partners, Marketing and Business Development can work most effectively together to achieve the ultimate goal – winning client work. In order to have a well-rounded discussion and perspectives from all parties, we invited the following people to share their experiences: 

  • Pamela Niven, Partner and Head of Harper Macleod’s Private Client team
  • Suzanne Chaudhry, Marketing Director at Scott-Moncrieff
  • Abid Shami, Head of Business Development, KPMG in Aberdeen

David Wallace, Regional Director for the PM Forum in Scotland, kicked off the discussion with a question about the value Marketing and BD can bring to Partners. The panellists were in agreement that Marketing/BD is no longer seen as an ‘overhead’, instead as professionals who bring knowledge of other service lines and market issues to the table.

Pamela had the following top tips on how to engage a Partner:

  • Don’t send emails with lots of attachments. Schedule a face-to-face meeting or make a telephone call
  • Come to the meeting with a solution – not lots of options and problems
  • Use facts and figures to influence and persuade
  • Provide insight into what other parts of the business are doing Marketing/BD-wise
  • Use positive client feedback
  • Be empathetic to their workload and commitments

Suzanne and Abid added:

  • Be clear and upfront about what is required of the Partner and do your best to make their life as easy as possible
  • Build a relationship with Partners, find common interests and change your style for each Partner if required
  • Identify Partners who could be ambassadors and that will help get other Partners on board
  • Build your own credibility by being visible and demonstrating you believe in what you’re doing

Towards the end of the discussion we asked each of the panellists which Marketing/BD techniques resonate most with clients. A move towards using more hard copy materials was a common theme, as was making sure that you personalise communications where possible. Whether content is online or offline, the most important point to highlight is that content must be driven by what clients actually want and need. Getting client feedback is essential. Partners and BD should regularly take a temperature gauge of the common issues affecting their clients. This should then help drive content and tap into what’s really on our clients’ minds.

As Abid pointed out, even if we all have different working styles, what we have in common are the values and goals of the organisation which we work for. Collaboration is the key to success.

Written by Sarah Rodger                             
Marketing Manager, Enterprise and Scotland Region, KPMG