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Knowledge is Power. More true today than ever, particularly if you are a Consulting business

January 2013

Sir Francis Bacon famously said that “Knowledge is Power” but when it comes to acquiring new clients in the Management Consulting sector that well-worn old adage becomes even more fundamental.

When speaking with a Senior Partner from one of the larger consulting firms last week, he mentioned to me that one of the things he believes their firm struggles with is knowing who their prospective customers are, and beyond that really understanding what the real 'on the ground' situation is within each organisation.

This is a challenge that a large percent of INCo’s clients in the Management Consulting sector have shared, and successful resolution of this issue impacts positively on every aspect of their business development strategy.

Just stop for a moment and think about the accounts your company or practice intends to target this year and ask yourself the following questions;

  1. Do I know who all of the key decision makers and influencers are in each of these accounts?
  2. Do those people know who we are as company and what our key propositions are in their market space?
  3. Do I know what that person’s current pain/priorities and challenges are and am I tailoring my approach accordingly?

If you are not able to say 'yes,' when answering each of those questions then you definitely have some challenges to overcome. A strong client acquisition strategy means compiling this information for each of your key target accounts, establishing initial relationships and starting to build brand and capability awareness. If you don’t fully understand who you are selling to, and what their current challenges are, it is very difficult to engage and enthuse a prospective buyer. It’s such a fundamental truth but many consulting organisations are failing to grasp the significance of the impact this knowledge will make to their revenues.

The great news for consulting firms is that the problem itself is relatively easy to overcome. All it takes to achieve this 360 degree view of their clients is an investment in time to go and talk to their market, and the skill set to conduct the conversation in the right way. The bad news is that most consulting organisations don’t have the capacity or desire to deploy billable resource to this task, and even when they do they often lack the specialist skills to be successful.

Partnering with a specialist firm like INCo is the perfect way to provide your proposition and practice leaders with the market intelligence they need, and will empower them to deliver the new logo business you want. By providing its clients with this key intelligence and tailoring the promotion of their propositions and services to suit, INCo has been able to play a significant role in over 100 project wins in the last twelve months.

In the current economic environment faced by Management Consulting businesses looking to gain a competitive edge, knowledge is very definitely still power.