How to embrace telemarketing as part of your business development strategy

Top 150 law firm, IBB solicitors, are an ambitious and well organised firm working with a wide range of clients across the UK including Renault UK, Hertz, Bellway, Patek Philippe, AIB and Aviva.

The firm’s strategy is to nurture and build its client base, in specific sectors, with companies located to the west of London. The IBB marketing and business development team advises partners across the marketing mix, but in 2009 the use of telemarketing was new to the firm.

The idea of using fee earner time for calling prospects was discussed at first, but after consideration of the amount of time, disruption and upskilling required to effectively prospect over the long term, it was decided that a specialist external consultant would provide a better return on investment.

The BD Consultancy was appointed to generate meetings with key decision makers – the designated buyer of legal services – within identified ‘prospect’ companies, working on a series of campaigns across the firm.

The BD Consultancy made calls, acting as a representative of IBB, using their background knowledge and indepth briefings provided by the teams to ensure they could hold ‘intelligent conversations’.

Once a meeting date was agreed relevant information from calls was provided to the partner who would attend the meeting. This provided the background they needed to set the agenda and deal with the queries likely to be raised by the prospect.

To aid the success of the meeting, business development team members accompanied the partner to the meeting. This enabled a wider discussion and elicited much useful information about the use of external legal providers, which helped with the ‘loop of learning’ for the campaign.

“Cold calling can be the start of a long process. The only value in securing a meeting and identifying an opportunity is if it is followed up relentlessly. Telephone prospecting is part of the full marketing and business development mix. When managed and carried out deliberately, each element has its particular strengths.

The initial, professional contact The BD Consultancy provided to us uncovered opportunities that could not have been identified by other means. In some cases it has taken years of that relentless follow up to see the Return on Investment but just occasionally, the effect is immediate and startling. From the head of legal who has just fallen out with his incumbent supplier, to the GC who has never been phoned by any of his (large and prestigious) local firms.

When new clients are established and generating profit for the firm, it is satisfying to be able to identify and measure how, when and why the relationship started. The BD Consultancy have acted like a part of our team for the last five years – we know they represent us in the right way and hold ‘intelligent conversations’ on our behalf – people we meet have told us. They understand professional firms well and have brought a very professional rigour to their work, which has helped to reassure the partners involved in the campaign.”

Abby Winkworth, Marketing Partner

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