Short, sharp and shockingly effective: 3 ways to gain more from BD Training

“We all want bang for our bucks.” A demand for advice that more than pays for itself echoes around the glass offices and atria of professional firms today. This short article examines how you can deliver exactly that by driving down the real cost and amplifying the benefits of Business Development training for fee-earners.


The real cost of training is not notes, room hire or even the trainer’s time. The real cost, which will usually be 10 times the sum of all the others, is the attendees’ lost chargeable revenue. So if you have 9 partners on an 8 hour course when it could be delivered as effectively in 4 or 6 – you could easily be foregoing £9,000+ of billable work.

Lost revenue = 4 hours x 9 people @ £250/hour = £9000

“Nonsense on stilts” I hear you say, “In this climate not everyone is fully chargeable and surely they can catch-up at the weekends. “

In some cases true, but the other benefit of it being short is that it’s easier to find time in people’s diaries, so the course and the related rise in revenues will both happen sooner, another real saving. Related to that is the fact that people are less likely to drop out at the eleventh hour due to the other “essential” meeting.

Some trainers have recognised this and have re-jigged their courses so that they can each be delivered in 1 to 3 hour chunks. Of course people don’t gain the same depth but it does ensure there is absolutely no fat – a desire which is very much of the moment.


Make sure the course hits the spot – dealing with the most salient issues for your firm and the individual attendees. The course and the notes should be right for you – not something that the trainer delivers day-in day-out. To be credible in the eyes of the attendees and to ensure that the material fits your needs means that the trainer must understand your industry precisely. It is invaluable if they have worked in it themselves. They must get under the skin of your firm and the exact needs that you want to address – and they must invest time tailoring the content to match that.

Shockingly Effective

Put measures in place to track activity and success pre and post-course. Shape the metrics with the trainer if that helps – and make sure they know that ultimately their course will be judged a success if the figures improve. That will help to focus the trainer’s mind on providing practical workshops that will bear short-term and medium-term fruit for you.

Apply this simple 3 rule test – and you will ensure that courses you arrange gain buy-in from any ambitious fee-earners that you would like to attend.

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