Business development for professional services

A two- to three-day workshop

The market for professional services is becoming increasingly competitive, with some firms and individuals becoming very effective at winning new work, leaving others lagging way behind.

Given the choice between spending time on client work and business development work, we all tend to choose that which we feel to be easier, more attractive and more aligned with our image of ourselves. We stay within our comfort zones, we focus on client work, and we only resort to business development work when we have to, which can also lead to ‘feast or famine’ syndrome.

This programme will help you take a different approach, bringing business development work within your comfort zone and enabling you to:

  • Win more clients
  • Approach business development naturally and confidently and in a way that aligns with who you are as a professional
  • Convert more of your prospects, faster
  • Develop strong, long-lasting customer relationships based on trust and understanding

Learning objectives

The programme will help participants:

  • Understand the professional business development approach and the style that is appropriate for their business and their clients
  • Follow a process to guide their conversations and business development meetings
  • Prepare thoroughly for a business development meeting/contact with a client to ensure they use their time efficiently and maximise results
  • Create a great first impression and professional opening to a conversation
  • Ask open questions and listen effectively in order to spot opportunities, understand needs and progress the opportunity
  • Identify and understand buying and decision-making processes and criteria
  • Skilfully and confidently handle questions and objections
  • Sell the benefits of their services and approach over those of their competitors
  • Progress the sale by agreeing next steps and gaining commitment appropriately

Who should attend?

Professional service providers – lawyers, accountants, surveyors, etc – and anyone who is an expert in their field and required to bring in new clients as well as deliver the work.


Product and content specialists also benefit.


We understand the pressures of fee-earning and this highly interactive and participative two- to three-day programme can be run as two or three one-day workshops or half-day modules to minimise the impact on fee-earning time and to facilitate the application of the learning.

The style is very facilitative and learner-centred, considering the needs and preferences of the group on the day while at the same time delivering the programme as agreed with the client in order to meet the specified learning objectives.

Special features

Participants are asked to bring their own business development scenarios and challenges to work on during the programme, so that they can then take away practical solutions and action plans.

We work with a maximum group size of eight to allow for plenty of role-play practice, feedback and coaching. Typically, professionals understand the theory quickly and, by ensuring that they have a go at applying it in the ‘classroom’, they are more likely to do it for real.

To get the absolute best from the programme we also offer coaching after the training or between modules to support people in implementing their learning.

Most of the programmes we deliver are either tailored or completely bespoke. This workshop can therefore be delivered entirely as advertised, or it can be tailored to your particular requirements, or we can simply take it as a starting point for a conversation with you before we draft a completely bespoke programme for you – the choice is yours.

If required, the trainer can also give a best practice review of any standard company templates and can also give feedback on individual and live proposals.

The programme can also be tailored to the precise requirements of an individual client organisation or team.

1 Introduction

  • Aims and objectives of the programme
  • Personal introductions and objectives
  • Workshop overview

2 An introduction to business development and selling for professionals

  • What is selling?
  • Who are you selling to?
  • The buying experience
  • What clients want
  • The four-step business development process
  • The business development cycle and pipeline management
  • Upselling and cross-selling as well as winning new clients

3 Networking and generating leads

  • What is networking?
  • Networking objectives
  • It’s not what you know but who you know
  • Asking for referrals and introductions
  • Making appointments from networking activity

4 Opening the sales relationship/sales meeting

  • What potential customers are thinking
  • Judging first impressions
  • Creating positive first impressions
  • Building rapport and creating interest and impact
  • Earning the right

5 Core communication skills for professional selling

  • Overcoming barriers to listening
  • The art of listening
  • Questioning refresher
  • Types of questions
  • Questioning funnel

6 Understanding and identifying needs and opportunities

  • Identifying the questions to ask to identify needs and opportunities
  • Questions to move us through the buying and selling process
  • Understanding their buying processes
  • Asking questions that position you as a ‘trusted adviser’
  • The questions that give you a competitive advantage
  • Knowing when you have asked enough questions

7 Introducing solutions

  • Tailoring your ‘pitch’ to the client
  • Speaking the client’s language
  • Using features and benefits
  • Applying the benefit cycle

8 Handling objections and concerns

  • Identifying the typical objections and concerns
  • Understanding why clients raise objections and concerns
  • Following a structure for handling objections
  • Handling the price objection

9 Gaining commitment

  • Knowing when to close
  • The art of checking
  • Recognising buying signals
  • Small c and big C

10 Putting it all together

  • Personal learning summary and action plans

Any questions? Please just give us a call on 01582 463463 – we’re here to help!