Leading Professional Services Firms Programme




Background to the Programme

The behaviours exhibited by leaders of professional services firms define the entire organisation – they exemplify the firm’s brand, embody its culture and epitomise its values.

Within the firm, the link between leadership behaviours and the firm’s performance cannot be overstated. When modelled effectively, behaviours cascade down the firm’s hierarchy to its people and impact everything, from the calibre of people hired, to the professionalism with which services are delivered, down to the quality of presentations.

But it is when representing the firm as ‘ambassadors’ – particularly when undertaking business development activities with existing or prospective clients – that the behaviours exhibited by the firm’s leaders have the greatest impact on the overall performance of the firm.

Why? Because whether prospective clients choose to work – or not – with a professional services firm, comes down to the perceived value that will be created by the firm and whether this aligns with the value they are seeking.

Crucially, ‘value’ is not a function of the firm’s technical knowledge or service methodologies but is instead created in the mind of the client based on the behaviours they encounter during every interaction with the firm’s people. What’s more, ‘value’ is a highly subjective and personal construct, different for each client.

As a result, the behaviours leaders exhibit to best represent their firm’s brand in business development situations should be based on a deep understanding of the mind of the professional services buyer.

Once individuals have a deeper understanding of the psychology behind the client’s buying decision, they can refine the behaviours that will best represent their firm and differentiate themselves from the competition.

In the top performing professional services firms, these behaviours will typically include: offering points of view around the client’s business objectives, demonstrating credibility and status, building trust in every interaction and using stories to exemplify and distinguish their firm’s brand.


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