As part of its service to its professional service clients, Kelso PR provides a series of short, free seminars for fee-earners. Last Friday I attended a session titled “Winning clients in a difficult environment” to see what they were like. It was a relatively small group – about 25 or so people. Most of them were lawyers and accountants although there were one or two marketing/BD professionals present.

It was time efficient too – arrival at 1215 meant you had time to grab a sandwich and glass of orange juice and chat to the other delegates. The session was introduced by Tim Prizeman promptly at 1230 and the formal part of the talk was complete at 130pm, leaving a little time to chat to people afterwards before dashing off to the rest of the day.

When I attended last Friday, the calibre of the speaker and presentation material was very high quality. I doubt that any seasoned marketer would have picked up anything new from the material presented on how to increase your chances of success at tenders by focusing on the relationship, but it appeared that the majority of the fee-earners present found it helpful. No doubt that’s because “A Prophet Hath No Honour in His Own Country”.

One point did strike me though – they suggested that you should be aiming at a 75% conversion rate in tenders. Whilst good screening, procedures, training and a strong value proposition might support this in an established market – if you are trying to break into a new market then this might just be a little over-ambitious. The exploration of attitudinal, practical and structural barriers to selling success was interesting too – driving home the point that it would take significantly more than some sales methodology and good processes for turning out polished bid documents and presentations.

The full range of seminars – which take place both in London and Reading – are shown at Those that caught my eye were:

  • Maximising your rankings in the legal directories (very topical as the latest Legal 500 has just appeared)
  • Handling the hostile media
  • Using online events to propel national and international sales
  • Using thought leadership to successfully retain and win clients