Internal relationships are important for producing results in any marketing or business development initiative. At a recent “Towards Key Account Management – Helping fee-earners with client relationship management” workshop we conducted a brain writing exercise to gather as many strategies and ideas to help marketing professionals forge stronger relationships with lawyers, accountants and surveyors.

Thank you to those who participated – here is the combined list:

Demonstrate commitment

  • Invest time in developing your product knowledge – attend their internal training sessions
  • Use internal and external systems to build your knowledge about their markets and clients
  • Always do your homework
  • Build relationships with their team members

See their perspective

  • Consider their priorities and listen before offering your views and requirements
  • Answer the “what’s in it for me?” question when requesting assistance
  • Listen and learn what they need – and deliver it
  • Appreciate and respect their expertise and experience
  • Don’t ask for information that you can obtain yourself or from a less senior person

Adapt to their style

  • Recognise their style and preference and adapt your approach
  • Understand that they might prefer an alternative approach to yours
  • If they are focused on the detail, ensure that it is right

Increase interaction

  • Use the phone rather than email
  • Attend partner lunches and talk about issues that are important to them
  • See them face-to-face when they are less likely to be under client pressure
  • Don’t sit behind your screen, go and talk to them
  • Chat when you meet them in the kitchen and corridor or walking about

Get to know them

  • Understand their goals and targets
  • Learn what interests and motivates them
  • Explore whether you have any common interests
  • Ask for their views and opinions

Be concise

  • If you have to send an email – keep it short. Use the subject box wisely
  • Don’t waste their time – Prepare thoroughly and keep calls and meetings short
  • Have ideas on solutions when you need to raise a problem

Earn their trust

  • Under promise and over deliver
  • Only agree to realistic timescales
  • Manage their expectations
  • Be consistent
  • Keep them in the loop on important (to them) issues
  • Show measureable results
  • Develop relationships with “power” partners and champions


  • Attend department and sector team drinks and parties and chat informally
  • Help them organise social events and attend
  • Go to the pub with them
  • Be yourself and let your personality shine through
  • Find things to laugh about

Add value

  • Undertake research into their markets, clients and competitors and provide them with some insights that they can use
  • Give them knowledge and ideas that will help their clients
  • Make every encounter count – add value every time
  • Offer to do things that save them time
  • Build peer level relationships with their clients and referrers – share your market intelligence
  • Provide them with tools and frameworks that have worked for others
  • Go the extra mile on occasion

Be bold

  • Offer ideas and share opinions
  • Be enthusiastic – build on their ideas as well as offering your own
  • Find solutions not problems
  • Take the initiative
  • Be creative
  • Ask for their feedback on what you have done/could do better
  • Stand up for yourself when necessary
  • Be prepared to “push back” when they are unreasonable
  • Think ahead and be proactive

Be generous

  • Recognise and acknowledge their help and good ideas
  • Praise them for a job well done
  • Share the credit when collaborating
  • Thank them for participating or contributing

Be visible and positive

  • Spend time working in their environment
  • Make sure you say “Hello” when you see them
  • Smile and spread some positive vibes
  • Don’t let them hear you moan or see your stress
  • Be confident

Details of this and other training courses are available on the Professional Marketing Forum web site