stop worrying about priceJA Consulting recently carried out research to establish the success factors when selling professional services and how things have changed since the pre-global downturn years.

And the results may surprise you.

We discovered that whilst it’s easy to say “stop worrying about price”, it’s not so easy to do.

Our research shows you what firms should be doing instead.

We identified and grouped 17 Success Factors from researching pre-downturn sales literature and recent publications into three groups:

trio as individuals



We surveyed Partners and senior fee earners from different professional services firms and asked them to rate the success factors on a scale of 1-8 of importance. The top five are all in the RELATE & PERSUADE group. The key factors all relate to how you build truly effective relationships to win work.

1.Builds relationships based on trust over time

2.Listens effectively

3.Asks questions effectively

4.Builds rapport

5.Adapts to different personalities

The next three highest factors were in the BUILD VALUE group:

6.Delivers added value and insights

7.Profitably manages the client account

8.Recognised as the go-to-person/expert







APPLIES (SALES) TECHNIQUES had some of the lower rated factors, such as, perhaps surprisingly, Follows a Sales Process (SF 16).




selling trio





So what does this all mean for the partners and fee earners of Professional Services Firms?

The research is clear – and supported by many other studies – developing and harvesting relationships is really important when selling. What this latest study does is raise a number of questions about relating and persuading skills in the upturn. If good relationships convert to paid work, why is it much more difficult to build and maintain them than it appears and why don’t people do it well?

We believe it is a lot to do with confidence and leadership and we have some strong views on how that can be addressed – slightly too complex to go into here – but we challenge your firm to ask us what you could be doing differently to build greater success.

Download your copy of the research highlights.  Success Factors that win you work