Does your firm’s right hand know what the left hand is doing?

If not, your clients may be left with a bitter taste.

I just got a cold call from a company with a “special offer” on their TV packages. But what drove me really nuts was the caller didn’t know I was a customer already. My patience was quickly gone, as was the caller.

Professionals often find themselves coming into contact with each other’s clients and key intermediaries. So how can you help avoid committing an embarrassing and potential damaging business development faux-pas? For starters, use your CRM system. If used effectively, the CRM system will give you an excellent overview of your firm’s relationship with the target company including who within your firm has a relationship with each contact in the company, the type of work type the firm has carried out for them and the marketing activity that has been sent their way.

If your firm doesn’t have a quality CRM system (or one with information you can trust), why not circulate a note internally informing your colleagues about the people you are meeting and ask them to let you know if they have any existing relationships or insights on the person or their company. Better yet, why not make upcoming marketing meetings a regular part of your internal communications. Many firms circulate a weekly marketing calendar so that everyone internally can be informed and help each other.

Finally, your accounting package can always provide useful information about the firm’s clients. Simple steps such as circulating a list of the firm’s top 100 clients can help ensure everyone has a solid grasp of your most important commercial relationships.

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