The Code of the Rainmaker: how to win deals, harness networks and build relationships
The Business School (formerly Cass) welcomed Simon Brocklebank-Fowler, Founder and President of Firehouse Communications to deliver the final Food for Thought Summer Series webinar of the academic year.
Mr Brocklebank-Fowler, a former diplomat and investment banker, and long-term Honorary Visiting Fellow at the Business School, outlined the key ingredients towards effective communication for winning business contracts and standing out from the crowd in the professional services sector – both personally and on an organisational level.
Having introduced the challenges and value of differentiation, Mr Brocklebank-Fowler outlined the six ‘R’s that contribute towards becoming a renowned and trusted partner for any organisation looking to take on a new client: Research; Relevance; Reliability; Resilience; Resourcefulness; and Relationship.
Mr Brocklebank-Fowler highlighted the advantages of knowing the target business inside out and having a plan for executing their needs.
“PR consultancy is an incredibly competitive field, so presenting yourself as trustworthy and able to find professional solutions in a bespoke and tailored way has never been more important,” Mr Brocklebank-Fowler said.
“Becoming a trusted adviser requires knowing the business pretty much as well as the Head of Communications – including strengths, weaknesses, problems and solutions – and differentiating yourself as a person as well as just a product.
“You may not have all the answers yourself, but if you know where the answer can be found that is just as valuable to a client trying to solve a problem. Never stop building your network because you may indirectly rely on the skills and expertise of others at some stage even if it seems unlikely.
“I enjoyed speaking on an important topic, and hopefully giving guests – particularly students – a valuable insight into how to sell professional services effectively.”
The event was hosted by Professor Scott Moeller, Director of the Mergers and Acquisitions Research Centre (MARC) at the Business School. Professor Moeller said the webinar highlighted just how important detailed research was prior to meeting potential clients and employers.
“Having the confidence to pitch for new business or sell yourself at an interview requires all of the ‘R’s that Simon discussed,” Professor Moeller said.
“The power of industry knowledge and the people you know, even if through others, should not be underestimated. The more people you can go out and meet, the more experience and expertise you acquire, the more desirable and valuable you become to prospective business partners, clients and employers.
“We thank Simon for delivering the final webinar of the academic year, and we look forward to welcoming everybody back for a new series in September.”
You can watch a full recording of the webinar of the Business School Youtube channel.
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Professor in the Practice of Finance, Director M&A Research Centre