As I sit in Cozumel waiting to take the ferry back to Cancun I am reflecting on a tough triathlon, mixing it up with the best in the world over the sprint distance at The Age Group World Championships.
The article below with Alastair Morrison of Pinsent Masons summarizes my race experience well with the similarity to B2B Professional services firms. Focus on your strategy, areas of expertise and showcase in the right places at the right time.
A bit of context - I have been racing for the last three years around the world from Australia to Canada to Spain and now Mexico for The Great Britain Duathlon team (run > bike > run) across sprint to long distance races. My specialism in these events has been the run, with the ability to run off a bike leg well (apparently). Having missed the European/world duathlon championships this year due to injury I qualified for the triathlon team at the last chance (to my surprise) in a cold North Wales Triathlon.
With the time available I knew the race would be difficult due to my swimming ‘ability’ and this was reflected! Albeit 39 degree temperatures appearing to take out competitors like flies (I am sure you have seen this video of Jonny Brownlee) I finished with my specialist discipline - running off the bike. It was too little too late but finished mid placed in the field and can now hang my goggles up with a fantastic experience.
Back to business. Alastair points out that the knowledge of Pinsent Masons experts is the core strength that drives the relationships and continues to provide growth in an ever congested landscape. Pinsent Mason also focus on gaining an advantage over their competition by distributing this knowledge online to the right clients.
Both cases are good examples for business development and marketing teams across the B2B sector. You need to consider whether your experts are swimmers and if they aren’t then it is probably best to keep them to running/cycling. Most importantly, showcase this expertise in the right events (or clients).
For me it is time to look forward to the British Cross Country Season!
Alastair explains that the firm chose to follow this strategy to suit the firm's strengths. "We saw that what distinguished us as a law firm was our deep knowledge of certain sectors and our ability to develop legal solutions for clients in them. A lot of law firms try to cover all sectors, but we came to a conclusion that doing so wasn't the path for us. We wanted a focused business, which meant deciding which sectors we could really make an impact in." The sector approach also suits Pinsent Masons because, Alastair explains, the firm classifies itself as a "relationship-driven" rather than a "transaction-driven" firm. This means the firm has chosen to build up strong relationships with particular clients and work for them on an ongoing basis, rather than advising a very wide range of different clients