Clients want professional advisers and consultants who both 'create and serve' the relationship for the longer term - in effect non-equity partners in their business.
As a result, professional services and technology firms have a greater expectation that partners and directors should do more effective work around business development and retaining clients as well as connecting and working more effectively with their colleagues and staff to grow business performance - and they are struggling.
This is a significant challenge for professional services firms of all sizes today - the S.I or E.I. Gap - or the gap in the application of social/emotional intelligence to be able to find, create and grow profitable client relationships.
Instead of looking at 'professional' sales people, professional services and technology firms are looking to 'up the game' of their partners, managers and technical directors to build business growth.
They need their professionals to be able to build WOMM (Word of Mouth Marketing) in the market place (and network within larger organisations), to be able to network proactively and professionally to grow business and then use tools like social media to create collegiate and client communities and business opportunities.
However these are not skills that often come naturally to otherwise technically excellent and experienced advisers and so an S.I/ E.I (Social/Emotional Intelligence) skills gap has opened up in senior roles that increasingly needs to be addressed.
Professional advisers, consultants, business owners and key account managers of all sorts need to be able to become more fluent in their engagement with both 'internal' and 'external' clients by learning how to apply the dynamics of emotional intelligence to their roles
This is the future...and it is one on which businesses will stand or fall in the coming years...and the future is now.