Designing a Key Relationship Program: Building Strong Client Relationships

This book will provide you with the tools and techniques you need to analyse and build profitable relationships.

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Do you really put your clients' needs first? 
This is an important question to ask and one which many professional services firms fail to address. In such a competitive landscape, the importance of being client centric cannot be overestimated.

How can you create a client relationship programme that delivers results?
Having designed and implemented key relationship programmes in accounting, law and consulting firms, author Robert Pay is an expert in the field.
With detailed appendences providing action plans, self-diagnostics and questionnaires, you will have all you need to implement a winning client management plan in your firm.

This step-by-step guide will help you to:

  • Manage a portfolio of major client relationships on a firm-wide or practice area basis;
  • Mobilise client teams;
  • Gain buy-in and address the largely cultural issues that reduce chances of success;
  • Analyse relationships for growth potential, and select the most suitable relationships to include in your programme; and
  • Build profitable and sustainable relationships


Some reviews of Designing a Key Relationship Program: Building Strong Client Relationships

"Having led a practice and firm and been a client, I welcome this guide to better align lawyers with their major clients."  

Keith Clark, former Senior Partner, Clifford Chance and former International General Counsel Morgan Stanley, Europe

"An effective key client program is indispensable for professional service firms of all sizes. This book is a comprehensive guide to designing or improving such a program."

Laurie Robertson, Global Director of BD, Marketing & Communications, Baker & McKenzie Global Services




Chapter 1: Does your firm need a key relationship program?

Chapter 2: Designing your program – Getting started and process overview

Chapter 3: Designing your program – Scope

Chapter 4: Designing your program: People – Roles, responsibilities, and skills

Chapter 5: Designing your program – Processes, policies, and documentation

Chapter 6: Designing your program – Relationship metrics

Chapter 7: Relationship management in action – Setting objectives

Chapter 8: Relationship building in action – On assignment

Chapter 9: Relationship building in action – Off assignment

Key contents


Robert Pay
ROBERT PAY started his career in London where he first worked in advertising as an account manager for a number of multinational clients. He then moved to Deloitte Haskins & Sells as marketing manager for the banking and securities practice both for the UK and the international firm; it was here that he first got involved in key relationship management for US, UK, and Japanese banks. He was then recruited by Clifford Chance to establish its first marketing function and set up a key relationship program, the first in a major law firm. Robert then served at the London Stock Exchange as head of marketing where he partnered with investment banks to develop a successful campaign to compete with NYSE and Nasdaq for international IPO business; he also launched and served on the board of Aim, working with regional and national legal and accounting firms to promote this successful growth companies market. He then became managing director of Jaffe Europe, working with a wide range of law, accounting, and consulting firms, largely on client relationship and satisfaction programs. Moving in-house, he then led the marketing functions of BSI Management Systems, a global certification body, and international law firm Taylor Wessing LLP. Based in New York since 2008, he currently works for Alvarez & Marsal LLC, a global professional services firm best known for restructuring and performance improvement. He is also an associate of InfiniteSpada and Z/Yen Group. Robert is a graduate of Oxford University where he majored in history. He has an MBA (distinction) from Cass Business School, City University, London; he holds a UK Market Research Society Diploma (distinction); and is a certified business coach. He is fluent in French, German, and Spanish. He has designed and implemented key relationship programs for accountants, lawyers, and consultants, and in financial institutions. He is contactable at

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