Business Development Building Blocks
Mom had it right: Brush your teeth. Wash your face. Comb your hair. Get to the gym. Make it routine and you won’t suffer the weight of getting things done—you’ll just do them. It’s that same approach that builds great rainmakers. They do the routine tasks as simply as breathing—leaving enough time and energy to help their clients and accept the accolades. Give it a try. Add these six basics to your business development regime.
It’s All About the Basics
- Make it easy for people to do business with you. Add your contact information to your email signature and make sure it is included by default in messages you initiate and messages that you send in reply—from all of your devices. It’s simple to do and it makes life much easier for people who need to find your contact information quickly.
- Do the reps and see results. Just like when you work out, you see greater benefits if you do the reps. Just stay in touch on a regular basis with at least 40 to 50 contacts each quarter, then be patient. You will see results! When you make those calls or send those messages, think of ways to add value. Send links to what’s going on at the firm and call with updates instead of always relying on e-alerts. Remember the old tagline “reach out and touch someone?” It works.
- There’s nothing like a handwritten note. Technology is terrific. But it seriously reduces opportunities to connect on a personal level with clients and contacts. So take the time over the holidays, or anytime, to send a note to people who’ve helped you with your career—referral sources, clients, influential resources, vendors and other important contacts. People appreciate the effort and it shows that you care about the relationship. Whatever the occasion, take the time to write.
- Remember you are the product, so keep your bio updated. It’s up to you to put the wow in your bio. You can do that by including representative examples of your work and results and by making sure your the writing is reader-oriented. Make certain you are describing “what I can do for you” instead of “how special I am.” Your bio is your only sales sheet, so update it at least quarterly.
- Stay updated on social networks. Complete and keep your profiles up to date on social networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter so that it’s easy to find you and find out about you.
- Think of three things to say that will make you memorable when you meet people. Also known as your elevator speech, you need a snappy introduction. Don’t just say you help businesses with their acquisitions, for example, if you are an M&A lawyer. That’s fairly forgettable. Try something like, “I am an avid skier and sailor and when I’m not enjoying those activities, I work at XXX law firm and help our clients with XX.” They’ll remember you the next time. Give people opportunities to connect with you by making yourself interesting and memorable.
Silvia Coulter is a Vice President and Co-founder of LawVision Group where she leads the firm’s Client Development Practice. A recognized leader in law firm business development strategy, she assists firms with business development, key client retention and growth strategies, client service strategies and process improvement initiatives. Prior to co-founding Law Vision Group, Silvia was a Managing Director at Hildebrandt. She is an Adjunct Faculty member at George Washington University where she teaches in the Masters in Law Firm Management program.