It’s the rare few who win the lottery by becoming heir to a giant book of business.
If that’s you, feel free to skip this article and go admire your investment portfolio.
For the rest of us, however, we must hustle. We can’t waste time on techniques that don’t work. We must be savvy and efficient.
Which is why, in this article, I’m sharing five secrets to business development success that are hiding in plain sight. And while they may seem obvious, most lawyers don’t invest the time or thought needed to turn these truths into their reality
So, if you’re ready to make the leap into becoming a mega-rainmaker, here is your roadmap:
Become famous. Your fans are out there. There are so many potential clients who need your services and who want to work with someone just like you, but they don’t know you even walk this earth. Most lawyers are trees that fall silently in forests, so it’s your job to make some noise. It’s your responsibility to let your fans know the solution that is you. You can do that by standing out for some niched area of practice and getting visible in front of the right people. Find entities like publications, industry groups, social media channels and conferences to serve as amplifiers to get your name and messages out to audiences who need to know you. Your admirers are out there – make it easier for them to find you.
Collect high value friends. This is a big planet, with lots of people. However, only a tiny subset needs to know about you, just those who have the potential to bring high economic value to your life. These “friends” can be lawyers in your firm who have the potential to send you work or do work for your clients. They can be referral sources who are connected to the type of clients you covet. They can be media sources who have collected your target clients and who have channels to reach out to them. They can be potential clients who have matters in your wheelhouse and the funds to pay you well. And of course, they are your existing clients who are pipelines for future matters. Figure out who they are and invest time in nurturing these high value relationships.
Deliver value, more value, and even more value. Let’s clear something up right away. Attracting new clients is NOT about selling. It’s about building solid, real relationships. It’s about making connections by offering value, by providing “gifts” of your time, knowledge, and contacts. It could be delivering thought leadership pieces or suggesting new ideas. It could be providing free training. It could be connecting people in your network for their mutual benefit. It could be offering office hours or reviewing documents, policies, and procedures. Whatever your gifts are, share them freely and often with high value people.
Don’t let ‘em forget you. Show up, show up again, and again and again. Don’t allow yourself to slip off their radar. Develop systems to regularly stay top-of-mind with your high value audiences by speaking, writing, posting videos and attending the right events. In one-on-one situations, periodically stay in touch by interviewing people for articles, engaging in social activities, providing in-house training or inviting them to co-present with you. Stay visible, stay relevant, and be where the action is. Like they say in the play Hamilton, “I wanna be in the room where it happens”.
Engage your watcher. We know how busy you are. We also know you really want that bigger book of business. So, get some help. Find someone to remind, cajole, motivate, and coach you. Someone to hold you accountable for climbing your personal stairway to heaven. Someone to serve as your “watcher”. That watcher can be another lawyer in your firm (who is equally if not more motivated to develop business), your practice assistant, your marketing and business development team, a close friend or even a significant other. Having a watcher is the secret sauce, so apply it liberally.
While these five approaches are not rocket science, they are the rocket fuel you need to achieve your moonshot of developing a huge book of business. By investing the time and developing the right systems, you can create the kind of practice that others only dream about.
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First Published at Lexology |September 20, 2022