Sun Tzu art of war.jpg

Someone asked what people thought about the phrase, “you eat what you kill.”  While the meaning understood by most has never been more spot-on (in this legal market, you will eventually starve if you don’t generate your own business), the literal analogy doesn’t work. 

I never thought about it before, but "conquering" seems a more apt description than "killing." The people you’re conquering are your competitors, not the prospects. 

In The Art of War, by Sun Tzu, one of the first lessons is “Fight the easy fight.”

Unfortunately, the way most lawyers approach business development is horribly inefficient. They work harder, but not smarter. Lawyers spend an too much time on “getting chosen,” and too little on “getting found.”

With that imbalance, finding the next client almost always requires you to cull through many (prospects) that have little to no need or interest in what you have to offer.

By contrast, lawyers who differentiate themselves through positioning don’t have to work nearly as hard. Everything they communicate helps their optimal prospects find them.

Compare Joe, the “corporate lawyer” who, known for nothing particular, rarely optimizes the chances that the next prospect to whom he speaks will need his services, with Marcia, who's known as the “protecting the sensitive information in employees’ heads when they switch jobs in the technology industry” lawyer. Marcia's specific brand assures almost always talking to a prospect with a higher probability of needing her services.

Remember, you don’t need them all to be your clients; you need less than 1% of 1%. Don’t be afraid of going too narrow with your positioning. It will make your job selling yourself that much easier.

Mike O'Horo

Learn how to identify and establish a defensible position in a growing market. RainmakerVT's course, Become a Thought Leader: Uncover a Business Issue That Will Open Doors for You, will get you moving down the right path.