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BD: Do you do it only for the money?

Why do you avoid the business development activity that you know is essential to having the practice you want? If you're doing it primarily for money, you may have found the culprit. Here's how to take a healthier approach, get better results, and (gasp!) enjoy it.

"Pay yourself first."

Make business development your first priority, instead of an afterthought that gets attention only when everything else feels like it’s under control. How often is everything in your practice under control?

Schedule a half-hour for BD first thing every morning, before you jump into the daily maelstrom of practice demands and the day gets swept away, leaving you mentally spent and regretting that yet another day slipped by without doing anything to generate future business. The key is every morning. Not “most,” or “frequent,” or worse, “occasionally,” but every morning.

Eleven weeks from now...

Eleven weeks from now, Wednesday, November 25, the end-of-year clock starts ticking as people traverse the US to be with family and friends for the (US) Thanksgiving holiday. What does that have to do with business development?

Not-To-Do #13: Do-it-yourself, or work alone

When it comes to getting, keeping, and growing large accounts, the day of the lone-wolf rainmaker has passed, never to return. That worked during the 25-year law boom because everybody was buying legal services. In the buyer's market that will be with you for the rest of your career, you need to ferret out, investigate, and validate potential opportunity continuously. You need more hands on the oars, just to defend and sustain what you already have. 

Not-To-Do #12: Relegate business development to "extra time"

Whenever you say, "I meant to do something to generate business, but I've been too busy," it's as silly as saying, "I meant to shower and brush my teeth, but I've been too busy." Yet, this is exactly what far too many lawyers are doing. In a buyer’s market, business development is hygiene, not earn-a-gold-star-if-you-occasionally-get-off-your-butt-and-do-something. Here's what to do instead.