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Planning

Go Bite-Sized

For many lawyers, the thought of business development is the very bane of their existence. Even the most "gifted" rainmakers occasionally experience a sense of "Oh, my gosh, another year, another mountain to climb." As the legal business becomes more fiercely competitive, it can be daunting--and darn right discouraging--to face the challenge of meeting and exceeding 2017's business goals. 

There's hope, provided you're realistic.

Are you still learning, or do you think you've peaked?

Why do some lawyers take full advantage of business development learning and training opportunities, while others pooh-pooh them or delude themselves that it’s not important to improve their knowledge and skills? Why do those who admit that better BD skills are important nonetheless procrastinate forever, promising themselves that they’ll get to it when they have more time?

Only ten weeks from now...

Summer is over. It's time to get back in Prime Time business mode. Ten weeks from today, Wednesday, November 23, the end-of-year clock starts ticking as people traverse the US to be with family and friends for the Thanksgiving holiday. That means that you have less than three months to take meaningful steps to reach your annual revenue goal. 

Market Change Requires Change in Lawyer Thinking

Law firms are paying more attention to, and investing more money in, business development, but many lawyers still aren't sure why all this is happening and why they should do things differently. The answer: The legal service market has undergone a basic and permanent economic shift from a demand market to a supply market.

Time management? Nope. It’s actually "choice management."

The reality is that we can’t get, make, find or have more time. Time simply passes, inexorably, day by day, minute by minute. We can, however, choose how we spend our time. Indeed, “time management,” is a misnomer; I prefer to call it Choice Management.

“Pocket Lint”

Every three months you go through your paper and electronic "pockets." You'll find notes, phone numbers, etc. Ask yourself, "If this was the most important thing in the world right now, what would I be doing about it?" This question forces you to assign an action verb to the item, which is how you'll get something done.

How to be on time (and raise the odds that others will, too)

Punctuality is a basic social contract. It’s a visible demonstration that you do what you say you’ll do. Or that you don’t. An appointment is a promise to answer your phone or appear at a meeting on a specific date, at a specific time. Not 10 minutes late. Or five. Or even two. At the appointed time. Here's how to guarantee it.

Read your way to BD success (well, part-way)

Tom Peters has persuaded me that it’s important to escape the linear thinking for which lawyers seem hard-wired, and which makes it hard for them to absorb seemingly unrelated information and synthesize fresh ideas from it. Perhaps this is what people mean by thinking outside the box. You can’t think outside the box if everything you’re exposed to is inside a single box.

The importance of January 4-8, 2016

Many lawyers see the final two weeks of December as a business development Dead Zone. Prospects and clients are scrambling to meet year-end deadlines, and are distracted by professional- and family obligations related to the holidays. While this reasoning is understandable, the danger of shutting down your BD effort completely is that two dark weeks turns into four, or six, or more. Here's what to do instead.

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?

The cobbler’s kid…

Who is your most strategically important client? It's you. Specifically, your practice growth. And you're not treating that client well when you make yourself the lowest priority, paying attention only sporadically and with little thought. Move yourself up the priority list.