If you want to learn learn business development, really learn it, you have to “do” business development. If you want skills, you have to practice. Reading, watching videos, webinars, that’s all necessary, but not sufficient.
There’s nothing more frustrating than learning that a prospect or client who knows you well has hired someone else for work that’s in your sweet spot. Or, you see a conference promotion where others are speaking about a topic about which you’re known to be an acknowledged expert. How does this happen?
Many lawyers are uncomfortable with the idea of selling because their perceptions of salespeople are colored by lifelong exposure to the undesirable behaviors and attitudes of amateurs they encounter as consumers of various products and services. Here are four key differences between the amateur salesperson and the professional.
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.
The past eight years have been tough on lots of lawyers and those who support them. The recession strained finances and kicked off a sea change in client expectations. New categories of competition emerge almost daily. Clients' BigData investments mean they often know much more about your performance than you do. It can feel like a struggle. If you’re feeling lost at sea, here are a few navigation aids that can help you find your course and get back to enjoying your career and your life.
"We have an office in [your town]," implying that this geographic fact has inherent value to a buyer or anyone else listening. What if your prospect were to ask you "So what?" How would you answer? In an age of instant, simultaneous communications, virtual locations and cheap air travel, what specific, compelling business value does physical proximity convey?
Lawyers struggle to negotiate pricing with prospects and clients. Part of this is the product of lawyers’ personalities,. Part is based on the fear that inartful price discussions could cause them to lose the business. However, a large part comes from having a singular focus on money. Besides a price reduction, what else can you offer that your client might accept in lieu of money?
Throughout the Summer, we see lots of highlights of individual baseball stars performing amazing feats on the field. But as we begin the playoffs, we're reminded that the best team wins the championship, and that means getting contributions from everyone on the team.
Let's examine the team that supports your clients. What value does each teammate bring to your business development efforts?
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?
It’s rare that a single person makes a buying decision. There are almost always multiple people with a role in making it. However, groups of people don’t know how to make decisions. It’s not an intuitive skill, and everyone struggles with it. In fact, “no decision” is always your biggest competitor. Here's how to defeat no-decision.