The importance of "doing": the "Forgetting Curve"

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.

You're known, but will you be remembered at the critical time?

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?

Learning to Learn

Many lawyers struggle to learn business development skills, in no small part because they don’t embrace the need to get better at it. Try some of these self-talk techniques to help you overcome inertia and get started.

Where will your practice go this year?

Without clear, measurable goals, every business development investment decision you make is not anchored by anything. You're rudderless, subject to the whim of changing winds. That means your plan is to be extremely lucky; nobody is that lucky. Here's how to replace luck with focus.

Rudderless Ships

Law firm leaders, unless you remain visible and continually make it clear that sales is important enough for you to check on all the time, your sales programs will remain rudderless, compromising your firms’ results and your lawyers’ development.

BizDev amateurs vs. professionals

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.

Sharpen Your Axe

Just as you readily consult with other lawyers who specialize in areas outside your own, it's wise to consult with sales experts before engaging in sales activities. Coaching and guidance are your axes in the sales game.

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.

Happy Holidays

Here's wishing a happy and healthy holiday season to all our clients and friends in the law biz. You've made the past 25 years stimulating, challenging, and rewarding.

Mike O'Horo

Trish Wilson

T​he Mental Game

The primary determinant of business development success is how much mental energy or “think time” you devote to marketing and sales. Yet few lawyers allocate much time to their mental game. The result is often short-changing your most important client: You.

“Holiday Marketing” vs. Strategic December Business Development

About this time each year, law industry publications are rife with advice about “holiday marketing.” The advice tends to be about gift-giving protocols and using social events to network and create relationships.

However, today’s legal environment requires more substantial analysis and strategy, a “Holiday Marketing 2.0” if you will. Here's how

Weather the Storm

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]

"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?

Get paid faster: show progress vs. budget

Collecting your fee is an integral part of sales. In the commercial world, every salesperson lives by the dictum, “The sale isn’t complete until the last dollar is collected.” Lawyers are much more lax about this, and it costs them. Here's a simple way to speed things up.

Why responding to RFPs makes no sense

For years I've counseled my clients that responding to RFPs is usually a waste of time, especially when compared to what you can accomplish with the same amount of time and money by pursuing tightly targeted business. Here's why. 

Creative price negotiation

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?

Is it a discount? Or the new market price?

Sales trainers have long taught us that “price” actually is code for “value.” Discount requests have always been a signal that your value is perceived as out of line with what you charge. However, when discount requests become the norm, that’s a larger, more ominous signal.

Um, why did you send this article to me?

Before composing any marketing communication, eliminate the "Why did he send me this" question by establishing a clear goal for that specific message, and that specific recipient. Ask yourself what specific response you're trying to elicit from that reader.

Who’s on Third? Your Team?

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?