Want to understand business development? Here's the essence.

Many lawyers perceive business development as complicated, sometimes overwhelming, maybe even intimidating, and as a result feel fear, anxiety, reluctance. Too often, this translates into avoidance. Let's simplify. To succeed at business development, you need only five things:

The Law Dept. is only one part of the company

During the 20-year boom market, if you had a relationship with a GC, or senior inhouse counsel, you were set, and you protected that relationship as the revenue-generating asset it reliably was. Now, though, the game has changed, and it’s time for lawyers to reconsider their loyalties.

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.

ResultsMailVT will return Tuesday, January 2, 2018.

Mike O'Horo

Trish Wilson

It's that holiday time of year...

Within the next week or so, most of you will see your business socializing schedule ramp up and continue through the holiday season. Receptions and holiday parties hosted by your firm, clients and other business contacts. Many of you recognize it as an opportunity to meet and reconnect with lots of new people. Here's how to make it enjoyable and effective.

“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

Innovative thinking about cross-selling

If your firm struggles with cross-selling like most do, here's a new tool that automates introducing cross-selling info as a component of normal emails.

If your colleagues don't refer much work, how likely are other lawyers to refer work?

Too many lawyers waste time networking at bar associations and other lawyer-groups. Yeah, I know, you're hoping that, if you form relationships with these other lawyers, they'll refer work to you. Intellectually, that's certainly a possibility. However, over the course of your career to date, what percentage of your business has actually been referred by other lawyers? Unless you're an outlier, it's not enough to justify the time invested.

OMG! The accountants are coming!

CPA firms moving into legal services was cited by 64 percent of law firm respondents as the biggest threat to traditional law firms’ share of the legal services market, according to a study cited in Bloomberg BigLaw Business. Here's how you can neutralize this threat.

BD success requires three things: Skills, effort, delegation

What does it take to acquire a book of business sufficient to make you financially- and professionally independent, safe from the vagaries of changes in firm policy or compensation decisions? It’s been almost ten years since hoping for the best worked at all. What does today’s tumultuous legal service market require? Here's your answer.

Are you willing to do what it takes to be a rainmaker?

If you’ve been saying to yourself or your firm for any length of time, “I want to become a rainmaker,” but so far haven’t committed the time, effort, or (gasp!) some of your own money to get there, you’ve probably been using the wrong object noun. A more accurate noun would be rain-haver. Here's how to get yourself on a more solid track.

Innovation requires ingenuity, not genius

When strategizing practice growth, the obstacle that so many lawyers wrestle with is trying to come up with something unique, that nobody else is doing, or has thought of before. That may happen, but it’s rare, and it’s not the way to strategize or plan. Here's a more productive approach.

Leave Your Ego at the (Training) Door

When you participate in business development training, how do you approach it? If you’re early in your career, you probably have few illusions about your current skill level, so you’ll be eager to learn. But what if you’re more senior? What’s your attitude?

“If you push me, you'll lose me”

All experienced salespeople know that “I'll think about it” is usually either a polite "no" or a sign that Procrastination has ensnared another victim. The irony is that this universal bane is entirely the salesperson’s creation. Here's how to avoid it with a way that makes prospects comfortable and confident.

Do you feel pain and fear when trying to close a sale? Here's how to eliminate it.

For as long as there have been sellers, there has been anxiety over closing. Closing is generally defined as the moment when a prospect or client decides to make the purchase -- in the case of lawyers, to engage you for a legal matter. This can be unnerving, especially for inexperienced sellers, as it exposes you to the risk of rejection by the prospect. As a result, it’s become feared as the make-or-break moment of truth in the sale.

Ironically, the “moment of truth” concept is the key to eliminating all the tension around concluding the sale -- for both buyer and seller.

Make sure you can congratulate yourself next week

If you’re in the minority who do plan business development every week, I applaud you. However, I’ll bet that you plan to perform activities rather than achieve outcomes. This is your basic To-Do list. While it’s better than nothing, it suffers from some serious shortcomings that make it hard for you to succeed. Here's what to do instead.

Networking: How to disengage from a dead-end conversation

We’ve all found ourselves trapped in a dead-end conversation at a networking event. Someone drones on about a topic in which you have no interest. Or, it’s simply someone you don’t like. Or, there’s nothing wrong with the topic or the person, but you can’t spend that much time with any one person.

Here's how to escape without being rude.