Posted In: Business Development
Business Development For Lawyers: It’s About Time
Having been in an in-house leadership role for many years, I have spent much of my time encouraging my practice professionals to dedicate their time to business development. As Chief Marketing Officer, teaching lawyers innovative ways to identify, qualify, approach and close new business was obviously a high priority. The most fundamental component of business development training is reinforcing the critical importance of “understanding your client”. So, being someone who ‘eats my own dog food’, I made sure that I truly understood my clients; or so I thought. As a law firm consultant with my own book of business, it’s only now that I’m truly able to understand the demands on a lawyer’s time and see firsthand why it’s difficult to make business development activities a priority; irrespective of whether or not one is armed with best-in-class business development skills or tools. Client work, billing, collections, business development, marketing, general administration and, oh yeah, that non-work life stuff are all competing for the lawyer’s (and now my) time. So, the message to my Marketing & Business Development brothers and sisters who are in-house is to attempt to gain an even deeper understanding of your internal clients and the demands on their time. The message to the lawyers is to be sure to schedule business development time weekly, just as you would schedule time for client work. Enter the time into your Outlook calendar as a recurring appointment. It’s simple, but few people actually do it.
So, with all of the things that I’m juggling these days, including amazing client work, I’m thankful that I dutifully scheduled marketing/business development time this week, so I could be sure to share this time management tip with you in this blog post. I hope you are too.