Think Before Jumping In
How do you prepare yourself to attract clients through business development?
- Establish financial and professional goals which are SMART, i.e. specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-specific.
- Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses in business development.
- Think of business development activities you are most comfortable performing.
- Refine your professional presence, i.e., your outward appearance and people skills, so that you make a positive first impression.
- Define your ideal clients in order to pursue them in a targeted way.
- Write and practice out loud your value propositions – statements which tell prospects the value you bring to those clients who hire you.
- Create a blog as a page on your website so you can improve search engine optimization (SEO) for your website and improve your Google page ranking.
- Make a list of potential topics for blog posts to publish on a regular basis.
- Choose networking sites like LinkedIn where you will promote your blog posts and draw prospects to your website.
- Identify venues where you can network regularly with your ideal clients.
- Focus on developing relationships with prospective clients rather than selling them on your services.
- Write a business development plan that details the strategies and tactics you will use to attract clients.
Upgrade Your Skills.
What kinds of skills do you need to develop in order to attract and keep clients?
Cultivating a “helping mindset” with prospective clients rather than asking for their business right away.
- Practicing active listening – paraphrasing clients’ concerns, reflecting back their feelings, and synchronizing your voice tone and speaking pace with theirs.
Learning to ask open-ended questions of prospects instead of talking about yourself.
Establishing empathy to make clients feel you understand their problems.
Adopting a positive attitude that raises clients’ optimism.
Wearing a confident expression on your face which lessens clients’ worries.
Creating a consistent follow-up system which ensures you will touch base with prospects on a monthly or quarterly basis.
Do Double Duty.
How do you practice law and go after clients at the same time?
Conduct a 2 week, time diagnosis of your work day to identify time wasters.
Prune non-billable and low priority work from your schedule.
Prioritize the marketing tasks which are most likely to pay off fast.
Delegate as much billable work as you can to carve out time for business development.
Structure your work week in advance to find time periods in your schedule for client development.
Hold yourself accountable for carrying out your business development plans rather than procrastinate.
Keep time records on both billing and client development.
Success in business development hinges on advance planning rather than spontaneous action. Take time to lay the groundwork necessary to build a smart business development plan and focus on enhancing the skills you need to attract clients and become more profitable.