Archives: Business Development

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Here’s What Drives A Prospect’s Choice of Service Provider

In a noisy, competitive and topsy-turvy marketplace, what is the key to capturing the imagination of your most coveted prospects? We know it isn’t the case, but particularly in professional services, it is easy to market as though we believe it is our credentials…Or brand…Or budget…Or eloquence that will differentiate us from every other advisor … Continue Reading

The Ultimate Business Development Question for the Covid Era

More than two decades ago Fred Reichheld, among others, began working on a conversation and a system that helped organizations — particularly professional service firms — rethink the issue of client relationships. In his book, The Ultimate Question (now available in an updated version), the discussion zeroes in on what the author defines as the ultimate … Continue Reading

What Good Shall I Do Today?

Most of us, I’m guessing, have recently had days where we didn’t really know where to begin — much less, how to realize the highest level of productivity. This past weekend, while enjoying Ann Handley’s new book, Everybody Writes, I was reminded of the daily schedule of one of America’s most productive and innovative historic … Continue Reading

Things Aren’t Broken Enough

The Managing Partner spoke with measured emotion. And conviction. The topic was the desire he and his senior partners shared to continue the legacy they were beneficiaries of by passing on a thriving firm to the generation of lawyers, now laboring as associates and young partners. I was taken by the forward thinking…the commitment to … Continue Reading

A Recession IS Coming — Proactive Business Development Is The Only Way To Prepare

You’ve seen the articles. Many knowledgeable observers believe a recession is inevitable; some are predicting a severe slow-down as early as spring 2020, based on certain indicators. I do my best to avoid trafficking in fear and doom, but it is difficult to find a serious economic observer that doesn’t believe a downturn is coming. … Continue Reading

This Is What A Priority Looks Like

When things don’t change, there is typically one reason. Change is simply not a priority. Wherever there is a lot of talk, but very little action…when progress is painfully slow (without regard to how essential we say it is) it is almost always due to one thing. The prescribed movement isn’t important enough to command … Continue Reading

Five Keys To Realizing Return On Your Firm’s Business Development Efforts

Does your firm regularly wrestle with measuring return when it comes to business development efforts? If so, you’re far from alone. At least one reason is that for many firms, the pursuit of new business is not aligned with any overall, longer-than-this-year strategic plan — one that is guided by a set of core principles, … Continue Reading

Why Your Lateral Hiring Program Under Delivers, And How To Fix It

If your firm is like most, the pursuit of lateral partners is a critical piece of your growth plan, and you invest in it disproportionately. But unless yours is an exception, the effort under-delivers. Consider data highlighted in a January article from ALM, authored by Nicholas Bruch, Michael A. Ellenhorn and Howard Rosenberg. In the … Continue Reading

Is Your Target Dozing While You’re Pitching? | Building A Biz Dev Plan – Part 7

Finally! The firm I was working with had been invited to make a pitch to a target we’d been pursuing for a couple of years. But the knee-jerk reaction was — wait for it — to make a list of every professional that should be included in the in-person pitch — 13 firm partners…representing each … Continue Reading

If It Isn’t A Top Priority, Don’t Lose Much Sleep Over Business Development

How important is business development to you? Years ago I was being interviewed for the senior business development and marketing position in a law firm, and was on a video conference with a handful of firm leaders. Two things about the experience impressed me…and I don’t mean in a good way. At various times during … Continue Reading

How Long Does It Take To Develop Trust? | Building A Business Development Plan, Part 6

You’ve probably heard some variation of the joke where a significant other, weary of repeatedly being asked to profess love, announces “I’ve told you that I love you. I’ll let you know when and if that changes.” Humorous to some…maybe. But I doubt this is an effective relationship strategy. Yet, in many ways this captures … Continue Reading

Does Your Pursuit Say “Working With Me Will Be Different”? | Business Development Planning – Part 5

Part 5 in our series on Building a Strategic Business Development Plan focuses on Delivering Value — the first step in establishing a working relationship. We’ve discussed strategy, target identification, building a strategic network, and most recently, becoming relevant (creating visibility) with the targets you’ve identified. But actually securing that coveted engagement, never mind earning … Continue Reading

You’re Not Selling Phones! Business Development Planning – Part 4 | Creating Visibility

It creeps into consciousness sometime in mid-to-late September. By mid-November, partners in firms everywhere are feeling either personal or institutional pressure (or both) to come up with a business development plan for the coming year. If you’re in the midst of this planning, you’ve happened onto the fourth installment in a series on building a … Continue Reading

Building A Business Development Plan: Part 3 — If You Can’t Name Targets, Focus On A Network Tune-Up

Professional service providers who have difficulty identifying specific targets (as discussed in Part 2 of our series on Building A Business Development Plan) typically have one thing in common: an anemic or non-existent professional network. If this sounds familiar, Part 3 In our series on creating your business development plan is for you.  A healthy … Continue Reading

Building A Business Development Plan for 2019 — Part 2: With Whom Should You Connect

This is the second installment in a 14-part series dedicated to everyone working on a business development plan for 2019. Part 1 outlined the necessity of a strategic foundation, and suggested a framework that will help in identifying and articulating the strategy. If you haven’t come to terms with this first step, resist the temptation … Continue Reading

For Everyone Beginning To Work On A Business Development Plan For 2019

Over the next two-and-a-half months or so you may be among the lawyers, accountants, consultants and other professional service providers taking a long hard look at your marketing, business development and sales initiatives. The dye for 2018 is pretty much cast. Time to focus on market movement, emerging trends, lessons learned, and begin the work … Continue Reading

The “if-the-market-knew-my-story” approach to Business Development

There is a basic principle in communication theory — shared experiences form the basis for the most effective communication. Even if we did not formally study the science, most of us have first-hand experience with the validity of the principle — in intimate, social and professional settings alike.In the space where experiences of the communicator … Continue Reading

The Simple Complications of Business Development

Business development is not complicated. Hard work? Indeed…because effective business development (especially in a professional service firm) is almost always about building productive relationships. And that is no small task. But we shouldn’t confuse the hard work required to build rewarding relationships with the suggestion that business development requires something that is somehow inconsistent with our … Continue Reading

Are You Doing the 4 Things Necessary to Stand Out From the Crowd and Build a Pipeline of Future Clients?

Most professional service providers would welcome a more predictable, consistent and robust flow of qualified new business leads. Scratch that. When it comes to business development and sales, virtually every professional service provider I know is searching for an efficient way to connect with potential new clients. Marketing strategies promise it; the possibility is the siren … Continue Reading
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