Gary Mitchell's Biz/Dev Coaching Blog
Just started with another new client. She spent the first part of the call telling me what she didn’t want for her firm and practice. This lead us to determining what she did want. And it doesn’t look anything like the traditional law firm model. It doesn’t have to. More and more law firms are looking to break the mold and create something new, innovative, inclusive, and flexible. Yes I said law firm and flexible in the same sentence.
Yesterday in coaching a group of associates, once again the issue of time came up. When and how do I make time for my business development is an age old question. In our brainstorming session, one tax associate came up with his own answer. He said “I don’t do anything unless it pops up in my outlook”. Well then, make the appointment with yourself using your outlook calendar. Sometimes it’s the simplest approach that works best. And it’s really about self-discipline.
Don’t fear making mistakes. I know, easy to say. When you make mistakes, you learn, or at least have the opportunity to learn and improve. Making a mistake on a document or argument could cost your client a lot of money. Making a mistake in marketing or business development only goes to support your learning. No one is going to die.
If you are still unconvinced, look at me. I am a living example of someone who has made all kinds of mistakes in business, and I am not only still here, my business is flourishing. In fact that’s part of the reason you pay me for my services. I’ve already made most of the mistakes you could make and in doing so can save you a lot of time and money.
So thank you mistakes. You’ve taught me a lot.
Raindance: The Business Development Guide Book for Lawyers is now available through Carswell. Click here to go to Carswell for more information and ordering.
If you are a lawyer just starting out with business development, or already engaged and looking to up your game, this book is your practical, step-by-step guide to follow in order to achieve your goals.
A great article from the Harvard Business Review, read here.
In my last post I talked about working out with my trainer. How this relates to my coaching approach is simple. He took an assessment of where I am now. What my goals and nutritional habits are. And then helped me create a plan to get where I want to. I take the same approach coaching lawyers.
So this morning I hit the gym bright and early and used some of what I learned with my trainer. With out a doubt, I had one of the most intense and productive work outs in a long time.
So if you want to flex and build your business development muscle, you should give me a call. I can help.
I just finished a work out with my fitness trainer. A great reminder of why I like coaching lawyers so much. I’ve been working out and running for over 20 years, and today was a great reminder that you can never learn too much.
In the beginning it might be more about learning. But then it quickly becomes about discipline and endurance. And then it’s all about accountability.
Are you ready to build your business development muscle?
Yes, that’s right. You read the title correctly. Just say no to coaching and watch your career tank. I left the last part out to catch your attention.
I always conduct interviews before taking on new clients. While interviewing one associate recently, it became blatantly obvious he was not an ideal candidate for coaching. He was very negative about his firm, the marketing direction they were taking, and their recent brand launch. (Like he is an expert in marketing?)
I could hardly sit through the interview. I couldn’t believe my ears. His partners had spoken highly of him and his ability. They wanted to provide him some individual support to help bolster his career, and this was his attitude? He actually told his firm he was too busy to engage in business development coaching. What? That’s like telling your firm, “I don’t really care about the direction of my career”. “I am not really sure I want to stay here”. “I don’t have time to develop my skills.” I could go on.
The flip side of this comes from a typical client. In our final coaching session audit of the program, he told me that initially he had been extremely sceptical about coaching, but he was mindful of saying no to his firm. It’s OK to be sceptical. You are lawyers after-all, being sceptical is part of your DNA. He went on to work with us and thrived in our program. Soon after he was asked to join full partnership. He thanked me for helping him achieve partnership so quickly.
Just say no to coaching and watch your career tank. When your firm is committed to your success and willing to invest in it, it’s not wise to say no, unless you are looking for a new career.
In following-up with your leads or prospects, always put yourself in their shoes. How can you add value? Why should they meet with you? What’s in it for them? If you take the ask and offer approach, you can answer those questions.
It begins with asking them how you can help? Is there some education you could provide their team in the form of a seminar? Then all you have to do is offer it to them. This is all part of taking the value-add approach to building relationships.
Many sales training programs will be framed around how you can control the process. I totally disagree with this approach. It’s unnatural for you and your prospect. Instead take a real and genuine approach by asking questions. When your prospect asks you a question, answer it to the best your ability at that point. If you don’t have enough information to answer their question, let them know.
Keep in mind that many of the people you will approach have been ‘trained’ to expect a pitch. When they don’t get one, they might be a little confused. They might even become impatient. That is why it’s important to answer their questions and not try and control the conversation or process. When you are prepared, you are in a much better position to go with the flow. Both you and your prospect will be more comfortable. And you will go a long way in differentiating yourself from your competitors approach.