Gary Mitchell's Biz/Dev Coaching Blog
The next step in becoming more targeted in your approach to business development is to take a look at your own values. What’s important to you? Over the years I worked with several lawyers who had to make a change. When I got in there and began coaching them, we determined that one of the reasons they weren’t excelling at business development was that their own values were not aligned with the people they were serving. And that goes for your firm as well. Are your values aligned with those of your firm?
If you’re not happy working for the people you are working for, or where you are working, there’s not much motivation to go out and get more clients of the same ilk. So consider what you value? What is important to you? Are your values and what you consider important aligned with your current clients? Are your values aligned with the firm you’re working at? If not, consider making a change for the long-term good of your career. If you’re just starting out, this is likely some advice you haven’t heard before and I highly advise you to take heed of it.
Another area to consider before working to build your practice, is what kind of practice do you want? I often think lawyers and accountants get started in their careers without taking the time to really examine what you like to do. What is the types of files you like working on? What are the types of people you like working with most? What are you best at? What are your strengths? You certainly have several choices in building your accounting or legal practice. And just like Part One, when I spoke about values, this is about aligning what you’re good at with what you would like to build.
Some people are more suited to litigation, and others more of the high-volume solicitor work. There is no point working hard to build a practice if you don’t feel fulfilled. I once had a client who, at 5 years in decided he hated being a litigator. So our work then was to reboot his career in a different direction. And he did and went on to be not only successful, but also fulfilled. But do you want to effectively waste five years of your career?
Before you get out their and marketing yourself, your practice or your firm, the first question you should ask yourself, is “Who do you wish to serve?” I advise you start to answer that question by taking a look at your own values. What are they? What’s important to you? Do most of your current clients have similar values? Align your values with the people you wish to serve.
The reason I suggest this is after working with several well-established lawyers who were stuck in building their practice. WHen I got in there and went deeper, more often than not, they were stuck because the people they were serving were not aligned with their values. So save yourself the time and heartache and have that aligned from the beginning. No matter where you are in your career, it doesn’t hurt to ask yourself these kinds of questions.
I have the pleasure of working with a law clerk in Toronto. Up until her, in the legal industry my clients have been strictly lawyers. But why not have a law clerk engaged in business development? She knows everything about the clients because she has direct and on-going access to them from start to finish. And so, she makes a great representative of the firm. Kudos to her managing partner for investing in her and his firm this way. She is one of the most eager and hard working clients I have had in the eight years of coaching. She is also very well aware how fortunate she is to have her managing parter invest in her success. There is no doubt she is developing into a great legal marketer.
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 am currently reading ‘Outliers’ by Malcolm Gladwell. It’s a great book that everyone should read. In it however I learned the story behind how Skadden rose to become one of the largest law firms in the world. If you are looking for a little inspiration, I suggest you read up on it. Talk about being at the right place at the right time.
In a client session last week, we talked about how to keep focused when doing tasks tat may not be your favorite. Procrastination and time management are two areas where if you keep your eye on the goal, or ‘reward’, you are much more likely to complete the task.
In the case of this client, he has a new-born daughter that he would like to spend more time with. Understanding that by getting those trivial yet important tasks done, and spending a little time getting and keeping organized will allow him to spend more time with his daughter. That is his reward. What is your? Positive motivators work a lot more effectively than negative ones.