Monday, September 18, 2006

Relationship Development is Just So Important

The single request I hear the most from attorneys is, "help me find new business." Here are the rules for attorneys that wish this thing to happen:
  • You must be ready to be active. That means going to events and conferences consistently. Not just when your schedule agrees but when you've had to rearrange priorities to make the next networking event.
  • You have to share. Introductions to new prospects will not come because you've asked. They come because you've shared.
  • You take care of what you receive. Not every referral will be the perfect client but it is up to you to keep them happy. If you are not the right attorney for them then find the right attorney. Once a referral has been made it is your responsibility to complete the deal.
  • Play like you mean it. If you want as much as someone else has to offer (like their client list) then you need to be ready to step up with equal zeal.
  • Play nice. Everyone comes to the table wanting something. They're not your enemy and you do not need to set up a defensive perimeter. They, just like you, are aggressively seeking a path to success. It's just that simple.
I have been the new sales representative trying to make his bones. It's tough, sometimes humbling, always not easy. If you are the attorney looking for new business please remember that there is no magic tree with low-hanging fruit. It takes work and commitment; stick with it and your reward is at hand.