Friday, March 28, 2008

I Like Being Lawyer but I Am Uncomfortable at Trying to Be Liked

The perfect situation for any attorney or accountant is: "I am really good at what I do. People will hear about me and line up at my door." Wouldn't it be so wonderful if "being good" was all we needed to do. But it's not.

Even worse, we have to do all of this outreach stuff and networking and entertaining and OH MY GOODNESS! I JUST WANT TO DO WHAT I DO!!!

Look, no sane human being starts a critical long term relationship with just anyone. And, no one ever promised that being your own rainmaker was a slam-dunk. In fact you might already know that being a rainmaker takes so much more than you are comfortable to be.

Here are a few thoughts that might help you cross over the chasm from uncomfortable to kind of, sort of, OK with reaching out.
  • Never go networking without a friend in tow. Being part of a team is always strengthening.
  • Only take client leads from trusted friends. There is no reason for a professional services provider to make cold calls.
  • Bring your closest networking friends into your private life. The chemistry of business connections translates easily into your private world. The dividends will be huge for both of you.
  • Host the sort of activities that you like being a part of.... Do you like being invited to play golf? Do you like a poker night every so often? Do you love the theater? Spend your business development dollars on the type of activities you love and you will attract clients that match whom you are.
  • Make one call a day not related to current client activities. Reach out and reconnect with someone you like to talk to and discuss "how things are going". Not every call will produce immediate results but every call will be appreciated.
We do not ever achieve most of out goals without engaging another person. It may be a spouse, a coworker, a mentor -- just someone that believes in what we want for ourselves. If you believe you are good at what you do there is always help out there to take you where you want to go.