Even knowing the risks and benefits may not give you Breakthrough Conviction. So you should ask yourself, “How does improving business development skills compare to improving other skills in my life?” Would taking on more administrative responsibilities bring you as many benefits? Would billing more hours bring you as many benefits? Would improving your legal skills bring you as many benefits? If so, then do those.
But there is a good possibility that improving your business development skills may be the single most valuable change you can make. If you sincerely take ownership of this concept, you are poised to make some important changes.
But you still may not have Breakthrough Conviction. That may be because there are many beliefs about business development that prevent you from giving it your attention.
You may be skeptical about your ability to be successful at business development. If you feel that business development is a waste of your time, you won’t do it. Skeptics may have tried to bring in clients and failed. So they remain skeptical. Skeptics need to know that business development works when you communicate value to the right people. Failure means you either did not communicate to the right people or you did not communicate value. If past efforts failed, it was not business development that failed, it was you. And because you were smart enough to become a lawyer, you are smart enough to learn effective business development skills. There is nothing about business development that you can’t understand or implement!
You may also feel that participating in business development will be embarrassing. It is common for lawyers to feel that business development activities reveal neediness or even incompetence. They cling to the notion that prospects are thinking, “Good lawyers don’t need to market. This lawyer is marketing so he or she must not be good.” Of course this is not valid. When you communicate value to the right people, prospects think, “Wow, this is valuable.” Prospects don’t judge skilled marketers harshly. They appreciate them.
You may also feel that business development requires that you be pushy. But this is not true. Communicating value to the right people demonstrates value, not pushiness.
For more marketing tips, check out our article “Biz Dev Breakthrough!”