One of the easiest ways to stay on track with an activity is to make a list. For many people, business development doesn’t come naturally making it easy to put off. By making and sticking to a list, you will begin to form a habit around business development to the point you eventually don’t even know you are doing it.
I have used contact lists with lawyers for years as a simple reminder of people that the lawyer wants or should keep in touch with throughout the year. The best part is that it works at every level of practice.
A list allows you to focus your efforts and prioritize one-to-one marketing. If you are early in your career, your top 20 may include 10 lawyers at your firm, 5 colleagues from law school and 5 clients you are working with. Later in your career it may include 8 of your top performing clients, 4 clients you are trying to get more work from, 4 potential new clients, 2 people from the media and 2 people on boards or committees you want to be part of. Everyone’s list is be different and names can be shuffled in and out throughout the year which is part of its beauty. Using your list is equally simple:
- Look at your list daily
- Focus on what you can do for the people on your list
- Share information – phone, text, email, Zoom, it doesn’t matter but find a way to be in front of them
- Watch how opportunities present themselves
- Your list will change as your redefine your network needs
- Understand you are building or nurturing relationships
Your list will become part of your written goals for the year and allow you to create meaningful and substantive relationships. It provides the evidence that you are organized, efficient and dedicated to business development. By actively engaging in your list, you can better evaluate where offers fit with your career goals.
By working your list don’t be surprised that people begin to think of you as the authority on tough issues. As you stay in regular contact with the group, you will understand their needs and they will see you as someone that tackle the tough issues
The great thing about making a list is it is easy to manage and if there are 20 names on it and if that is too many, try 15 or 10, it is easy to make your own. It is one side of one piece of paper. You can post it in your office as a reminder to connect. Working your list daily will change your habits around business development to where it becomes normal rather than a burden.
So for 2021, if you do one thing, make a list.