In this week’s Rainmaking Recommendation post, trainer and expert Jaimie Field talks about breaking the cycle of stopping and starting your business development. Does that sound like you? Read on…

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With all due respect to Susan Powter (who you ask?? keep reading), I’m asking you to “stop the insanity!”
In the heyday of really annoying 1990s infomercials, a spiky-haired blonde lady would invade our t.v. sets almost hourly telling us that the diet industry is broken and selling us on her plan to lose weight.  Susan Powter and her catchphrase: “Stop the Insanity!” became a viral meme before there were viral memes.

But in this instance, I am speaking of the insanity of how you are stopping your business development progress.

Prior to working with them, many of the attorneys whom I coach have experienced the Feast or Famine Cycle.

You work hard on marketing and business development for your practice; you’re networking and meeting new people; you’re establishing your go-to-authority on social media and the clients start hiring you.  However, because you are now busy with billable work, you stop doing the activities that brought in new clients and matters and concentrate solely on the client matters.

Suddenly the matter ends and you have a lot of extra time on your hands, so you scramble to get new clients once again but without the momentum you once had, the new clients trickle in more slowly.

And you start your business development activities again, only to abandon them when you get busy with billable work once more.  And this cycle repeats over and over and over and….

STOP THE INSANITY!

What I explain to my clients is very simple: you must do some sort of marketing or business development activity every single day! Some of the activities take 15 minutes, some take a few hours, but you must commit to creating a business development habit daily.

Business development requires constant momentum.

Way back in 2013, I provided mathematical proof that you potentially have 35 hours a week (without even counting weekends), after billable hour requirements and sleep and a workout, to do anything you want.  That’s 7 hours per weekday to use in any manner you please.

Before you get on my case that it takes more than 8 hours of work to bill 8 hours to clients, I know (and that’s for a different discussion about why THAT is happening), but there are still 35 hours per week for you to use in any way you want – even if you use some of that as more billable time.

I have said this repeatedly – business development is simple, but not easy.  You have to make the commitment that you are going to take the time – even if you can only spare 15 minutes – to execute the activities necessary to keep the business development momentum going.

  • If you are a mid-level associate who would like to become a partner or a partner looking to become a Rainmaker and are interested in individual coaching but would like to take it for a test drive, schedule your FREE Rainmaking Coaching Session
  • If you are a law firm leader and would like to discuss bringing a training program or a Rainmaking Seminar (with Ethics CLEs) in-house please email me. 
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Photo of Lindsay Griffiths Lindsay Griffiths

Lindsay Griffiths is the International Lawyers Network’s Executive Director. In this capacity, Ms. Griffiths is responsible for the oversight and management of day-to-day operations of the International Lawyers Network (ILN). She develops strategies and implementation plans to achieve the ILN’s goals, and handles…

Lindsay Griffiths is the International Lawyers Network’s Executive Director. In this capacity, Ms. Griffiths is responsible for the oversight and management of day-to-day operations of the International Lawyers Network (ILN). She develops strategies and implementation plans to achieve the ILN’s goals, and handles recruitment, member retention, and a high level of service to members. She is engaged in the legal industry to stay on top of trends, both in law firms and law firm networks.

In her role as Executive Director, she develops and facilitates relationships among ILN member firm lawyers at 90+ law firms in 67 countries, and seeks opportunities for member firms to build business and relationships, while ensuring member participation in Network events and initiatives. These initiatives include facilitating referrals, the management and execution of the marketing and business development strategy for the Network, which encompasses all communications, push-down efforts, and marketing partnerships, providing support and guidance to the chairs and group leaders for the ILN’s thirteen practice and industry specialty groups, the ILN’s women’s initiative, the ILN’s mentorship program, the management and execution of all ILN conferences, and more.

JD Supra Readers Choice Top Author 2019

During her previous tenure as Director of Global Relationship Management, the ILN has been shortlisted as a Global Law Firm Network of the Year by The Lawyer for 2016 and 2017, and included as a Chambers & Partners Leading Law Firm Network since 2011. She was awarded “Thought Leader of the Year” by the Legal Marketing Association’s New York chapter in 2014 for her substantive contributions to the industry, and was recently included in Clio’s list for “34 People in Legal You Should Follow on Twitter.” She was also chosen for the American Bar Association Journal’s inaugural Web 100‘s Best Law Blogs, where judge Ivy Grey said “This blog is outstanding, thoughtful and useful.” Ms. Griffiths was recently chosen for as a Top Author by JD Supra in their 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards, for the level of engagement and visibility she attained with readers on the topic of marketing & business development. She has been the author of Zen & the Art of Legal Networking since February of 2009.