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| 1 minute read

Business Development is just helping people

I love this definition: "Business Development is cultivating opportunities to help people" given by Katrina Johnson when she talks with Mo Bunnell in the attached video.  Check it out.

It made me think that if your job is to get lawyers who do not 'do' business development and think 'sales' is a dirty word maybe reframe it as 'helping people'.  Everyone likes to help their clients - especially those in professional services like lawyers, consultants and accountants who are not that keen on 'sales'.

Katrina goes on to talk about making sure she always has multiple touchpoints in her Business Development plan with a potential client.  Lots of short helpful interactions are better than one big fat email.  She sometimes sends emails, sometimes text messages or sometimes Direct Messages, and sometimes just pictures or quotes.  The important point is her interactions are useful and helpful and there are many of them.

It made me think about why Passle often gets bought into a law firm just after they have done client outreach.  This is very much summarised but often law firms get the following feedback from their clients:

  • You are great lawyers
  • You are expensive (but we get it)
  • BUT we only ever hear from you with a bill attached.  You talk a great deal about being trusted advisors, a strategic extension of our team - but you act transactional. Ouch!

The solution: Ensure your lawyers are being helpful - often. Whether that is in person, on the phone, or digitally. Give them guidance on who to be helpful to and how to do it through messaging, forwarding useful content etc.  Get them to talk with clients between deals and large engagements. 

Finally, remind your lawyers that as Mo says communication with a client or prospect is not always tennis - you might not get a shot back every time you serve -  but you need to serve!  You need to send useful helpful, relevant info - and it does not need to be War and Peace.

What Business Development REALLY Means


e2e, marketing, professional services