From Theory to Practice
You’ll no doubt want more detail about the strategies and skills outlined in Part 1, and there are several excellent resources available. Two of the best with which to start are The Trusted Advisor by Maister, Green and Galford, and the online article collections of Altman & Weil and Hildebrand International. Let’s assume that you’re motivated and you’ve gotten more information and you’re ready to start doing the business of business development differently. It gets significantly more challenging at this point because you have to start applying what you now know to do. And with increasing professional pressures from all directions, consistently devoting time to business and client development activities is more difficult than ever. Finally, the biggest challenge lies in overcoming your natural resistance to change and your fear of failure. This, of course, is where attitude is all-important.
It’s quite similar to getting and staying in shape. Most people already basically know what they have to do (though most will get some additional information if they’re at all serious). Of this vast majority, many resolve to exercise regularly, only to banish the treadmill to the basement three months later. It’s a much smaller number who, step by step, transform hope into habit until being in shape becomes their normal, permanent experience.
The Most Important Step
Obviously, if these strategies and skills were easy to implement, far more attorneys would be practicing them regularly. Just figuring out where and how to start can be daunting. The first and most important step is simply to make the commitment to tackle business development with a positive attitude. The remainder of these posts look at three critical (and interrelated) areas where your attitude, quite simply, will determine your degree of business-generating success.