These tips and tricks were featured in our webinar: Business Development for Lawyers in the Age of COVID. Watch the webinar here!
Be Prepared to Adjust Your Schedule
You may need to operate within a time zone that is different than the time zone the majority of your co-workers and clients are in. Be open to adjusting your typical 9:00am-5:00pm.
Find Ways to Maintain a Routine (and a Sense of Normalcy)
If you normally hosted weekly team/client updates in the office boardroom, replicate those meetings digitally, but keep them small. By keeping the numbers low you can maintain and strengthen your client and co-worker relationships, without invading their space.
Be Deliberate. Be Respectful. Be Authentic.
- Put time and effort into thinking about why you’re calling this person in the first place. Have a purpose in mind, even if the call is just out of personal interest. Don’t waste someone’s time.
- The vendors who are most valued appreciated and remembered are those who appreciate your time. Lawyers may not have the time to hear a full pitch on the first call, so get off the phone immediately and call again at a better time.
- Lawyers will also appreciate if you reach out to them with authenticity and your shared experiences. Be genuine and ask how things are going, rather than going straight into the pitch. Don’t send mass emails or generic LinkedIn messages – personalize the message you’re trying to convey and relate to your audience.
- Take the time to look into the organization you’re calling – know the names of the lawyers on the team and put thought into what would genuinely work for them.
- Lastly, DO NOT ‘ghost’ people you reach out to, especially after they took time out of their day to respond to you.
Maybe you ditched the sport coat, but don’t ditch your manners. Although lawyers and clients have become more understanding and lenient towards seeing you dressed in casual clothing and hearing background noise over a Zoom call, that should not take away from your ability to maintain your professionalism and business etiquette.
To be efficient and effective, it’s important to use any/all resources at your disposal.
- There is power in numbers, so be sure to leverage your team in a strategic way. If you have a business development team, find ways to be outwardly consistent and helpful to each other internally.
- Employ templates that your team can use across a variety of scenarios. When done correctly, this helps maintain consistency and illustrate increased quality of service.
Refrain From Exploiting Your Network
One of the most successful remote business development strategies entails resisting the urge to exploit your contacts at the start of a crisis. Both, vendors and lawyers, who remain mindful at the very start of a crisis by circulating free and personalized resources, such as articles and blogs, to their contact list will be remembered and valued. If you genuinely try to help your contacts when times are hard, you’ll be top of mind when they’re seeking the services that you offer. Check in with your network frequently and ask how you can help – then go above and beyond and exceed their expectations.
…But Don’t Wait Until the Pandemic is Over
While you don’t want to exploit your network, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still be networking and it definitely doesn’t mean you should wait for the pandemic to end. It’s important to network now more than ever. Do it in a way that is mindful and leverage your existing client relationships.
Have an idea of how you can optimize your business development opportunities? Test and iterate. If you don’t do it, someone else will. In any crisis there is opportunity for you to succeed – think about what kind of opportunities arose from the current pandemic. Use any extra time that you have now been granted since business has slowed down to tackle the tasks you’ve been postponing. Be creative with your time.