‘Tis the Season for Peace, Equality – and Providing Value

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This is the time of year for celebrating (or at least aspiring to) things like peace on earth and equality for all. In that spirit of the season, I’ve included this week’s holiday business development quote with a message from Hanukkah.

May the lights acts of Hanukkah business development usher in a better world for all humankind your Clients. 

This slightly embellished quote from an unknown author shows the similarities between the spirit of the holiday season and the spirit of successful business development. To summarize the sentiment: To develop business, find ways to help your Clients and give first before you ever expect to receive.

This means you don’t walk into the meeting with the glossy multi-color brochures that talk about all your fancy offices and pedigrees. The minute you leave, they go right in the circular file. Don’t talk about how great your firm is: “the smartest attorneys from the best schools with the most expertise in most every area of law and the most offices to serve the most prestigious clients with the most difficult problems…”

Enough with the fa la la blah blah blah. They’ve heard it all before, and frankly it doesn’t differentiate you from the other firms they are talking to. Instead, to set you and your firm apart, focus on consistently providing value to Clients and prospects before you ever expect to get something in return. Here are a few ideas:

Instead of a brochure, carry a folder to the meeting that contains an article you’ve written on a topic this is relevant to the person. Brief them on a change in the law that will likely affect their company. Provide ideas for avoiding potential risks. Find ways to improve efficiency. Suggest sources of financing. Most importantly, ask questions about their issues and needs in the upcoming year – and come up with solutions that you could help them implement.

If you just do a few of these things with a spirit of giving, without expecting anything in return, you will often find that that the prospect will want to work with you. See, sometimes it really is better to give than to receive…