I’ve been spending some time in Dublin recently – working with a couple of different big law firms there. I like Dublin. I love the Irish – you always know that you’re guaranteed to get some “good craic” from the lawyers.
On one of my recent Dublin trips I found myself wandering past Facebook’s offices. Two things struck me:
1. I spotted an armoury of Nerf guns racked up on the wall on one floor.
If I was ever going to go back to partnership in a law firm (heaven forbid!) then I’d like to have some Nerf guns lying about the place. It might help some of the lawyers to take themselves just a little bit less seriously. Sorry – is that too cheeky? Not sure if I should share this or not but this week I found myself drawn to a huge Nerf “Stampede” 60 shot gun in a shop window. Half price. I didn't manage to resist. Planning a battle with my kids this weekend.
2. In their reception lobby Facebook have some large posters with inspirational slogans:
- What would you do if you weren’t afraid?
- Proceed and be bold
- Done is better than perfect
I spend a lot of my time helping lawyers and other professionals improve their business development skills. Facebook’s slogans would be perfect for one of my BD Skills sessions. Why? Because here are some of the most common challenges lawyers have to overcome in relation to business development:
1. Fear: of rejection, failure. What if I ask and they say “no”?
Learn to love “no”! It’s the second best answer to “yes”. It’s rarely “no - never”. It’s usually “no - not at the moment, because…”. And if it really is “no - never” then exit gracefully and graciously and move on. At least you know where you stand. Next please. Remember that business development is essentially a numbers game.
2. Perfection paralysis: when I have a free afternoon to work out how our all singing, dancing CRM system actually works; and I can sit down and analyse our team’s business plan; and produce a spreadsheet of contacts; and craft a wonderful email then…
How about just calling up those contacts you haven’t seen for a while and asking if you could catch up? Or that person you met at a recent event and promised you’d have coffee with but haven’t? How about you just stop procrastinating and do something! Anything. BD related. Today! How about you do one little BD related activity every day? In fact how about you go do one right now. Before you get back to your email and piles of client work?
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about the author
Michael Fleming is our Head of KWC Legal. If you would like to know more about this subject, drop him an email and we will be in touch.