In February, I outlined steps one and two to help you achieve more professional success without giving up personal happiness. Last month I outlined step three, and today, I'll outline the fourth and final step in this series.
Step Four: Learn to Bring in New Business. If youâ€™re to move up in your firm, you must learn to bring in new clients and additional work from existing clients. If youâ€™re an internal attorney or accountant in your organization, you need to learn how to encourage your colleagues to bring you their business, to seek your internal advice and services sooner, rather than later.
What are the fundamentals of business development?
Always remember the basics: 1) You must learn continuously to keep your knowledge current and 2) you must deliver outstanding client service to retain your existing clients. Without doing these two basic things, you will have no business.
Know your market, your clients and yourself. What industries do you serve? What geography do you serve? Who are your clients? Can you describe them? What are their problems? What do they need? In addition to knowing your Highest Talentsâ„¢, as I described earlier, you must know the services you provide and, most importantly, the problems you solve. How are your clients better off because they work with you?
Based on your clients and the problems you solve, what is your client-focused self-introduction? Hereâ€™s my example when I speak to individuals: I help professionals use their unique strengths to achieve more success while staying true to their personal values. When I talk with firm leaders and representatives, I sometimes say: I help firms improve their productivity and profitability by helping their teams and individuals thrive.
When youâ€™re clear about your fundamentals, itâ€™s time to build your community and visibility. Where do your ideal clients congregate, physically or virtually? Thatâ€™s where you need to be! Use speaking, podcasts, webinars, blogs and social media postings to deliver value continuously. Communicate consistently to provide value, make referrals and simply show that you care. Communication is more important now, while many of us continue to work virtually, than it has ever been before.
Participate in activities that matter to you. Serve on boards or committees that support your profession, your industry or community organizations that are important to you. Learn about others who serve with you. Demonstrate your capabilities and trustworthiness by committing to the work and doing it well. As you do so, youâ€™ll build friendships and grow your reputation, professionally and personally.
Have fun! How can you have fun and develop business at the same time? I have clients who take their clients and prospective clients fishing because they love to fish. Another client hosts an annual baseball party for his friends and their families. Both activities lead to new clients and more business, though thatâ€™s not my clientsâ€™ primary motivation. They host these events to have fun! What do you love to do that you can do with friends and clients?
Developing new business, while staying true to yourself, is critical to your success and happiness.
Get clear about what you want, identify your Highest Talentsâ„¢, master your leadership and bring in new business, all while staying true to yourself and your values. These are the ways to achieve more professional success without giving up personal happiness.