The misconception of business development in law.

By now you'll have read endless drivel about how "business development" is key to bringing in more clients.  A few notes on that.

  1. Meeting attorneys/professionals in complimentary fields (life insurance salesman/wills attorney) simply because they are in complimentary fields, doesn't lead to business.
  2. Getting belligerently drunk with other lawyers will not lead to business.
  3. Promising to send business to another person when you have no business to send, will not lead to business.
  4. "Picking someone's brain" will not lead to business.
  5. Looking tired, overworked, etc. will not lead to business.
  6. Complaining about your industry and putting other attorneys down will not lead to business.
  7. Just because you're at an "event", doesn't mean you're networking.
  8. The strip club, gentlemen, will lead to a lot of things, but it will not lead to business.


What may lead to business?

  1. Creating relationships with people. Not people who are in a certain line of work.  Just people.  You're just as likely to get a referral from your dry cleaner if you get to know them on a human level, as you will a person in a complimentary profession you purposely make forced conversation with.
  2. Common interests.  Like MMA?  Get to know people in your gym.  Like cooking?  Join a cooking class and talk to people.  Stop forcing yourself to go to events you think you should go to because it will lead to business.
  3. Going home and getting enough sleep/exercise will lead to more business.  (You can't get business if you're dead, can you?)
  4. Showing you care and adding value will get you more business (and make you a better human).
  5. Saying NO to almost everything will get you more business. You'll find time to focus on things that work and stop wasting time on things you think should.  You'll also get your life back.

A Final Point

The vast majority of attorneys spend time trying to get "new" business, when they haven't spent a single moment reaching out to past clients (who should be the source of 90%+ of your business after a few years). Do you send out newsletters?  Do you send out office announcements?  Do you reach out to prior clients to visit them at the home you helped them buy?  Do they know you're still alive?  

People ask me what I do to network.  I don't.  Stopped a year ago.  I go home and spend time with my fiance and my dog.  I go to bed early.  Our numbers have never been better.  It's not about what you think you should be doing because others are doing it.  It's about what works for you, individually.