This September as you prepare your plan and budget for 2013 remember this: clients come first. In my coaching work with lawyers on business development the greatest focus is given to maximising the opportunities with existing clients. Clients deserve this attention for these reasons:
1. You have already done the work of bringing them into the firm. By developing and investing in the relationship you open the door to further engagements.
2. In collaboration with colleagues in other practice areas you may find opportunities to expand the client relationship to other areas of the firm.
3. Loyal clients will refer their contacts to you.
Here are the three main activities to engage in with your significant clients.
1. Visit your client’s place of work.
2. Schedule a feedback interview to learn what more you can be doing to support your client.
3. Engage in non-billable dialogue with your clients about their priorities, opportunities, and challenges. Knowing what is keeping them up a night will help you uncover needs that you may not currently be serving and can help you to be more valuable to your client.
Opening up opportunities for listening to your clients is at the heart of business development. This fall take your listening skills up a level. Don’t miss this article by Kare Anderson in Forbes about how to put your listening skills to work.