We would like to hear from you.
Developing your legal business can seem daunting and time consuming, but is ever more essential as straitened times continue. Help is at hand in the expert form of Nick Davies, former barrister and specialist trainer in business development for lawyers.
Here’s another aspect of developing business that people hate – getting in touch with the people they really should meet – connecting with them.
They hate it because they worry about being too pushy but also because they approach the entire exercise with a ‘why would anybody want to buy what I’ve got, there are so many other people doing miles better stuff than I/we do and anyway ours isn’t the best’ mentality.
So what they all too often do is just send out either a paper or email ‘flyer’, in the vain hope that if they send enough someone is bound to reply. Or imagine that if they attend enough networking events (more of this later) the same affect will occur. Well it won’t!
Let me make something really clear here.
‘How to be Great at the Stuff You Hate’ is a book about sales and developing business face to face. There are other books which deal with on-line and mail-order businesses; but mine isn’t one of them, principally because I have no experience of either and anyway, it’d make for a ruddy big book.
Selling face to face means that once you’ve decided on your target – the person you need to meet – every action you take is with one purpose in mind: securing a meeting with that person.
How do you connect with the person in order to maximise your chances of getting between 30 and 60 minutes one-to-one time with them, chatting over a tea or coffee.
And I don’t mean meeting them at a networking event, which is why I regard networking as simply one of the ways you can ‘connect’ with people.
Sure, there will be occasions when you hook up with someone at an event and the encounter goes beyond small talk and in to business and how you might be able to help them. However, I would suggest that even on those rare occasions, you’ll still need to arrange to meet them again in a calmer environment (in other words, ‘follow up’) where you will not be interrupted by others and there isn’t the pressure to move on and get chatting to other attendees.
If you want to make it easy for people to set aside time to meet you and hopefully, ultimately buy from you, you’re going to have to contact them in a manner that makes an emotional connection. Making such a connection is the absolute key to successful business development and yet is something far too many people fail to do.
Ok, let’s kick off with the trickiest but perhaps most effective and definitely quickest way to connect with people and that’s the phone call.
Furthermore, I want to deal with THE most feared type of call of them all – The Cold Call. Oh yes people: smell the fear. Breathe it in and feast on the blood-curdling terror of it.
Talking about cold calling may seem a bit odd since I previously told you to avoid it like the plague. However, I’m covering this topic here for three reasons:
One – you are not allowed to use a calculator at school until you have been taught and have mastered mental arithmetic because it forms the basis of so much of what you do as an adult in navigating your way through life.
Well so it is with selling. Cold calling and understanding the process and thinking behind it, ensures you have a better understanding of all other parts of connecting with people; it’s the foundation on which so much business development is built.
Two – unless you are dead lucky, you are bound to have to do some when you start developing business. And if you are ever unlucky enough to have the backside fall out of your business (the equivalent of your calculator going AWOL), you’ll have no option but to pick up the phone and call people you don’t know.
My dad ran a marketing business back in the 80s. It was doing well and then the business dried up and the bank wanted to shut him down. He sat on the bed, opened the Yellow Pages and made phone calls – cold. He landed his biggest EVER client doing that. A client that saw his business thrive. He made a small fortune. When the crap hits the fan and the fan is switched on (real messy) the ability to make cold calls can make it all smell nice again so you need to know how to do it…….properly.
Three – whenever I’m asked to teach lawyers how to develop business, whether that’s one to one coaching, with a room full of delegates in a regular training session or to hundreds of people attending a conference, people always want to know how to do it properly.
So, I am going to take you through a step-by-step process of how to do it, as well as explaining why you should do what I’m suggesting
And finally, I’ve devoted a lot of space to all aspects of telephoning because there are so many variables because you’re connecting directly with another person.
Even if the person you want to get to meet is not in, you’ll always end up speaking to the receptionist or, if you get further, their PA, secretary or work colleague.
Nick Davies is the author of "How to be Great at Stuff You Hate" and knows his really enjoys his coffee.