Business Development Confidence — Absent a Steady Stream of Leads

July 10, 2013

Attorney communicationAll too often, attorneys state they have a steady stream of leads when all they really have is meetings and email exchanges.  This blog focuses on 2 pragmatic steps to insure you have real leads, not just contacts.”

Continuing with the problem areas presented and responded to in the U.S./Canada survey we conducted along with RainmakerVT,  70% of the attorneys scored themselves a 5 ( 1-10 with 10 high) or lower when asked about having a “steady stream of leads.”  In the previous blog we addressed the major reasons identified in our client work and tactics useful in overcoming the absence of leads.  Today the discussion will focus on “relevance” to the client/prospect.

Are you meeting merely because you can, i.e. your connection is via a trusted source or some other random cause?  But is there a specific issue to drive the new relationship?

If the only words people associate with you are legal-service nouns, e.g. “litigator,” “M& A lawyer,” ‘employment lawyer,” etc., you’ve grouped yourself into an undifferentiated class of people who are only relevant once a business problem has become redefined as a legal problem.  By then, it’s too late to begin developing a relationship.

And if you have a high incidence of calls/meetings being rescheduled or cancelled, that’s a pretty good indicator that the other party sees insufficient relevance to keep you on the schedule.  This is true whether you are talking with clients or prospects.

To enter your pipeline willingly and remain engaged with you, prospects must see you as relevant to their world.  So how can you improve your relevance?

Identify and discuss business issues that someone in this prospect’s situation are obligated to care about because of the problem’s current or projected impact.

Next, demonstrate your depth of understanding of this problem, using language that insiders use.  Now, you are participating in an ongoing business conversation rather than interrupting one to talk about your credentials and experience.  Over time, as people in that business associate you with that issue, it becomes almost impossible for them to discuss it without you coming to mind as the solution.