Want to do better in 2016? Give your business development a boost. Here are three ways:
1. Talk To Your Colleagues.
Although you pass each other in the hallway 12 times a day, how often do you stop and talk business development with your fellow lawyers? Why not set aside one lunch per month to get together with one or two of them and talk business development? It doesn't have to be formal, you don't need to bring your BD plan as reference, you don't have to justify what you did or didn't do last month. You just have to talk about clients and opportunities and ways you might be able to get new work.
2. Drop Your Clients a Line.
You know it's true: most of the correspondence you send clients is about work – status updates, compliance questions, filing deadlines, and the like. But it doesn't have to always be that way. What if you made an effort, again once a month, to find one article or blog post that one of your top clients will find interesting? Perhaps it's an article about their alma mater, or a ground-breaking development in their industry, or even news from their home town that you can forward along with a "this made me think of you" cover note. They'll appreciate it.
3. Make an introduction.
No matter how long you've been practicing, you probably know several people who would benefit from knowing each other. Perhaps your accountant and your biggest client both like to sky dive. Or maybe two clients in complementary industries went to the same college but have never met. Whatever the connection, what if you made the effort to figure out who would gain from an introduction and then put them together? Wouldn't your contacts appreciate it if you made three or four introductions over the next 12 months?
Make 2016 a great year.