I hate to exercise. I don’t care what anybody says. Maybe hate is a little strong, but I sure as heck don’t enjoy it. It ain’t fun.  It’s work. “They” do refer to it as “working out” after all, now don’t they.  If it was suppose to be enjoyable they would call it “playing out,” don’t you think? I rest my case.

But, I know I gotta do it for my health and general well being, so I do.

When it comes to business development the analogy fits. You gotta do it, whether you like it or not. I got on this track due to my friend John Remsen’s marketing tip of the month entitled “You Just Gotta Go” and his use of the exercise regimen analogy as to how lawyers need to approach their marketing efforts. I hate it when he is right (when it comes to the exercise thing), and totally agree that lawyers need to look at developing business in the same way.

I also agree with his six habits that will definitely help you in that regard:

  1. Show How Much You Care – showing clients that you care about their goals and objectives, and their success is best done by showering them with attention; e.g., client site visits, lunch/breakfast meeting, sending information of interest, phone calls to catch up (off the clock of course), etc.
  2. Always Return Your Phone Calls the Same Day – I’d go further and say within 4 hours, preferably within two (if you can’t physically pull that off, have someone on your staff return the call to explain that you are tied up, and when you will return the call).
  3. Meet Your Deadlines – this falls into the “don’t over promise and under deliver” category. Much better to set a deadline and actually beat it by a day or two (It not only shows you’re efficient and good for your word, but you send the message that the client’s matter was a top priority for you).
  4. Send Hand-Written Notes – I hate e-mail. There I’ve said it. Necessary and often efficient, yes. But, there is just too much of it, and I think people feel a sense of euphoria when they just delete the darn things. Think of how good you feel upon receiving a handwritten note from someone. I agree with John that it is “much more memorable and effective.” Spend time looking for opportunities to send a handwritten note.
  5. Go to Breakfast or Lunch Once a Week – I don’t advocate that you Never Eat Alone. I agree with John that you should plan to have breakfast/lunch/dinner with a client, referral source, prospect or media person at least once a week. Start with those that, as he says, are on your “A” list. Not just once but 3 or 4 times per year – certainly with your top clients.
  6. Get Active in One Key Organization – maybe two. John’s point is valid and why I suggest to clients that they join one or two organizations only and be very active in each, so they can give proper attention to the business development potential of each. Showing up at the monthly luncheon doesn’t get it. Volunteer or head up a committee. It’s all about visibility and credibility.

You gotta do it. So, which one are you going to work on first?