So if we are thinking of business development as a sport then, of course, we need a goal. So what would the goal of business development be? Actually, there would likely be more than just one.
One of the most important goals would be to keep the ball rolling: reach out, make connections, set up meetings. In short, get out of the office and go see the Clients and prospects. While those balls are rolling, you would also need to be able to keep multiple balls in the air. You will need to juggle the work and other demands of a successful law practice with the responsibilities inherent in business development - writing, speaking, making calls and/or attending meetings, conferences or events, all of which can require a significant time commitment.
A higher goal, and one that would be worth several points, would be to attempt to level the playing field – to become so good at what you do that none of your competitors can get close to you. One way to do this is to become so entrenched in an industry niche that your experience and knowledge are sought after and people refer you work. Another way is to become so well versed in your Client’s business that they consider you a trusted advisor and business partner and seek your advice, which can lead to multiple opportunities to generate additional work and even cross sell.
A final goal would be to practice, practice, practice. When it comes to business development, the more you do, the better you get - and the easier it becomes. In fact, if you practice enough, you will reach the ultimate goal: to make business development so habitual that you almost reach a point of ‘muscle memory’ where developing business becomes something effortless that you are so good at that you even enjoy it. That’s when you know you have ‘gone pro.’