Business Development

There’s more than one way to develop more business and generate a successful practice. Our programs provide practical advice for developing client relationships, building reputations, and cultivating networks in a way that makes sense for each individual and the realities of a practice area.

Each topic in the curriculum can be taught in a brief workshop, but they are often combined into longer retreat-style programs.

Firm Leader curriculum:

Business Development Strategies

Playing to your strengths and investing your time wisely

This program draws on the Sustaining Practice Styles framework and scores of interviews with successful business developers to demystify business development and highlight different ways in which lawyers can build successful practices. It focuses on setting priorities and making the most of business-development time for developing relationships, networks, and reputation.

See: Sustaining Practice Styles

Developing Your Network

Cultivating relationships with clients, collaborators, and potential clients

This workshop helps lawyers to build networks strategically and to develop the habits that allow them to maintain their networks despite the pressures of their work.  The session can also address the importance of “sponsors” and how to cultivate those key relationships inside the firm and externally.

Make Your Own Luck

Developing routines to generate opportunities

Most successful business developers report that that they “do something every day.” This workshop focuses on simple actions that can be taken on a regular basis to generate opportunities (e.g., keeping in touch with contacts, sharing knowledge and ideas, or building relationships with colleagues in different practice areas).

Strategic Goal-Setting

Career plans, business plans, action plans, and follow-through

This workshop provides a framework for thinking strategically about long-term goals for shaping one’s practice – and translating those goals into business plans and practical short-term action plans. The program draws on research about best practices for creating effective goals and the follow-up process necessary to implement them.

Managing to Exceed Client Expectations

Improving client satisfaction and strengthening relationships

What has the biggest impact on your client’s satisfaction? Results? Cost-efficiency? Responsiveness? Making them look good? Understanding their business? This program provides a framework for identifying what is most important to a client on a particular matter and between matters, and then adopting strategies to exceed their expectations. It also addresses how to ask clients for feedback to improve your performance.

Expanding the Conversation with Clients

Deepening relationships, uncovering opportunities, and asking for work

Many lawyers are uncomfortable asking for business, or transitioning from a social conversation to a business conversation. This workshop addresses how to “expand the conversation” with clients and potential clients to learn more about their businesses and needs, establish trust and credibility, uncover opportunities, and close the deal.

Cross-Selling Effectively

Collaborating with colleagues to pursue opportunities to expand business

Expanding business from existing clients is more likely and less expensive than finding new clients – so goes the theory. In practice, it’s not so easy. Clients usually don’t respond well to “selling” and partners often find it difficult to collaborate. This workshop offers practical advice for spotting opportunities for which collaboration is worth the effort and for overcoming the obstacles.