Let’s regroup after the holidays.
Let’s give it some thought after the holidays.
No one is doing much now, I will reach out after the holidays.
I promise I am not a distant relative of Ebenezer Scrooge or the Grinch. However, there is one thing about this festive season that gets under my skin as a law firm Marketing and Business Development Director. It is the feeling I get from some that it is a time to put business development and marketing activities on hold until after January 1. While they are correct that it may be appropriate to halt some regular business development and marketing activities, it is certainly a time that is ripe with other wonderful business development opportunities – reflection, re-grouping, strategizing and of course lots of touching, to name a few. So, grab a cup of cocoa and a seat by the fire (or maybe another cup of coffee and a seat at your desk) and give the following a few thoughts:
- Take a look at your client matters and referral sources over the last 24 months. (Depending on your practice area, one year usually isn’t enough of a look-back to give you the full picture.) Who has been good to you? This is the perfect time to thank them. Depending on how good, thank them with a handwritten holiday card; personalized e-card; or small, medium or large gift. I am a fan of sending gifts from local businesses. Sagamore Rye Whiskey and crab cakes from G&M are our pick of the year. Not only are you supporting local businesses, but you are also giving the gift of extra thought that is sure to spark a conversation. Gifts that speak to their interests and tastes will also be much appreciated.
- Schedule those client touches. While you may not be meeting up for coffee or lunches as you usually would throughout the year, now is the time to schedule those touches for the upcoming months. Identify and prioritize who you want to meet with in January and February and then when receiving those “thank yous” and “holiday greetings” respond with a “I think it is time for us to grab lunch” or “how about we grab a coffee in mid-January.” You will be surprised how quickly your calendar fills up with quality touches.
- Take some time both individually and with your practice group to reflect on what worked for you last year and where you need to improve. Do you need to . . .Develop your brand? Become more involved in a trade group or organization? Increase your social media presence? Host an educational event? Increase the public relations efforts for you or your practice group? Write articles and present to develop your niche? Expand your network?
Come up with SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Bound) Goals for each of the areas you want to improve and write them down. Meet with your firm’s business development professional or a mentor and talk to them about your goals. If you actually talk about them, you will be much more likely to act on them. Schedule a standing every other week or monthly follow up meeting with the agenda being a discussion of the specific actions you have taken towards your goals and the progress you have made. This will hold you accountable for taking real action towards your goals.
The holidays can be a bit chaotic for most. Taking a few steps to get your business development and marketing poised for the upcoming year, rather than pushing it off to January, will certainly help you feel more organized and get your new year off to a great start.
Nicole E. Ames, Esquire is Director of Marketing and Business Development at PK Law, the tenth largest law firm in the Baltimore, Maryland area. The firm’s core practice areas are corporate and business services, estate planning and elder law, labor and employment and litigation. Her role as Director of Business Development is to partner with the attorneys in the firm to assist them in a variety of efforts aimed to grow their practice. Ms. Ames can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org