We are almost halfway through the 2019 year! Many of us will be headed to the beach, the lake or a planned family vacation soon. School is out, and the routines become less demanding. The days are longer, but the office is often a bit quieter and slower. It can be the perfect time to recharge, slow down and enjoy the sunshine, but the slower pace can also be the ideal time to refocus, connect with clients, evaluate goals and reprioritize to make the most of the second half of the year. Like you, your clients and prospects may actually have a bit more time to connect over the summer.
In addition to relaxing, consider taking advantage of the slower pace with these actions to keep your business development, client engagement and relationships active and ongoing.
- Schedule time on your calendar to meaningfully evaluate your business development plan. What have you accomplished that you want to be certain to continue? What is still on the plan that needs focus and attention? Where do you need to reevaluate efforts? If you accomplish everything, will it move the needle? Schedule time on your calendar every month for the rest of the year to accomplish goals on the plan.
- Focus on 10-20 contacts over the next three months to reconnect, stay top of mind and bring value to the relationship. Develop a list of contacts for whom you want to deepen or maintain the relationship, and add their names and contacts to a reoccurring calendar appointment to make it easy for outreach. Ask them what went well in the first part of 2019 and where they plan to focus their time and efforts for the rest of the year. Send them insightful articles or information from conferences that help them be more effective.
- Make face time a priority. We often hear in interviews that many clients appreciate periodic face time to personally connect with their lawyers and share important business priorities and challenges that may not come up in email exchanges. The summer weeks can be quiet in the office and an ideal time to visit. In addition to office visits, think about which clients are overdue for a tour of facilities to better understand business operations.
- Plan for Fall now. We all know that the last quarter of the year is frantic and overwhelming. Spend time now planning out your Fall so client service and client development stay a priority during the busy months. Plan what conferences you want to attend and reach out to clients now to connect during that travel. Schedule check-ins on your calendar with your most valued relationships.
- Update your biography online. When did you last review your online profile and update it to reflect what you do best and why clients should call you? Clients are window shopping all of the time and want to know your key industries of focus and why you align best with their business and culture.
- Read industry and non-legal publications to add value and insight to conversations. Clients want lawyers who understand their business, add value and insights beyond legal advice and help them see around the corner. That is a difficult thing to do if you are not stepping outside of the legal bubble. Give yourself a goal to read business or leadership publications, send articles of interest to clients and challenge yourself to be open to new ideas and insights this summer.