Monday, February 18, 2013

Give Gifts of Your Expertise and Network.

I believe in the path of least resistance. If someone doesn't like doing something, it will be hard to get them to practice that skill. You have to find a way for people to like what it is that they have to do. I learned this teaching young drummers the rudiments of drumming. They all wanted to be rock stars but didn't want to put the time into learning the basic stick control skills necessary to be an exceptional drummer. I found that they took to practicing the skills much more readily when they were shown the rock songs in which those skills were used. Teach them to practice the rock song parts and they found more reason and enjoyment in practicing the rudiments. 

We are all like that. Most of us hate the idea of "selling". Cold calling, closing the sale, overcoming objections and many of the other rudimental “skills” of business development make attorneys uncomfortable. They didn’t get into the practice of law to be salesmen. They got into the practice of law to help people. That’s where they find enjoyment.

The best rainmakers give small, unsolicited gifts of their expertise, experience and networks without the expectation of reciprocity. They are seen as someone who can get things done, who know a lot of people and who have an overflowing treasure chest of goodwill. They get this reputation by finding ways to help others, following through on doing these favors and by never expecting those favors to be returned. It is deeply effective, not only as a means toward building a strong network of contacts but also in boosting the self-esteem and enthusiasm for but as a means to getting attorneys into a behavior that will result in new clients over time.

Doing favors builds tremendous goodwill with new contacts. Done in a way that is purely selfless, the actions will be seen as helpful, even flattering. The more you help others, the more you will become a resource for getting things done. And when they have questions of the type of attorney to handle a particular matter, you will be the one they call.

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