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Business Development Tips: #Persist in your Follow up

Familiarity Breeds Business

One of the key responsibilities of law firm practice group leaders and really any partner trying to develop business includes tracking past business development activities and planning for the future, i.e., where are you looking for business, what has happened so far, and what does success look like?

In a recent meeting with a partner, one striking takeaway for me was how different the past columns were from the future. In other words, many of lunches, events and meetings that had occurred in the past month were not included in the column of planned activities for the next month. I asked about the difference. He responded that we can’t follow up immediately after having a meeting. It would be too much. Almost like stalking.

This sounds a bit like investing in a brand new lock for your front door but regularly leaving the door wide open.

Making follow up a priority might be the most effective single change that anyone can make in their business development efforts on an individual level. Expecting rain to come without significant follow up with any prospect, even a well-established one, is magical thinking. Hard work and persistence trump luck (or magic) 90% of the time. Waiting for the work to drop in your lap after that amazing meeting you had, without regular follow up, will generally mean a long and fruitless wait, unless you’re really, really lucky.

Here are a few tips for following up. Don’t be shy, be persistent and always strive to be helpful.

  • Not all prospects need the same frequency of follow up. Take a look at your list of prospects. For the referral sources and less promising prospects, don’t follow up more than once per month or once every two months. For prospects with