To make partner, you have to win clients and grow your own book of business. To also make partner, you have to let go of clients. We know this sounds crazy but we do have a point. Put simply, as you start winning bigger and better clients, at some point you need to hand over your client portfolio of lesser important clients to a team member to manage. Here’s how to do that successfully.
A 3-step guide to handing over clients
Stop being your own bottleneck
It can be hard to ‘let go’ of your client portfolio, but it’s necessary. If you don’t, where will you find the time to win more clients to grow your portfolio and for other essential business development activities? Being your own bottleneck slows your growth and progression through the partnership track, so learn to delegate smartly and hand over your clients to your team members. Only then will you have time to focus on what’s most valuable to help you make partner.
Make sure it’s the right time
Which clients are taking up the most of your time and preventing you from moving forward with other areas of business development? Are you surrounded by a talented and trusted team? Do you have someone in mind who is the ideal person for you to hand your clients to? You need to know the answers to these questions to hand over your clients to a trusted team member successfully. To do that, find out who is taking up the most of your time, look at your team and decide who may be able to take on key clients and delegate resources and authority accordingly.
Invest to ensure success
Handing over your client portfolio is a process; it’s not as easy as handing them over and then immediately having the time to work on business development. To delegate successfully, you will need to take the time to educate the person or team who will be taking over the clients, give them the proper training, outline and document key processes, and then regularly receive updates on results and provide ongoing support. While this will undoubtedly take up your time initially, every investment you make now will free up more time for you to focus on the high-value tasks that will help you to make partner in the future.
Take a step back to move forward
You need to let go and delegate in order to progress up the career ladder, so start handing over your lowest-value clients to your team members when you feel like it’s time. To do this successfully, you need to stop being your own bottleneck and invest the time to handover properly. Only then can you be confident enough to spend the time that you do have on growing yourself and the firm.