By now you have realised that making partner is about more than technical ability and you also need to be winning regular work to be even considered as partner material. You are worried that even though you are trying to win work it just doesn’t seem to be happening for you. You need to know how to become a rainmaker.
This blogpost is taken from the transcript of our recent webinar ” how to become a rainmaker when you are known as a great technician”. John Moss and Heather Townsend were asked to name the main mistakes people make that stop then from becoming a rainmaker.
JM: Two things; mistake number one is not making business development a key part of your day job; you need to be doing something every day. I quite recognise that you can’t do the same amount perhaps every day, but you’ve got to keep the consistency going.
And the second mistake is people don’t build enough on their existing client relationships. I had a conversation with somebody last week who had been working in a specialist area, I think it was for five years, I said, ‘Surely you must have met lots of people? How many of people was that person keeping in contact with? The answer was a very small percentage.
So, don’t make life too difficult for yourselves, if you’ve got a network and maybe it’s not even a network, a series of people who you’ve contacted, keep maintaining those contacts.
HT: The key mistakes I see, the first one is particularly those that are deal makers, you might suddenly find for five weeks, two months at a time, you’re doing 14-hour days 7 days a week.
It’s when you’re doing those kinds of deals you are liaising with lots of potential referrers, i.e. the other mutual advisers that are on the deal. You’re going to be spending a lot of time working with these individuals, potentially across different areas of the firm, these are opportunities to deepen your relationship.
So, where can you find time to add in some relationship building, as well as the transactional conversations you are having with these people? And you will have the time to do that, there’ll be the odd 5-10 minutes when you’re waiting for a conference call and the client hasn’t yet appeared, these are the little pockets of time, take those opportunities.
The second thing I see is, given that everybody tends to be busy and then ultra-busy, you should in my view have two levels of business development activity; the non-negotiable that you don’t go below, and then the next level which is what I do when I’ve got more time – all too often I hear people, ‘Oh I just don’t have any time’, so not doing anything, and then after that busy deal period they don’t get back in.
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