This post is taken from an extract from the transcript of one of my recent webinars on “how to win your first client…..and then your second and third”. Heather (HT): The people I see that become very successful at business development are actively making choices every day. These choices tend to fall into these categories, so it’s what we’ve already hinted at… • A choice about what I will become known for, so a niche or a specialism. If you are ever going to come out from an established partner’s shadow you will need to be known for something. • A choice about what you’ll stop doing, or delegate, so that you free up time for business development. • It’s a choice every day about how you’ll do a little bit of business development, daily. The people who are successful about business development are the ones you choose to create a daily habit to do business development. • A choice about how you’ll tailor your messages out into the marketplace, you attract the right type of clients. • A decision to invest in my business development expertise, rather than expecting to pick up a skillset, purely by osmosis of reserving people in your practice. Choice is about what type of business development activity you’ll prioritise, e.g. what small sub-sector of the market you’ll focus your business development activities on. And, what business development activities you’ll chose to pass-by. • You’ve also got to choose to invest for the longer term; winning clients in the long-term gain, particularly for the big stuff. You can’t expect to win clients based on one meeting, or a few emails exchanged. • The first stage in becoming good at business development, is choosing a niche or a specialism. Particularly if you’re sitting there as a generalist you cross a lot of sectors, maybe you’re in tax or something like that, the question is about what are the ways to find my niche. So, look at what you’re passionate about, what do you enjoy doing? • Look at the fit both strategically in your firm, is it something the firm wants to invest in? Is there a good fit, whether it’s a growing area, is there lots of work to be had? Will it help you to come out from your partner’s shadow? Maybe you’ll go and look at a different sector but it’s the same technical skillset. Or, maybe you’ll look at something to become an expert in the same sector with a slightly different technical skillset. • Credibility, what have you got a track record on? Or, maybe what have your firm got a track record for? What’s your credibility? To listen to the whole of the webinar or read the whole audio transcript, click here

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