In some business’ seasonality lends itself to long vacations or even closing the business during the slower times of the year. A successful law practice just doesn’t function that way.
For any professional practice firm developing new clients is like a shark; it must always be swimming to stay alive.
Why are successful practices like sharks? Because when you earn your income by DOING the work it takes ongoing discipline to keep DEVELOPING new clients while you are busy servicing the ones you currently have. The “always swimming” reference means you have to keep working on your DEVELOPING activities all the time no matter how busy or slow you might be.
The effect on business growth for practices who wait until they need new clients to start looking for new clients is a phenomenon commonly referred to in business development as “porpoise-ing” (I know, a lot of ocean creatures in this one!).
The effect of “porpoise-ing” on a practice, and hence the name, is that your revenue jumps up and down like a “porpoise” swimming on the surface. Income is up one quarter and down the next due the lulls facilitated by inconsistent stop/start marketing and networking activity.
What are some business development activities that should never stop for law firms? Building and nurturing a quality referral network is obviously at the top of the list but social media, speaking engagements, website optimization, regular email campaigns, and vertical specific marketing/advertising are all important as well.
If you don’t have time to do it all yourself, outsource it. There may be some things marketing firms differ on but one thing everyone can agree on is consistency is the key to any effective business development strategy. Never stop swimming!
With apologies to the film Glengarry Glen Ross you could call this the ABC Principle for becoming a rain maker in your practice.
Always Be Cultivating future clients in a consistent and ongoing manner. The key word is Always.