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Forget Butterfly Marketing – Think Persistence

Lawyers are not bereft of ideas – indeed problem solving, thinking at the edges of the box (sometimes) and moving the problem or process on through (semi) creative thinking is, or at least should be, second nature.

But when it comes to business development – even if that is as basic as working on developing stronger client relationships with existing clients – nearly everything seems to falter, not for lack of ingenuity, but through lack of focus and, more importantly, persistence.

One partner that I worked with rather euphemistically referred to his team’s efforts as “Butterfly Marketing”. But in reality what he was referring to was the fact that there was no consistency and persistence and people had a proclivity to flit from one thing to another in the hope, presumably, that they would alight on an idea, client relationship or networking opportunity that would produce immediate and sustained results.

One of the ways that this could be sensibly addressed is to spend more time thinking ahead to what it is that the firm, department of individuals wish to achieve. A simple SWOT or PESTEL analysis wouldn’t go amiss. This might sound like a statement of the blindingly obvious “Duh – More clients stupid” but the trick is to pick a general direction or theme and execute around it and execute some more.

And that is just it: Until you have committed yourself to the task or operation and failed and failed again, meaning you may not have got that first appointment or instruction, then you simply won’t know if you have picked a profitable area of work or the right putative client relationship.

As Calvin Coolidge said:

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.”

It is important that you keep a careful record of your endeavours but don’t think that because you haven’t got the results that you hoped for in the allotted time scale that you should give up.

Very often it is at the moment that you quit that the riches that you seek are just around the corner (consider reading the book Acres of Diamonds by Russell Conwell).

Don’t give into the temptation to quit just because you don’t get immediate results. If you believe in something enough and can visualise the outcome that you seek then that is as important as finding the next sector that is on the up. If you passionately believe in something then no matter how difficult it may seem to get up a head of steam of work that is no reason to quit. Persistence combined with your touchstone for a certain type of work or developed client relationship, whatever that is, will and has always prevailed – whether that is in professional services or otherwise.

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