I know a lot of lawyers. But when I was out with friends the other night and one of them asked for a referral, John’s name popped into my head so I sent the business his way.
I wish I could tell you that I recommended John after careful consideration of the many alternatives in my network. I wish I could tell you that John was the best fit for the client. All I can tell you is that I had just seen John earlier that day so he was top of mind.
The experience reminded me of a key business development principle: top of mind is top priority. You may be the best at what you do, but that doesn’t guarantee that your referral sources will think of you for relevant opportunities. In fact, it’s naive to assume that just because your colleagues know what you do, they’ll remember to send you appropriate business opportunities. No one wants to think that hard. The truth is, they’ll remember whoever is easiest to remember, even if that’s nobody.
So, to realize the full potential of the people in your business network, make sure the “short list” of key relationships is reflected on your Practice Pipeline dashboard.
And while you’re at it, here’s a simple exercise that can yield a quick result:
Think of someone who used to refer to you fairly consistently. Why do you suppose they stopped? They’ve already demonstrated that they have a pipeline of business for you. Chances are you’ve fallen off their radar. Schedule a conversation with them to get back onto their agenda. Do something that benefits them so that you become a priority again. Then add them to Practice Pipeline so that the relationship stays top of mind.
Authored by David Ackert