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Shifting the focus: do we have our BD approach all wrong?

September 2016

Sue-Ella Prodonovich recently ran a valuable session for APSMA’s Auckland Chapter covering BD ideas and philosophies to help fee-earners to build a book of business.

It got me thinking, have we got our BD approach all wrong?

While many of us focus our efforts at partner level, Sue-Ella pointed out there is often more scope to effect greater change and have bigger wins by working with younger talent within our firms:

  • Because they respond differently to learning, seeing a knock-back as simply that and understanding that it’s okay to make mistakes.
  • Because they don’t yet have the ‘fear’ they can tackle old problems in new ways. For example they may see opportunities for repackaging, re-pricing, or re-engineering services for markets. Or they may embrace networking with start-ups and emerging businesses more effectively than senior lawyers.
  • Because selling is everyone’s responsibility.

5 ideas Sue-Ella shared to include your more junior team members in business development:

  1. Let your younger team members be visible
  2. Ask for their feedback on tenders / pitches
  3. Give them a real business problem and have them work in groups to solve it (this could be a firm or a client issue)
  4. Have them present ‘tech’ or ‘app’ updates to the more senior team members, including their relevance to the firm and / or clients
  5. Incorporate gamification to encourage people to do the things you want them to.

Want to find out more?

Sue-Ella’s summary of the ideas the audience found most useful is a great read - https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-get-junior-professionals-contributing-your-firms-bd-prodonovich?trk=prof-post

She will be running similar sessions in Brisbane and Perth in October 2016, please stay tuned for their announcement soon.

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