Activity Or Achievement?

Here’s a quote for you to consider.

Sometimes when I speak with lawyers, especially those new to business development, they share all the steps they’ve taken, and I’m left with one essential question that I always ask in a more diplomatic way: So what?

Activity is critical, of course, since accomplishment can exist only through activity of some sort. That said, it’s important to distinguish between activity and achievement to ensure that your business development activity is worthwhile and moving you toward the results you want to see.

Whether actions you take amount to achievement or whether they’re just activity depends on your objectives. If you want to succeed in growing a profitable practice, you must have a business development strategy that’s tailored to your practice style, your clientele, your preferences, and your skills. Your strategy will tell you whether your efforts are achieving something worthwhile as opposed to inconsequential activity that keeps you busy but doesn’t move you toward your goals.

An example: if you attend a conference and collect 100 business cards for new contacts, so what? If your goal is to be elected to a leadership position, meeting a bunch of people may help you attain that objective, especially if you have a coordinated follow-up plan in place.  But if you’re seeking new business, you’d be better served by having more in-depth conversations with a small handful of people who fit your client avatar or referral source description. Follow-up is critical in either case, but when you’ve already started developing a relationship, you’ll find it easier to continue the conversation and take it to a deeper level that moves you down the path toward new business.

Take a look at the business development tasks you’ve completed over the last month and ask whether each represents activity or achievement. If you find activity, check to see what else you might do to achieve instead.

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