Do you ever feel that there is never enough time in the day to get everything done?
Or that you were busy all day yet you still feel like you got nothing done? If either of these resonates for you, read on for tips to get your business development time management under control:
1. Get ready. Planning is a crucial step in improving time management, but especially in business development. Not surprisingly, planning barely hits the radar for top 'rainmaking activities' when we query our clients. Have you regularly taken the time to set your goals (daily, weekly, monthly and annually) for both business development activities and results? Have you researched your targets to determine which ones are going to provide the best return on your time investment? Have you made a schedule for the week so that you block out time for making calls, networking, lunches, scheduling appointments, presentations, etc.?
If you have ever gotten to the end of a crazy day, and wondered what you accomplished toward your business development goals, it may be a signal that you are letting the tail wag the dog. Quickly improve your time management by proactively planning your time.
2. Be productive, not busy. So often attorneys end up in the business of busy-ness in business development activities. We become loyal to busy work, being busy makes us feel productive. Beware the lure of being busy, because it isn’t always productive. Busy keeps you moving. Productive keeps you moving towards your goals. When you start with planning (see #1) you automatically become more productive because you have gravitated toward proactive activity and away from reactive activity, which is an enemy to productivity.
Using your plan as a guide, make a list each week (or day) of the things you need to accomplish to reach your business development goals. Commit to it. None of this will work if you don’t resolve to change your habits. Things will constantly come up. People will be bandits of your time. But stay focused on your list... your BEST ROTI list (return on time invested).
3. Refine through measurement. Tracking and measurement is one of the most valuable feedback tools we have, yet so few law firms and attorneys do it systematically, and so our assumptions of results end up being anecdotal at best. Many of the attorneys we coach have been doing the same business development activities for years, with little concrete evidence that these activities get new clients or keep existing ones. If you could tie results to activities, wouldn’t you do more of those activities to get more results and try to find a way to minimize or stop doing things that aren’t producing results?
We do an eye opening exercise with many of our clients. Pull your new client results from last year, and analyze each closed deal you made by tracking it back to the origins of the contact with that particular person or organization. Determine which activities actually produced tangible results by looking at recent new clients. Be careful about assumptions, this might vary from region to region. Once you determine which activities produced the most results, you’ve got your foundation for planning, execution and ongoing measurement.
At Wolf Management Consultants, LLC, we can help you plan more effectively and increase rainmaking productivity through a few simple yet effective measurement tools.
Leadership insights in your inbox.