We have 6 proven leadership strategies revolving around core business principles that, when implemented, will transform leaders and their firms, increasing revenues and expanding marketplaces. For the latest, go to www.allancolman.com.
For professionals seeking to become exceptional leaders with the capability to design successful strategic business growth plans, go to www.allancolman.com.
To develop an opportunity mind set, you must always look for opportunities to contribute to your firm and your clients, expand your skills and be recognized for achievements. Then when opportunities do come along, close them.
Let’s review three great examples, the CEO of one of the world’s largest companies, the Chairman and CEO of an organization with more than 400 enterprises, and my 5 year old grandson. Mary Barra did not become CEO of General Motors without setting on a path that began with her first GM internship at age 19. She moved from an engineering manager, to running a large manufacturing assembly plant, to Director of Human Resources (typically a dead-end job), to head of the company’s worldwide product development, to CEO of General Motors. Her mantra is “This can be your path”. It did not happen by just being the best at her assignments. Yes she had mentors, but equally if not more important, she knew when to sell her accomplishments and commitment to the company.
Sir Richard Branson’s direction was set by his quote, “Opportunities are like busses; if you miss one, another will be coming along.” And let’s add, “if you are looking for it.” Starting out with a small music publishing business, Branson now owns over 400 diverse enterprises.
The third example is my 5 year old grandson, who loves to hug little girls. I recently took him to a park and as we walked into the children’s play area, he saw a little girl standing off to the side. He walked up to her, gave her a hug, and a minute later they were on the swings. He saw the opportunity and closed the deal!
As you look to advance, remember that marketing bromide–
ABC – Always Be Closing.
According to an article in Law360, almost 10% of large U.S. companies have selected new General Counsel in 2013. BTI consulting conducted the study soon to be released. And in the first 2 months of 2014, the GC’s at Wellpoint, Pfizer and Deutsche Bank have departed.
This is a wake up call to anyone who believes their “corporate” relationships are solid. Make sure you and your team members build connections with all of the senior in-house counsel at every client, former client and prospect.
If you have a good relationship with the newly-departed, hopefully you will be engaged when he/she lands a new position. If you and your team have been actively building broader connections within the company’s or agency’s counsel office, and one of them becomes the new gate-keeper, your work will continue.
This can also present a great opportunity for firms who are not currently working with a particular counsel’s office to jump into the vacuum and win a new engagement.
Since the big economic hits began in 2007-2008, law firms have done the obvious by reducing some overhead, increased the ratio of support staff to attorneys (i.e. more attorneys to one legal assistant). Smart firms have brought in 4-7 year associates who can produce billing and client value immediately, instead of training law school graduates. A few have even changed their bonus structures to require successful business development efforts in order to receive a percentage of the bonus.
But for many, they are still burdened by decision making structures that are either consensus or collegial based. Decisions often take too long. And there is a real absence of long range business planning, assessing their market places, practice area growth, etc. They seem to have copied the reduction-side from corporate businesses but have failed to undertake the necessary analysis and focused decisions for their future.
More than merely services marketing, define and pursue a “partnership” relationship. This, in effect, transforms your own identity from sales person to team member. In establishing this relationship, demonstrate again that you are fully attuned to how the business operates, including the need for confidentiality, for ethical compliance, for client-specific sensitivities, whatever they may be.
At the same time, send a message that, if anything, the prospect has an obligation to at least consider the latest advances in client services or production technology that your own firm or company offers. You’ve thus reversed the burden from worrying about dealing with you to worrying about what might happen if the potential client doesn’t.
To jump-start your relationship building, log on to http://ownthezonebook.com/ to get a copy of my marketing and sales primer, OWN THE ZONE. You’ll find many more business development and client retention strategies in Chapter 4, “Get ‘Em’ – Your GPS marketing Guidance System.”
“Marketing business” holds that achieving organizational goals depends on knowing the needs and wants of target markets and delivering the desired satisfactions. It proposes that in order to satisfy its organizational objectives and close new business, a company or firm should anticipate the needs and wants of consumers and satisfy these more effectively than competitors. This broad brushstroke understanding of marketing is the first step in creating a marketing strategy to FIND, MEET, GET and KEEP customers and clients.
If you’ve spent any time selling in today’s competitive marketplace, you know it can be uniquely challenging. Many markets are individually idiosyncratic and uniquely resistant, requiring special insights, strategies and training to successfully penetrate.
The solution, then, is to confront that tacit distrust by building trust. You gain trust through relationship building. One essential business generation strategy is understanding both a prospect’s marketplace dynamics (competitors, recruitment, growth , etc.) and the specific challenges that affect its customers. You can’t hesitate to ask questions. Make sure the questions you ask are well-informed and speak to your deep knowledge about the industry and its future business potential.
Next column will feature “partnerships.”
Advance your career in 2014 with career skills taught by Dr. Allan Colman. Join a free 60-minute conversation on techniques to sell yourself or get project funding. Join the conversation Friday Feb 7th at noon EST for a free webinar “Accelerate Your Career”. The seminar is 65% full, so sign-up today. https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/744999282+
What is the top skill for career professionals in climbing the corporate ladder? It is the ability to sell your ideas and funding requests. Join Dr. Allan Colman this Friday Feb 7th at noon EST for a free webinar “Accelerate Your Career”. The seminar is 65% full, so sign-up today. https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/744999282+
We’ll return to the UPS columns tomorrow. But in a recent Sales Gravy interview, I was asked to “Tell us something about you that most people don’t know.”
“What most people don’t know about me is that I was hired and fired in the same day on my first job at age 16. It was at a Dairy Queen and I could not get those ice cream cones to swirl!”
As hockey great Wayne Gretsky once said, “I always miss 100 % of the shots I don’t take.”