When I teach marketing to my young associates, as well as my partners, and when I need to remind myself what is important, I go to these three things, which I call the “Threebies.” Why do I call them that? Being honest, just so it gets remembered, I gave it a kind of silly-sounding name.
These three Threebies are utterly critical to do. You cannot remind yourself of this enough times. If you master these – and anyone can master these as you will see – you are going to succeed at business development. And if you don’t really master them and internalize them, you are going to fail.
The first Threebie is very simple: Get Out and About!
One of the great truisms of marketing and sales is that for those people who get “out and about,” good things (and bad things) happen to them. For those who don’t get “out and about,” nothing (good or bad) ever happens to them. They are essentially those “cold and timid souls” that Teddy Roosevelt referred to in his famous Man in the Arena quote, who “know neither victory nor defeat.”
On this front, I can say safely, and with the certainty that comes from informal empirical verification over many years, that those who sit in their offices and answer the phone when it rings are dramatically less likely to be successful in marketing and sales than those who are always out and about – having breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and drinks, attending sporting or other events, learning and interacting with others in their industry.
This entire concept is an outgrowth of the statistics issue that I discussed in an earlier article. Those people who are out on the town – at a breakfast, at a lunch, at a seminar, at drinks with the girls or the boys, going out with people in the practice area, etc. – are the people who actually bring in this is loosely called “networking.” What is networking anyway? Some people think it is some esoteric thing that requires an outgoing personality. But it isn’t. It is just two things:
- An exchange of information; and
- Two or more persons getting to know each to develop a comfort level so that they can work together or do business together
Said very simply, in networking you are just telling people what you do and having them tell you what they do, and seeing what pops out of that.
Whatever you may be thinking as you read this, I strongly urge you to get out of your chair, stop hiding behind your desk, and get “out and about.” You may feel like this is a waste of time, because at first you don’t know anyone and you have nowhere to go, but you have to admit that if you don’t get out and about, nothing is certain to happen; however, if you get out, then something “might” happen…..
You might be thinking that you don’t need me to tell you this as it is obvious, and you don’t need to read my article to tell you obvious things. Well, sorry for my French here, but that is utter bulls**t. I watch carefully what goes on, and almost all lawyers absolutely need me to tell them this because so many of them in fact just sit in their offices and don’t get out and about. Instead of being the like The Little Red Hen and hunting for leads, they sit back and largely wait for the opportunities to come to them.
And here is a weird, strange, and oddly inspiring statistic, at least in the legal and professional services world. If you want to be in the top 10% of professional service marketers, just do one single thing. This is because 9 out of 10 lawyers do absolutely no marketing at all! So if you just do one thing, you are in the top 10%!!!!
That is kind of interesting, isn’t it? I admit I read this in a book by David Maister called Managing the Professional Services Firm (affiliate link), and I am not sure these percentages are really true, but based on my own experience and observations, I think it is probably fairly accurate.
In any case, the first Threebie is to get out and about. Don’t sit around. Be like The Little Red Hen. She didn’t sit around. She went out and got it done.
My next two articles will – unsurprisingly – reveal the second and third Threebies….