Sunday, July 31, 2011

Hair, Toilet Paper and Other Random Thoughts on Client Development

I loved The Junk Drawer's post yesterday, Catholic Veil Fashionista.  It brought back fond memories of the parish in North Dakota where I went to parochial school around 1969-72 or so, I don't remember the exact dates.  I do know that I was there for first through third grade and I had to go to mass every morning and yes, wear toilet paper on my head if I forgot my mantilla.  So that's a neat thing about surfing the internet these days; subscribe to enough blogs and you'll be reminded of the most ridiculous things from your past, from time to time.  I think there is probably a photo of me in my Mom's album that shows me wearing a nearly identical uniform and silly hair fashion.

Another random thought:  I think I am going to have a boatload of ripe tomatoes when I return from vacation.  Remember back in early June when I told you about how excited I was that I finally had planted a garden?  A few months later and there you are, enough tomatoes to supply the entire neighborhood.  I sure wish that client development activities brought about new work that fast.  I don't recall ever planting the seeds of a client relationship and having the work come in within a few months.  I do recall some relationships where the first connection was more than a decade before there was a chance for me to do meaningful work for a contact.  Patience I guess is a virtue, and all that.

You might wonder, what does client development have to do with pre-Vatican II Catholic fashion and my childhood?  Yes, yes there is an obvious connection.  Of course you have to be out there in the world talking to potential clients, and you have to be able to demonstrate that you do fine work.  But most of all, you have to do everything you can to help them remember you when they do need your help.  Maybe an image of me in a plaid uniform with toilet paper on my head will be the thing that helps someone remember to call me when they want to make a planned gift to a Catholic charity.  That would be well worth putting that image in the consciousness of my faithful readership.

For more random thoughts on business development, here is a collection of my published thoughts on the topic.  I continue to believe that the essential path to more women in leadership in law firms is one with more women leading their firms in client originations. So get out there and plant some seeds.

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