Becoming Indispensable is Key to Earning Business
Positive relationships should be at the core of every hiring decision. This holds true across all kinds of hiring… from adding employees to bringing on outside legal counsel. When it comes to business development, it is pretty common knowledge that gaining new work from existing clients is usually easier than unearthing a brand new piece of business from someone who has no experience with you. It just makes sense– presumably you have provided an excellent service for a reasonable rate, producing solid results. It’s a great model… build trust with clients today and it will lead to new business from the same client. Sounds like a slam dunk? Sure… but, sorry… not guaranteed. So how do you gain a little more security in your ability to expand work from existing clients? Make yourself indispensable. Sounds exhausting, but arguably, it is this kind of depth that makes work satisfying.
Particularly in the legal industry, it has been a common practice for clients to require outside lawyers to understand their businesses deeply. Becoming indispensable goes further than this, however. Here are a few things you can do to start developing your relationships and achieve ‘indispensable’ status.
- Be the first to identify challenges and risks for the client’s business and develop solutions before they become problems.
- Bring opportunities to the client that they may not have anticipated or otherwise accessed.
- Be proactive as often as you possibly can, anticipating roadblocks without being overly negative.
- Use efficiency to save the client money.
- Be nimble and willing to change.
- Provide thought leadership in your area that has impact on other areas of the business.
- Make your clients’ lives easier whenever possible.
- Add value every step of the way without charging for it.