When I first joined LinkedIn 10+ years ago, the premise of the site was simple and intriguing – connect with people I know, see their connections, and allow them access to mine. I could immediately see the utility of this for a wide range of professional pursuits in which having direct access to one’s professional connections, as well as a more expansive network beyond those connections, could be beneficial, e.g., when engaging in business development, or job searching, or event planning, or otherwise undertaking various professional projects and activities.
It’s that time of year. Welcome to partner retreat season! In addition to furthering relationships with your fellow partners and hopefully getting some warm weather exposure, annual or semi-annual retreats can add a high-impact jolt to your current business development goals.
Ok, so now you know you have BD Baggage. But how do you know what kind? Here are some questions to help bring to the surface some possible source(s) of resistance:
- When you think about writing a business plan or setting goals, how do you feel?
- What thoughts come up when you go to set up a meeting or call with a contact?
- What runs through your mind when you think about going to a networking event, speaking at a conference or writing an article? How do you feel about going on pitches?
Confronting BD Baggage typically needs to happen on two fronts. First, whether your baggage is directly related to business development (like a lack of confidence in your marketing skills) or something unrelated (like compromised time management skills), there are concrete steps you will need to take to correct the problem.
So, how do you know if you might have some BD Baggage weighing down your attempts to reach your business development goals? BD Baggage can come in many shapes, sizes, colors and even patterns. Over the years, we’ve trained ourselves to uncover the signs of BD Baggage as early as possible so we can direct our coaching time, energy and attention accordingly to free up any resistance and blocks.
Let’s get granular.
What exactly is “BD Baggage”? Effectively, it is any underlying resistance or obstacle that is getting in the way of moving forward with business development goals.
t’s my first meeting with John, a mid-career M&A partner at a major law firm and an excellent technical lawyer. Since becoming a partner, he’s developed a modest amount of business and supports his practice group leader on servicing one of the firm’s institutional clients – a client that now comes to him directly for certain transactions.
I don’t know who came up with the expression “elevator pitch” but I have come to the conclusion that its (over)use is a turn-off for many of the lawyers we coach. This set me thinking. Undoubtedly, “elevator pitch” is a cliché but there’s another problem with it: An undue emphasis on the concept and its readiness for use with new contacts distracts from the reality that our networks are as much about the people we already know (or with whom we have a link) as they are about strangers.