Business Development in the Time of COVID-19
As professionals across all industries head into week three of working in isolation (many of them while simultaneously caring for family members without the help of school, child care and other community support), they are battling twin challenges:
Fatigue: The first week we were fueled by pure adrenaline. The second, by incredulity that the whole thing was still going on. But now, like Phil Connors, Bill Murray’s character in the movie Groundhog Day, we’ve realized we are well and truly stuck repeating the same day over and over again. No matter what we do, that alarm clock is going to keep on playing “I’ve Got You, Babe”; Phil, you have to keep on getting out of bed.
Fear: Fixated as they are on “flattening the curve” of new infections, most of the law leaders we know are just as focused on another frightening graph: the stock market’s nosedive and its implications for business in Q3 and Q4. It’s still too early to make any kind of predictions, but we know hanging on to current clients, much less bringing in new business, is going to be a challenge.
The problem is, we’ve had to throw the typical business development playbook out the window. No in-person pitch meetings, no conferences or networking engagements, no face time with clients and prospects for any reason. So what can you do (with a little help from Page 2)?
• Supercharge your social media presence. Tools like LinkedIn are quickly becoming more important than ever before for keeping your name top of mind for the key stakeholders you want to reach. Page 2 can help you shape up your LinkedIn profile and use it in more effective ways to stay connected with current clients and prospects.
• Maintain communication with clients. Now is the time to remind your clients that they made an excellent choice by hiring you to be their attorney. Reach out by email and ask them what they need. Demonstrate your deep understanding of their business, and your respect for their time, by being thoughtful and strategic about the information you share with them. If there’s a specific legal issue related to COVID-19 that is going to impact them, get them a quick one-pager listing what they need to know and what steps they need to take right now. Resist the urge to promote webinars and white papers that don’t address their immediate needs and concerns. We can help you draft the clear, straightforward communications that will set you apart from the information overflow being issued by many firms today.
• Repurpose content for use online. Did you create a great Powerpoint deck for a conference that has been canceled? Were you scheduled to speak on a panel or at a roundtable? Let us help you turn this content into articles, listicles and infographics that can be shared on your firm’s website, on your LinkedIn and other social channels or be published in industry media outlets.
Staying in touch with prospects and demonstrating your value to clients will help you weather the COVID-19 storm. Remember, once Phil accepts his tragic fate in Groundhog Day, he makes the best of it by learning to play piano, speaking French, making impressive ice sculptures and getting Andie MacDowell to fall in love with him. In comparison, your job is easy — you just have to find creative ways to keep on delivering your excellent client service. And we are here to help.