Does agile working for lawyers and accountants mean you can have your cake and eat it?

Even with the advent of agile working for lawyers and accountants, what do you think is the single biggest objection they give for not fulfilling their business development commitments?

They don’t know what to do.  No!

They don’t know what to do first.  No!

They don’t know how to do it.  No!

The single biggest reason cited for slow BD progress is a lack of time. 

While we could debate how true this actually is, I’d rather make the case that today’s agile working environment offers lawyers and accountants much more flexibility and time to do BD.

5 ways that agile working gives lawyers and accountants more time to do BD

Here are 5 ways agile working gives lawyers and accountants the flexibility and time they need to balance their professional work, their personal needs, and their BD obligations more efficiently:

1. Do the right things at the right time

A technique I learned from my partner in crime Doug McPherson is to let the train take the strain. 

As you are moving between offices or appointments or even waiting for the next video meeting to start while working at home, you can use this otherwise ‘dead’ time to create written content, e.g., LinkedIn blogs, articles or blogs for your website, slides for presentations or editorial for the trade press.

2. Use the LinkedIn app  

If your LinkedIn isn’t working for you, it’s probably because you’re not working LinkedIn hard enough.  Are you posting regularly enough?  Do you refresh your profile to highlight your specialisms?  Are you interacting with your connections on a daily basis?

If you have LinkedIn on your phone you can easily find the 5 minutes a day you’ll need to scroll, like, share and post wherever you are working. 

Better still, link your LinkedIn activity to something you do every day whether you’re in the office, at home or on the road, for example while you’re waiting for the kettle to boil for your first tea or coffee of the day.

3. Use the right communication channel for every contact

Find out how your clients and contacts prefer to communicate and use that channel when you need to get in touch or catch up.

And try to find the right channel for both your and your client/contacts’ working day and for the stage your relationship is at. 

For example, videoconferencing is good as it’s instant and cuts out the travel time and cost when we’re not too sure where people are working.

However, when it’s important to build rapport in a new relationship it’s better to meet in person.  Although it’s trickier to navigate around our new agile working schedules, it will be worth it.

And always, always ask people whether they’d prefer to schedule a telephone call … you might be surprised how many will choose this over yet another Zoom or Teams call!

4.  Chunk your time

The Pomodoro technique is a time management system that encourages people to work with the time they have, rather than against it.

You break your workday into 25-minute chunks separated by five-minute breaks.  These intervals are referred to as pomodoros.  Then, after about four pomodoros, you take a longer break of about 15 to 20 minutes.

The idea is the timer instils a sense of urgency.  Rather than feeling like you have endless time to get things done and falling victim to distractions, you know you only have 25 minutes to make as much progress on a task as possible.

5. Walk and talk

We all place a higher value on a mental well-being now and this is a good thing.

A good way to ensure you’re getting some more benefit from agile working (and some much needed breaks from the screen with some fresh air) is to ‘walk and talk’. 

Make ‘catch up’ telephone calls with your clients and contacts while you’re having a walk during the day.  You’ll be in a better place (quite literally), will do yourself some good and will come back to your desk recharged.

If you’d like some more BD tips check out our Resources page.  Or if you’d like to have a chat about how we can help you improve the way you, your team or your firm approaches marketing and BD, please get in touch.

Published by sizetenandahalfboots

Douglas is a director of Size 10½ Boots, a specialist business development agency that works solely with the professional services, helping firms grow by winning more new clients and more work from the clients they already have. Although every project is different our work generally falls into one of three camps - strategic marketing support, BD training and 1on1 coaching and independent client research.

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