Practice makes perfect: Another essential business development lesson from Desert Island Discs

12 Mar 2019

As some readers may remember we like a bit of Desert Island Discs at Tenandahalf Towers and we are no strangers to jumping on a throwaway comment if it can be used as an idea for a blog …


… and this week’s guest, Dame Esther Rantzen, was kind enough to do just that!


She mentioned while explaining why she chose a Frank Sinatra record that one of the things she liked about the singer was he made everything sound so effortless.  She then added that the reason he made it sound effortless was he set aside hundreds of hours for singing lessons, to learn the lyrics as individual poems and to make sure he was warmed up physically and mentally before even attempting a take.


It’s nothing new to hear those at the top of their game have got there because they practice and practice hard.  Ms Rantzen’s Sinatra story chimed perfectly with some of the anecdotes we use when we’re running networking and presentation skills training for law firms, accountants, barristers, architects and patent and trade mark attorneys. 


There’s the golfer that said “the more I practice the luckier I get.” 


There’s the 10,000 hour theory perfectly exemplified by The Beatles’ time in Hamburg. 


And there’s Gianfranco Zola and David Beckham, first on/last off the training ground so they could perfect their free kicks for the big occasion.


But hang on a minute … Zola, Beckham and The Beatles?  What the heck has this got to do with business development never mind business development within the professional services?


Well it made me think about some very recent experience with 2 very different clients. 


The first was a very specialist accountancy practice.  Their managers were obviously in awe of their partners thinking they had some networking superpower they could never emulate.  As a result they seemed a bit nervous about getting their own networking up and running.


The second was a law firm at the other end of the country whose marketing partner is adamant everyone needs to get out and start building a network as soon as they qualify.  Their ethos is this is an investment in the future not a ‘win work now’ initiative so the focus is on practicing small talk, getting in the habit of following up and finding what time/format suits you best. 


You won’t win a lollypop for guessing which approach we advocate!  If you want to avoid any nervousness around networking, get your fee earners into good habits early.  Providing them with a no pressure training ground will pay dividends in the future.


And of course if you’d like to discuss running networking training or providing some business development coaching for your next generation of business developers, please email me and we’ll find a time to chat.

Posted by Douglas  |   0 Comments

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