You disappear from the reliable and trusted list the minute you fall behind client expectations. There is little leeway here.
You have 2 ways to fall behind:
- You can do less or invest your time elsewhere — this is more often an unintended behavior than a decision
- Clients start moving ahead faster or differently — the real risk
And clients are changing things up. They are moving faster than they have in years. The increased challenge looks like this:
- 21% corporate counsel experienced a 27% increase in the demands of their job from just 12 months ago
- Almost half (44%) say their role is 16% more demanding than a year ago
- 18% experience an 8% increase in the demands of their role
- 17% say they don’t see much change in the demands placed on them
This adds up to 81% of corporate counsel expecting their outside counsel to stay ahead of them. These new demands redefine business development basics including:
- Shortening response times
- Heightened need for the current status of matters
- More emphasis on approach when hiring and less on win rates and deal values
- Having one partner accountable for everything at the client
- Knowing what your clients’ needs are because they are avoiding pitches and proposals
They still have time to meet with you. They will tell you what they are doing and where they are headed — if you ask. But you need to make your questions more succinct, practical, and focused than ever before.
This dovetails with the Q4 business development hacks we discussed 3 weeks ago. This only underlines the urgency and gravitas of jumping in and getting ahead. The laws of physics tell us it’s harder to get ahead than to stay ahead. Do it right and you only have to jump ahead once.