If we have learned anything in the last 20 months, we know we must be creative regarding business development and networking. It used to be relatively easy to get out there and meet people. Now you must learn to adapt to new rules and revised values in an ever-changing world.
As women, we have always felt we have had to be very careful about how we networked or developed business. If we seemed too interested, people might think we are pushy. But if we seemed too stoic, people might think we are not interested in their business. It’s not easy to become a rainmaker—but it is something everyone can do and do well if they are willing to work at it. You must identify those potential contacts you would like to get to know and those areas of work you would like to expand. Then you must develop an objective approach to accomplishing those goals.
The two of us come from different backgrounds but similar roles—both professionals in what were (when we started) male-dominated industries, trying to do great work for our clients, bill hours, and make connections. We also used many of the same techniques to improve our business development, such as speaking, writing, and volunteering. The bottom line is that you need to invest in yourself to become better at business development. Doing great work is a sure-fire way to get a client to hire you again, but that is considered a basic requirement for just keeping the work. To expand your business, you need to do more than that. Below are some recommendations for how to improve your skills and become a better rainmaker in this hybrid business development environment.