Get it into your heads: Marketing and Business Development are NOT about today! I had a great reminder of this from a partner in my firm. He began building a relationship with his client’s subsidiary 10 years ago. Yes I said TEN as in X or 3,650 days (plus a couple leap years). The work had been handled by another firm and the client was very happy. Until last month. My partner got the call that the work was available and was he interested? Of course he said yes. About 18 months ago our firm was asked to fill out the “preferred provider” forms from one of our clients, who was being bought out by a bigger fish. We did very little work for either entity, and the work we did was in a very specific market segment. We filled out the forms, and we do the quarterly updates. We’ve flagged the client in CNS for new cases being filed, and have sent them over when appropriate. No new business. Until now. Got the call. We’re on the list. We have offices where they’re seeing a problem arising. The work would expand our relationship in another market segment. Can we do this? Of course we can do this! When exerting marketing and business development efforts, it is desirable to see immediate results. Unfortunately, immediate results rarely happen. Most of your efforts won’t be realized until months or years down the road. Relationships take time. However, you must position yourself to be in the right place at the right time. Marketing and business development are not about the work you are doing today, but the work that will come in the door when your current matters have wrapped up and the files sent to off-site storage.