On my 32nd wedding anniversary last week, I was delighted to receive these beautiful flowers.

…They were not from my husband.

I received the flowers from an attorney I know, and the card read: “Elise, thank you so much for hosting me on your podcast, and inviting me to present with you at the women’s leadership conference. It has been a lot of fun working with you!”

The focus of my practice is helping law firms and women lawyers with business development. And when it comes to BD, there’s no substitute for focusing on intentional relationship building. I’m not talking about half-hearted intros and spreading business cards around (yuck) – it’s about thoughtfully taking the time to build authentic business relationships and leaving a lasting impression for all the right reasons.

My attorney friend did just that. I certainly never expected to receive anything from her, but I couldn’t have been more touched and excited when the flowers arrived. And the real genius? She didn’t just send one flower arrangement. It’s a 3-week flower subscription so there are two more arrangements coming and I’ll be reminded of her warmth and generosity with each delivery.

How can YOU develop deep, authentic business relationships?

  • Listen for opportunities to be helpful or supportive. Spending money on gifts isn’t necessary, but a focus on others’ humanity is essential to building authentic connection.
  • Don’t rely only on your firm’s large-scale events or one-to-many marketing like clients alerts and newsletters. One-to-one connections take more time, energy, and (perhaps) money, but they leave a deep, lasting impression.
  • Shine the light on others. Spread the wealth by inviting clients, contacts, and colleagues to join you at conferences and on panels. Collaborating on a project will allow you to really get to know and appreciate one another.