Anonymous User wrote:As a junior associate, I had some Q's about business development. Its certainly not something we learn in school, and most firms seem to do a poor job of training younger associates in business development. Yet this is a crucial skill as one progresses and can't just pick up all at once during senior associate years. So what can younger associates do to hone business development skills? Is it really just a matter of networking and staying in touch with contacts that may become future clients?
That's about 90% of it to start. Business development is really something like a combination of contacts + expertise + luck. The more contacts you have, the more likely you'll get lucky enough to have an opportunity when you and/or the firm are a good fit for a project.
But the other 10% that you can control is being a key member of a team. If you're the go to for a bank, PE shop, company, etc., that is a key client of the firm, you are doing a great BD job if you're keeping that client happy and keeping them using your firm. Keeping a client is as, if not more, important as trying to get a new one.
I know some very successful partners who basically just are continuing to be the go-to relationships for guys they have been working with for years.