Article By:  JESSICA GRAYSON, Chief Business Development Officer at Phillips Nizer LLP


We know the basics when it comes to selecting professionals to support our businesses. They have the right education, experience and credentials but do they act as your strategic partner? How well do they know your business? What value-adds are they providing in addition to the basic scope of responsibility?  Let’s examine the soft skills we should consider when choosing the professionals for our business needs:

They understand your business:  They know your story and goals. They ask the right questions and provide updates on potential issues or industry concerns that may impact your business or clients.

They respect you:  This seems like a no-brainer, but think about the times you’ve been shut down or dismissed by someone you were paying (doctor, accountant, lawyer, consultant) and you accepted it because they’re “experts” and “probably know better than you.”  Your opinion and input is important – and you should never feel insecure about your position. As women, we need to remind ourselves.

They do their homework:  When you met them the first time, did they already know details about you or your business?  Did they take the time to do some preliminary research?  If they’re truly interested in winning your business, they will be prepared with basic information.

They don’t shy away from difficult conversations:  If there is bad news or an unfavorable development, you need to know right away – with a recommended course of action/next steps.

They celebrate your successes with you:  Are you excited to share good news or wins with them? Are they genuinely happy and excited for you?  These professionals are more than hired experts – they should function as strategic partners, through the ups and downs.


Jessica Grayson
Chief Business Development Officer
485 Lexington Avenue, 14th Floor
New York, New York 10017
Tel. (212) 841-1313