At my old law firm, there was a brilliant law firm partner. His only problem was that he had no people skills. He’d be great for research or writing, but you’d want him as far away from the client as possible.
When the main partner whose client was a large New York State union was unavailable for their national conference, the partner with no people skills was recruited to give a discussion on retirement plans. I was asked to travel to Albany on my birthday to assist. While I had a good track record as a speaker, the brilliant partner did not. Let’s just say out of a few dozen presentations at the conference, his was the worst rated.
I think the one thing that most people in business forget is that they are in the people connection business. I don’t care how brilliant you are as a third party administrator, financial advisor, or ERISA attorney; you will fail in drawing business if you fail to connect with your audience.
You need to have people skills to compete in generating business for you and your firm. You need to connect your audience of potential and current clients to pay your bills. It’s as simple that.