I know, you’re asking what in the world does smoking a brisket and client development have in common?

Actually, I think there’s more in common than you might think.

Texas is known for smoked brisket. Since we moved here in 1996, I’ve become a big fan. ( I remain an Eastern Carolina, Memphis and Kansas City BBQ fan.)

Here’s a link to several Texas Monthly BBQ articles. Some give a little history I found interesting.

In case you ever visit Texas, you will likely find this Texas Monthly article: The 50 Best BBQ Joints…in the World! to be a good guide.

There’s even a group in Dallas that makes a tour each year and reports their findings for the Dallas Morning News. See: The Texas BBQ Posse heads south of Dallas.

To finally show you how serious brisket is in Texas, you should know that Texas A&M puts on an annual Camp Brisket. See:  Next Camp Brisket scheduled for January 8-9, 2016.

On a recent Saturday I attended a Big Green Egg class. During the four hour class, we sampled a brisket that had been smoked overnight, watched our teacher prepare a brisket for smoking, learned how to smoke a whole chicken, wings and salmon. Finally we grilled steaks on the BGE.


I have learned in the 20 years I have been smoking brisket, and once again on the recent Saturday, that the preparation (the part that’s the least fun) is the most important thing.

Aaron Franklin is a well know Brisket expert. If you look for it, you might find his show on your local PBS station.

It starts with selecting and trimming the brisket. (The part of the process that’s the least fun.) See Aaron Franklin describe in detail how to do it in the video below.

I like to smoke brisket on the Big Green Egg, so I found this short video discussing the Aaron Franklin method helpful.

Ok, you’re likely still wondering what possible connection this has to client development. I’ll use myself to make the point.

When I practiced construction law, it was the unenjoyable preparation that made the big difference in my client development efforts. For example:

  • I did more research than you can possibly imagine. Prior to the internet I would go to libraries and make copies of articles and put them in three inch binders. I had notebooks filled with articles and technical documents on minority contracting, design-build, cable stayed and segmental bridge design and construction, negotiation, alternative dispute resolution and other topics.
  • When I wrote the column for Roads and Bridges for 25 years it took longer to figure out what topic to write on than to write the column itself.
  • When I gave presentations to contractors I spent hours practicing what I wanted to say and how I could make it most meaningful to the audience.

None of the prep work was fun, but it was my differentiator. I won clients because of the preparation. So will you.