Featuring Business Development's Elite: Melih Aksan Interview with Carl Grant
Written By Aksan Law Firm | 26 September 2020

Aksan's Partner and Head of Venture Capital Investments Team Melih Aksan had an interview about his approach to the business development and the dynamics of Turkey and the region, with Carl Grant III, Executive Vice President of Cooley LLP, the leading law firm for Emerging Companies and Venture Capital in the U.S. and creator of the Rainmakers podcast.

In the meeting, Melih Aksan answered Carl Grant's questions on his client relationships, professional experiences and achievements.

Aksan mentioned something he learned during his coursework at UC Berkeley, which he had his graduate studies from. It is to “establish a trusted advisor type of relationship with clients, rather than just being random professional service providers.” It should be well known that having a kind of personal relationship with the clients and becoming more than just a person who is consulted, to just to provide an opinion on a certain part of the contract. Rather than that, he is trying to build a wider and a broader type of relationship with the clients where there are diverse subjects to talk about, sometimes about the kids and the routine.

By moving a step inside the personal circle of the potential client, Aksan achieves the feeling that the clients also perceives himself as one of their closer contacts, which results in a temptation of the client to consult himself even more than before. While the business side of this process should be kept in mind, he thinks this feeling of intimacy creates a better business relationships, since the client becomes more tolerant towards the consultant and the job. In this vein, the consulter earns more credits which would be useful if he is a day late or misses a point. Fixing the missing point and recovering from the mistake becomes easier. So, having a kind of personal relationship with the client makes the client more tolerant towards you in general. Other than that, Melih Aksan stressed out “It makes my life happier because I just want to work with people whom I enjoy spending time with…”

Aksan, who made suggestions to those who would become lawyers, used to say that the information to be acquired in different fields (of study) improved people's perspectives. He made a recommendation to the listeners who may be students or need some kind of advice to always have a perspective on training themselves in a broader sense, such as reading filozofy or having more interest in world news. Another advice from Aksan is to always keep a broad network of people around. Having a very wide, very broad base as part of network increases the chance of having something coming up from the wide range of potential clients.

Talking about his experiences in business life, Melih Aksan emphasized the importance of appearance in business relations and he said that according to his experiences, it is important to make the potential clients feel like they are equals to the consultant in a broader sense, such as,  socioeconomically, or intellectually.  He added “I think a lawyer needs to have a little attain, a level of bourgeoisie a lawyer needs to show them that you belong to the same cast. I don't think this is something even, this doesn't even happens at the conscious level but probably happens more at the subconscious level.” By emphasizing the importance of social context and social situations, Aksan added that the first question someone receives in a capitalistic society is the question of “what do you do?”. He concluded with pointing out the importance of the way of answering this question.

Click here; to listen to the full version of interview.

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