I was coaching a group of lawyers for the last time recently. At the end of our group meeting, the group’s leader asked for a good summary of what we had covered. I shared this blog post with the group and thought you might find it valuable.
I read a recent survey report of large (big law) firms. There was one survey question that really got my attention:
How important is business development to success in a law firm?
Here was the answer:
A lawyer’s ability to generate business is the single most determinative factor in whether a lawyer will become an equity partner.
That certainly was no surprise. In fact, I thought that was kind of a Duh question and it certainly does not just apply to lawyers in large law firms.
I know how to develop business. I did it and many lawyers I have coached or who worked for me are doing it. If you want to learn, I want to help you. I urge you to learn how to:
- Motivate yourself to learn and attract clients
- Figure out and adopt attributes of successful lawyers/people that will work best for you
- Define what success means to you by figuring out what you want to achieve in your career and life
- Set stretch goals
- Prepare a detailed action plan to achieve goals
- Determine what learning will provide you with the greatest return on your time
- Determine what kind of client development efforts will best work for you
- Make time for client development when you are busy with billable work and have a family
- Get organized for a more productive day
- Hold yourself accountable for client development activities
- Best get outside your comfort zone to take your practice up a notch
- Be patient and persist when you are not seeing results
- Raise your visibility and credibility-Building Profile
- What organizations will be best for you
- Write an article, or blog post: picking the topic, how long, title, opening, closing
- Give a presentation: picking the topic, getting the opportunity, homework before the presentation, PowerPoint, opening, format, speaking skills, handout
- Use social media: blogging for business, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter,
- Build relationships with referral sources so they recommend you
- Network at events
- Determine what are your best sources of business
- Focus on Contacts (Client relationship management)
- Make pitches to clients who consider hiring you
- Make great first Impressions
- Clients Select: importance of website bio, relationships, recommendations, strength of weak ties, building trust and rapport, developing questions, listening skills and how to ask for business
- Provide extraordinary client service and cross-sell: what clients want, how to deliver it, ways to add value, cross-selling planning
- Develop your the team: leadership, team building, motivating younger lawyers, supervision and feedback
What else can I do to help you?