It was 2002. That year I brought in more business to our firm than ever before.
I woke up one day and realized that I was probably the best-known transportation construction lawyer in the country. I had become so well known because I had written a monthly column in Roads and Bridges magazine for 20 years and I had given presentations every year to transportation construction contractors throughout the United States. That day I realized that every potential transportation construction contractor client knew me and knew how to find me. They had either decided to hire me or not.
While I loved the work I was doing, I was getting bored. I did not need to take another expert witness deposition to feel fulfilled. I needed a new challenge. I believed I could help increase firm revenue by teaching client development skills and coaching and motivating our younger lawyers.
I conducted client development workshops for the lawyers in each of our offices. I taught our lawyers how to build their profile and reputation. I also taught them how to build trust and rapport with clients and potential clients. I discovered that our lawyers did not make many changes after my one shot client development workshops.
So, I began a coaching group of new partners. As I expected, our lawyers made great strides with the combination of coaching and workshops. The coaching group set a goal to double their collective revenue in two years. When they doubled their revenue in just one year, I decided to work with lawyers on a full-time basis.
I have read many client surveys done for my old firm and other firms. I am amazed at how consistent they are. Clients are generally satisfied with the senior lawyers with whom they work. They are less satisfied, and in many cases dissatisfied, with the junior partners and associates with whom they work. Those surveys point out the importance of developing those lawyers legal skills and client development skills. They will become a more valuable resource to clients and they will enjoy practicing law.
I often wonder why so few firms are building the next generation of rainmakers. Is yours?
Whether your firm is one of the largest in the country or a small firm, you should consider client development coaching and workshops. If you have a partner who is both a rainmaker and a great mentor, consider having that partner work with a group of your highly motivated young lawyers. You will not only take steps to create the next generation of rainmakers, but you will also begin creating a client development culture in your firm.
Want some help in creating a program? Take a look at my eBook..