I suspect that if you have not started a client development coaching program in your firm for this year, you are not likely to start one now.
How about 2018? Let me share one analogy to argue in favor of a coaching program in your firm. Have you ever had a workout trainer? When I worked out with a trainer, I was focused, I did more than any other time, and I was in the best physical condition of my life.
A coach will provide the same motivation and focus for your lawyers. I’m thinking about retiring at the end of this year, so let me give you some ideas on how to get the most out of a coaching program.
A law firm marketing director recently ask me how to make a client development coaching program successful. As you know, my first response is always to select lawyers who want to be in the program and develop business. If you select the right lawyers to participate, then you are ready for the next steps.
When I coach a group of lawyers in a firm, we set a group goal and decide on 25 action items to achieve the goal. Each member of the coaching group sets individual goals and prepares a plan to achieve them.
Each time when we meet in person each member of the group create action plans (goals) for the next 60 or 90 days.
Members of the group share their plans with me and in some cases with the other members of the group. Each month, each member of the coaching group reports on what he or she has done that month.
Some firms put the reports on a coaching group portal page and other firms send an email with the photo of each person in the group and his or her report by the photo.
Some of you might be asking or wondering:
- Why do I have the coaching group set a group goal?
- Why do I ask the participants to agree on 25 action items?
- Why do I encourage each person to set his or her own goals and create a business plan?
- Why do we break down the actions to 90 days action plans?
- Why do I encourage each member of the group to share with me what his or client development plans are?
- Why do I encourage each member of the group to report monthly what client development activities he or she has done, and why that report is published?
- Why is building a personal relationship with each lawyer so important?
You may wonder what I love the most about coaching younger lawyers. It’s really pretty simple. Each young lawyer I have coached has unique talents, unique goals, unique challenges. The great joy I experience coaching is when a lawyer has an aha moment and figures out the way to achieve his or her unique goals.
Many of you reading this blog had that moment when we worked together and you personally know what I love about my work.
Ok, if your firm is thinking about a client development coaching program, If you answer these questions you will have some good thoughts on how to make client development coaching successful.