Selling legal services is not rocket science. It is mostly hard work to build your profile and build relationships.

If selling legal services is not rocket science, we should be able to create lists of Do’s and Don’ts. Here are the lists I created and shared with lawyers I coached.


  • Develop a yearly, quarterly, monthly, weekly plan to use your non-billable time most effectively and efficiently. Then find a way to hold yourself accountable
  • Learn how to use the “old tools” and “new tools”
  • Identify your target market (who is it you want to hire you) and what you want the target market to hire you to do
  • Work harder and more creatively at client development than your competitors
  • Understand your clients’ industry, company and your individual client representatives’ needs and wants
  • Stay on top of current events to anticipate how they will create future legal issues for your clients
  • Find the marketing opportunity in the billable legal work you are doing
  • Put your clients’ needs ahead of your own.
  • Exceed your clients’ service expectations. Give more value than they expect.
  • Something, no matter how small, each and every day.


  • Ever give up
  • Make excuses for not having time for client development
  • Ever appear to be selling. Clients may want to buy, but they hate feeling like they are being sold
  • Ever appear to be needy or greedy
  • Talk down to a client
  • Take on clients you will later regret. If it doesn’t “feel” right, it probably isn’t
  • Become complacent or satisfied. Stay hungry to learn and get better
  • Ever say “no problem” or “honestly”
  • Talk so much, especially about you and your firm. Ask questions and then listen, listen, listen
  • Forget your team. Client development is a team sport
  • Take any client or referral source for granted