Last week I did a National Law Journal interview with Adrian Dayton: Which lawyers need coaching? It was very enjoyable and if you are contemplating starting a client development coaching program in your firm, I think you will get some good ideas on who in your firm will get the most out of it. Adrian asked me why more firms do not have client development coaching programs. I replied:
Most firms don’t really understand coaching. There are two kinds of law firms. Those that see my coaching as an expense and those that see it as a revenue generator.
Those firms that view client development coaching as an expense, brainstorm ways to cut more costs, including:
- Laying off associates and staff
- Cutting training and development budgets
- Cutting marketing and client development budgets
There are problems with simply cutting costs. First, there is only so much that can be cut. Second, it creates morale problems with lawyers more concerned about whether they will have a job than doing their work well. Finally, it is hard to picture a lot of enthusiasm at meetings brainstorming how a firm can cut more costs.
If your firm is looking to increase revenue, I recommend you consider:
- Quarterly meetings of your top business producers to brainstorm ideas to increase revenue
- Help develop the practice of your superstar associates and young partners by client development training and coaching
- Identify new and fastest growing areas of law
- Create client and industry teams
- Have each client and industry team focus on changes going on in the industry that will create new legal issues. Then be the first firm to write and speak on those subjects.
- Create a game plan to focus on larger clients
- Expand your geographic reach
- Create a cross-serving plan designed to benefit clients
- Develop a plan to create valuable content (in the eyes of your clients), written or presented well and distributed as widely as possible without using email blasts
- Create a blogging and social media plan
I can tell you from experience that there is more enthusiasm when lawyers pull together as a team to develop more business and help their clients succeed.