Posted on November 3, 2020 by Silvia Coulter
Be proactive with key stakeholders. This activity facilitates lawyer engagement (the ongoing biggest challenge identified by all BD surveys). The biggest complaint we hear from partners is the BD team is not proactive. Right or wrong, make it a point to build strong relationships with your internal clients. Nothing replaces that. Then recruit key partner(s) to support your critical initiatives.
Conduct client feedback interviews. When a specific project for a practice group or partner is completed, go to their office or schedule a 10-minute Zoom call and conduct an “after project feedback” call. Any input will go a long way to helping you build relationships and provide feedback to your team.
Turn non-responses into opportunities. Keep in mind lawyers are compensated to do work, bill work, and collect fees. The rest is done in their spare time, including important firm citizen roles on committees, and business development, or off-the-clock meetings for clients. If you need their input on something, go to their office or schedule a call. Make it easy for them to do business with the business development team.
Practice your pitches. For important practice groups, executive committees, or other firm meetings, practice your presentations to be as smooth as possible. We ask the lawyers to do this for client meetings, so doing the same for your internal client meetings will make things go smoother and further build your confidence.
Hand out compliments when appropriate. Send a hand-written note if you enjoyed working with a partner, or they did a good job presenting or running a client meeting. Everyone likes feedback, and lawyers seldom receive it from anyone. Everyone appreciates positive feedback in the form of compliments.
Keep in touch. It is critical to keep in touch with your network of peers, sponsors/vendors/suppliers, and others. Do not wait until you need them—that is insincere. Keep in touch at least once a year and not with an e-holiday card. Be genuine by making a call or sending an email to see how people in your network are doing. Create a list of 20-50 people you should be in touch with annually or more often.
Continue your education. Whether the firm pays for it or not, attend one program a year (writing skills, negotiating skills, presentation skills, etc.) to sharpen the skills you need to be good at what you do. Invest in yourself! Ask your team members to do the same. Ask your Professional Development team who they recommend and have outside consultant/trainers come in to train your team to sharpen skills. Be the best you can be at all times.
Connect with peers in commercial businesses who have your position. Build relationships with peers from accounting or other professional service firms that allow you to expand your network and, at the same time, will enable you to build opportunities for you to connect one another’s professionals for programming, writing, speaking, etc. Stay connected outside of your legal network to learn best practices you can bring back to your firm and present to partners.
Be happy. If you are, you will be your best. Take time for yourself—it is a demanding, busy industry we are in.
About the Author: Silvia Coulter is a Co-founding Principal of LawVision Group. Silvia Coulter is widely regarded as one of the legal industry’s most experienced business development and leadership consultants. Her experience includes working as a former strategic account executive and sales leader at a Fortune 50 company, a chief marketing, and business development officer at two global law firms, and consultant and facilitator to professional services firms across the globe. She was an Adjunct Professor at George Washington University’s College of Professional Studies in the Master’s in Law Firm Management program (2010-2019), a co-founder of the Legal Sales and Service Organization (www.legalsales.org), a Past Elected President of the Legal Marketing Association, and an elected Fellow of the College of Law Practice Management. She is a frequent speaker and facilitator at professional service firm retreats and legal industry meetings. Silvia is the co-author of three books: The Woman Lawyer’s Rainmaking Game, Rainmaking Advantage, and SAM-Legal: From Key Clients to Strategic Accounts (due out 2020). For more information, please contact Silvia L. Coulter at email@example.com or 617-697-4869.
Posted on October 6, 2020 by Silvia Coulter
A question for firm leaders: If there were a way to quickly establish relationships with buyers at companies desired as clients, expand work at existing clients, collapse the sales cycle, increase top-line revenue, take some of the pressure off of talented rainmaking lawyers, and add business professionalism at the firm, would you consider making an investment?
Posted on September 14, 2020 by Silvia Coulter
No matter which time of year you choose to conduct a client meeting, it will be welcomed by clients. And, it helps energize members of the firm when they have good meetings with clients. These obviously are not meetings for which you charge a fee, but rather meetings which focus on the relationship with the client or contact. Whether it’s the beginning of a new year to review the last year’s activities, or the end of a year or mid-year to check-in, here are some basic pointers to consider in scheduling your next round of client meetings.
Posted on August 25, 2020 by J. David Harvey
As if defending a marketing budget within the law firm was not already hard enough, now CMOs are doing it within a time of unprecedented uncertainty. How do you move forward with putting together a marketing budget — and defending it — in the current environment? It certainly will not be easy, but there are steps that you, as the head of marketing and business development, can take to answer the challenges of the triple whammy of the pandemic, recession, and financial uncertainty.
Posted on August 17, 2020 by Jay Harrington
While the consequences of being imperfect in your legal work product can be harsh, imperfectionism is something you have to embrace in order to market and build a practice. You must take risks, go out on limbs, and take action without perfect knowledge of the outcome. When you’re practicing law, your job is to de-risk situations for your client. When you’re building a practice, you must act entrepreneurially and take calculated risks on your own behalf.
Posted on August 12, 2020 by Jay Harrington
If I was to offer you $100 today or $120 a week from now, which would you choose? While thought experiments aren’t the same as real-world experiences, if you’re like most people you’d choose the hundred bucks now. That’s the conclusion of a classic study which found that, when it comes to making decisions, most of us opt for immediate gratification.
Posted on July 27, 2020 by J. David Harvey
What does diversity and inclusion have to do with marketing and business development? Quite a bit, as Dave Harvey of LawVision explains in this week's blogpost. Clients have been driving the process of raising awareness about the critical importance of diversity and inclusion. And law firms that are successful in addressing these issues will be better prepared to meet the increasing demands of clients in this arena.
Posted on May 19, 2020 by Joseph Lamport
Now is a great time for law firms to sharpen their digital marketing strategy, according to Robert Schmid, the VP of Zola Media. Among other things, the COVID-19 has triggered major changes in consumer behavior and search patterns, which has created a new landscape of opportunity for law firms in the arena of SEO and PPC advertising.
Posted on January 7, 2020 by Joseph Lamport
As part of a time-honored publishing tradition and service to our readers, here is a list of the most read stories that were featured in the Law Firm Marketing Brief in 2019. What do you suppose it says about our readers and the state of the legal market in general that the top story was about what marketing leaders can do to help foster law firm innovation?
Posted on October 30, 2019 by Joseph Lamport
Posted on October 9, 2019 by Joseph Lamport
We may not become perfect through practice, but we may become more open to necessary change.
Posted on June 5, 2019 by Joseph Lamport
Platformization just may be the next big thing in the legal market.
Posted on May 15, 2019 by Joseph Lamport
Posted on May 1, 2019 by Joseph Lamport
There are only a handful of brief and shining moments in life when the slipcovers get removed and we are permitted to see and sit upon the real fabric with which the universe has been upholstered. In this week’s blogpost I’m going to write about just such a moment that occurred for me as a young man, in fact, only about a decade out of law school, when as luck would have it, I had a chance to attend (in a semi-official capacity as a fly-on-the-wall) a meeting among three titans in the business world.
Posted on April 17, 2019 by Joseph Lamport
Posted on March 27, 2019 by Joseph Lamport
Why is brand activation so damn important for law firms? That’s the question I have set out to answer with this series of blogposts. In the first installment I discussed how, for the most part, law firms have paid next to no attention to brand activation as part of their branding strategy. In this second installment I’m going to explain why that’s such a mistake. Brand activation is a huge overlooked opportunity that can deliver enormous benefits in improving the strength of your law firm brand.
Posted on March 6, 2019 by Joseph Lamport
It’s an oxymoron to speak of something as being on the cutting edge of the legal market. I mean, the legal market tends to be backward leaning to say the least – the cutting edge to us generally looks like what people in many other markets were thinking about 10 to 15 years ago. Case and point being how we are only now waking up to the importance of data-driven marketing, the lifetime value of a client and client-lifecycle management – concepts that were already well in vogue several decades ago in other markets and industries.
Posted on February 21, 2019 by Joseph Lamport
This Is Marketing is Seth Godin’s new book. As you would expect from a great marketer like Godin, the title pretty much nails it. If you want a book that will provide a crash course covering the keys ideas in the field of digital marketing today then this is a great place to start.