Your Attorney Development Objectives
I’m a lawyer too. I’ve practiced at a Fortune 500 company, a Big Four professional services firm, and a top-ranked public finance legal firm. There are 3 relevant lessons I’ve gained from those experiences and from the experiences of my attorney peer group:
Nine times out of ten, whatever a person is doing now is what they will be doing 20 years from now. It’s true for me. I made my first sale, had my first speaking engagement, and developed and delivered my first client workshop as a second year associate at PwC. Twenty years later, I speak globally on business and client development, I sell legal and professional development services, and I train others to sell better. I believe the 20-year rule is true for other lawyers as well. That may explain why there are so many subject matter experts and so few rainmakers.
Retain Your Talent
The most common reason given by experienced attorneys for leaving law firms before or even after they’ve earned non-equity partnerships is that they hit a ceiling. They feel that the firm will happily employ them. However, they can’t bring in business within the firm’s client profile, and continuing as service partners begins to feel monotonous. Unfulfilled, they go in-house, launch boutiques, join a competitor, leave the practice of law altogether, or stay, only to go through the motions without giving full effort–neither of which is the best return on your firm’s investment.
Gain a Competitive Edge
There are only two ways that a prospect can discover how good you are. One is to hire you. The other is through what they hear about you from you and from others who talk about you, such as clients, competitors, the press, and employees. So, they can learn about you from their client experiences or from sales and marketing. Client experience is putting the cart before the horse since they have to engage you before they can have an experience with you. Thus, your branding, prospecting, and conversion skills are your best chance to differentiate yourself in the minds of your client profile.
What We Do at Sales for Lawyers
We design and deliver bespoke business and client development training and coaching solutions for firms. We work with internal groups of attorneys at their present level and provide the modules needed for each group to achieve the firm’s desired outcomes. We gradually infuse marketing and selling skills into younger associates, enabling them to recognize and alert your sales team to opportunities. For your senior associates, non-equity partners, and Of Counsel talent, we teach the selling skills that work best for conversion and fee optimization, ensuring that they can continue to grow and that they stay engaged in both their careers and your business. For your active revenue generation team, we coach, reinforce, and act as a sounding board. Remember, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal still have coaches even though they are the greatest winners in the history of their game.
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