Gary Mitchell's Biz/Dev Coaching Blog
If you haven’t done this already, go out and see all of your key clients. Find out what they are worried about, what their current or immediate challenges are, and what they foresee as future challenges. What is going on in their day-to-day operations? Be genuinely interested in THEM. Here’s how it turned out for one of our clients: While on a call with a firm client, a junior lawyer learned of a pressing need. He communicated that need to his managing partner who immediately got on the phone with the client. Ten minutes later, at the client’s request, the managing partner met the client at this office and a few minutes after that, he secured a large mandate to help the client solve the problem the junior lawyer had learned about earlier that day. It can be THAT SIMPLE.
Get a pulse on what your clients are doing, what they need and how can you help them. To do that, you have to get out there and talk to them. The opportunity here is to create a value-based relationship. The impact of your social relationship with a client is important but will only get you so far, watch what happens when you create a value-based relationship. Business development isn’t always about getting new clients. There are opportunities with current clients. Go find them!
For the last couple of years there has been a lot of talk in the media about disruption in the legal market. I think it’s about time. I will keep this post short and offer you two very insightful references on disruption in the legal market.
The first link is to a six page article in the Globe and Mail
The second link is to a one day conference at Harvard Law School about disruption in the legal market.
These links will both provide you with valuable insights into how the industry is changing.
Once you’ve addressed the first three considerations, and before you go out there in all directions with your newly found focus on marketing; the final consideration in becoming more targeted in your approach to business development is to understand where you can get in front of your target audience. The easiest and most effective way of determining this, is simply to ask your current ‘ideal’ clients, the ones you want more of:
What associations do they belong to? What events do they attend and why? What publications do they read and why? What are some of the most pressing challenges they are facing right now? I refer to this approach as ‘soft market research’. Asking your current clients these questions will tell you everything you need to know in how to get in front of people just like them-more potential ideal clients.
Having followed this TST™ methodology has led my clients to produce amazing results. See the thing is when you are pointed in the right direction, given the tools to succeed, because of your training, you learn very quickly. You are able to create new habits which help you excel in business development. Working with lawyers has made me a better coach.
T= Targeted S= Strategic and T= Tactical This is what and how I teach lawyers to approach business development.
Targeted in that everything you do is in front of your ideal target audience whether that be potential clients or referrals sources. When you speak, you know your audience has the potential to either hire you or refer clients to you. When you write an article, you know the readers have the potential to hire you or refer clients to you.You are targeted because you did your homework to find out where to be in front of your target audience.
Your strategic approach comes from creating a plan for your practice and your marketing efforts. Your plan should include market analysis, competitive analysis, a SWOT analysis of your practice and your own skills, goals you wish to accomplish, and an audit of what you are currently doing to market yourself and your practice, what is working and what is not.
You are tactical in that every step or approach you take can create the outcomes you set in your plan in the goals section. And each and every step or approach is also practical and attainable.
Are you ready to be TST(TM)? Get targeted, strategic, and tactical, and get more clients.
The final installment of this three-part blog series is all about “Where is your target market?” If you know who you wish to serve and what kind of practice you want to build, then the next question to ask yourself, is “Where are potential clients and referral sources?”
This question is easy to answer. Ask your current ‘ideal’ clients and best referral sources, “Where do they hand?” In other words, what associations do they belong to? What events do they attend? What publications do they read? if you want to find more of them, start with them. They will tell you everything you need to know about how and where to market yourself to your target market.
Raindance: The Business Development Guide Book for Lawyers is now available through Carswell. Click here to go to Carswell for more information and ordering.
If you are a lawyer just starting out with business development, or already engaged and looking to up your game, this book is your practical, step-by-step guide to follow in order to achieve your goals.
Do you know who your true competitors are? If so, how much do you know about them? Do you know what they are doing to attract clients? Do you know what they are doing to raise their profile? Do you know what their reputation in the marketplace is? It makes sense to spend some time researching what your competitors are doing. If you find something they are doing wright, emulate it. If you find something they are missing, take the opportunity to fill that gap.
Things you should know about your competition:
Where are they speaking? What are they speaking about? What associations do they belong to? Which publications are they writing for? What topics are they writing about? What does their Linkedin profile say? Who is in their Linkedin network? Do they have any recommendations?
At the very least know the above. It will serve you well in deciding which steps you should be taking to raise your own profile and attract more clients. The more you know about them the better. And if you don’t have time to do the research yourself, delegate it to your assistant or the librarian. It’s as simple as using Google to search their name and or Linkedin.
Through Linkedin, this article came to my attention. It is a must read for lawyers and law firms looking to solidify client relationships and stand out from the pack. It comes from abovethelaw.com
As lawyers there are never any shortage of events to attend. Are you maximizing your results from attending these events? Here are a few tips to help you do that.
1. Ask for a list of attendees ahead of the conference. Look over that list to see if you know people. Circulate the list internally to other lawyers to see if they know people.
2. Make contact with those people and set up time to meet with them.
3. Ask the organizers of the event if they would make introductions for you at the conference.
4. Ask people you already know to make introductions for you as well.
5. Mingle and meet as many new people in your target area as possible. Have a list of questions prepared ahead of time that include but are not limited to: What brings you to this conference? What do you hope to learn or gain from being here? What has been your biggest challenge this past year? What has been your biggest success? From these, a natural dialogue will flow and you will start to learn a lot about them and where there may be opportunities.
6. Follow up with them within two days of returning from the conference referencing something you learned about them when you met them.
7. Find out how you can help them and not just how they can help you.
8. Begin to build relationships with them to fully understand how you may help.
These may appear simple because they are. And these steps work.
A very interesting article, comment to read if you are interested in seeing into the future of traditional law firms. These predictions have been around for a while, and perhaps the exact time-line may not be precise, but I can see this coming to fruition.
Check it out: The Clock is Ticking