Stage One: Dezurve business development content library
Welcome, and thank you for choosing Dezurve to offer business development education to all your firm's attorneys, and to identify those who deserve additional training/coaching investment.
Your license is defined by the Dezurve Terms of Service. By providing the .csv file containing the names and addresses of intended registrants, you accept and agree to these terms.
You are the designated Firm Administrator for both Dezurve and RainmakerVT. Once you've received confirmation that your Firm Administrator account has been established, follow the instructions below.
Enable Attorney Registration
Send a .csv file containing the names and email addresses of all your firm's attorneys (include any BD or Marketing staff to whom you wish to grant Library access) to firstname.lastname@example.org. This authorizes individual registration for everyone.
If you omitted any, or when lawyers join your firm after this step, don't worry, you can add them any time. Dezurve will accept registration from any email address with your firm's domain.
Please resist the natural inclination to choose a subset or pilot group to begin with. Trying to predict performance by choosing a subset is what has caused the 80% waste that we’re trying to eliminate. No firm has done it well; the waste is across the board. Make a tiny investment in everyone and let them self-select by their performance.
We'll upload those email addresses to your Dezurve account, which authorizes individual lawyer registration.
We'll send you an invoice for $20 per lawyer per year, based on the number of email addresses in the .csv file. (No charge for your BD team members.) Invoices are payable in US dollars.
Let your lawyers know about the opportunity the firm has created for them. Modify the communications below as you wish.
Initial email announcing the “what” and “why” of the Dezurve program
Subject: Business Development Education Library
You’ve seen the articles about the intense competition we face every day, and how important it is for lawyers to have the business development skills required to help get the right clients and sufficient revenue to assure the future we all want.
We believe that a percentage of our lawyers are serious about learning these critical skills, and we’re going to invest in them. However, we don’t know what percentage, or who those lawyers are. To answer these questions fairly, and to create an equal opportunity for all our lawyers to earn training and coaching investment by demonstrating their seriousness of purpose, we’ve established a self-selection approach.
Learning and skill development is a three-step ladder. Each successive rung has a different function, with different expectations, at increasing cost.
Shortly, we’ll invite you to begin at the first rung, Education, with access to a Business Development Education Library. It contains articles, blog posts, white papers, podcasts and other content on a broad array of marketing and sales topics, contributed by leading BD consultants. The library is cloud-based, so you can access it anytime, from any connected device.
There is no structured curriculum. Consume what’s relevant to your circumstances. No one will coerce you to participate. If you desire additional training or coaching, you’ll earn that by your activity. If you don’t, you won’t. Each lawyer’s activity in this Library will inform the firm’s decisions about who will receive additional investment at the progressively more costly Training and Coaching levels.
Email to lawyers re: individual Dezurve access
Subject: Access to Dezurve BD library
Recently, you received an email from [firm administrator] informing you that you’d be given access to a Business Development Education Library. You’re under no obligation to participate, and nobody will nag you to do so. However, for those who are serious about learning BD skills, and aspire to have the firm provide additional support, this Library is an opportunity to demonstrate seriousness of purpose, which will influence the firm’s decisions about which lawyers deserve more costly additional investment such as online training or human coaching.
Click here to register for the Dezurve Library. Use your firm email address. (Personal addresses, e.g., Gmail or Yahoo, won’t be accepted.)
When you login, you’ll see the menu of library topics. Click on any to see the list of articles within that category. Click on each article to view it.
There’s a short quiz associated with each article. It’s intentionally “open-book.” We encourage you to reinforce what you learned by referring back to the article to obtain the correct answer.
Please rate each article, using the five-star system you're familiar with.
If you have any questions about this program, please contact [firm administrator] at [phone], [email].
For system questions or help, please click the small red circle at the bottom right of each page for live chat, which is available 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Pacific time. (While not guaranteed outside those hours, Mike may well respond, so give it a try.)
Entrepreneurial traits self-assessment: This short survey asks them to assess their degree of entrepreneurship.
BizGen Confidence survey: We’ll send to all lawyers a 10-question (10-minute) survey that measures their current degree of confidence in their BD skills.
These two surveys will also be your first indicator of seriousness of purpose. If they won't spend 10 minutes on this, why would you think they'll commit time to acquiring skill?
Prescriptives: Respondents to the Confidence Survey will receive a link to a page that explains what their survey answers mean, and what to do in response to them.
If you have any questions, or experience any difficulties with Live Chat, your staff and you can call Mike O'Horo at 702-879-4837 from 8:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m. Central Standard Time.
Evaluating lawyers’ performance
Some lawyers will make their learning commitment obvious, immediately and consistently, as shown by Meryl Streep and Charlize Theron. You may need to observe only a few weeks of really high effort to consider them for Stage 2 investment.
Immediate: Within 2-3 weeks of sending the “How to access Dezurve” email, you’ll have a good idea of who has no interest. They won’t even have registered. The past 25+ years training have taught me that they’ll either get started right away, or never. Don’t be surprised if that’s 50% of your firm’s lawyers. Or, like Matt Damon, Julia Roberts, and George Clooney below, they might sign up, but won’t do anything afterward. But, that’s the whole point of Dezurve—identifying who’s committed to learning and who isn’t, so you can avoid wasting money trying to train those who just plain don’t want to participate in BD.
Later: As with exercise or other self-improvement programs, some lawyers will be gung-ho at the beginning, but after awhile discover that they just don’t want the improvement bad enough to continue the work. Their scores will look more like Tom Hanks’s—intense for awhile, then less, then fading to virtual opt-out.
Late Bloomers: Robert DeNiro and Scarlett Johanssen illustrate the late-bloomer. DeNiro got started almost immediately at a modest level (pale yellow), but increased his activity steadily, and in the last seven weeks has been solidly in the green. Scarlett did almost nothing the first eight weeks, then began to pick up the pace, and in the most recent six weeks has really hit her stride. Maybe she was in the middle of a big case or transaction when the program launched, but when that ended, she showed that she really wants to learn. This is the idea that it’s never too late to get started. “Day One is available to anyone, every day.”
You’re looking for evidence that lawyers are committed to learning about marketing, sales, and client retention. You can sort the list by Grand Total since the program launched, or their average over the most recent 10 weeks. The green (great) to red (poor) color code lets you evaluate consistency and aggregate consumption at a glance.
Earning Stage Two training
You may decide within five or six weeks that they deserve additional investment. (RainmakerVT doesn’t displace Dezurve. It’s in addition. They’ll continue to have access to Dezurve for a year.)
Others will get started more slowly, then build to an encouraging level, e.g., John Malkovich and Leonardo DiCaprio.
With others, such as Al Pacino, you’ll need more weeks of evidence to trust recent improvements before you can invest confidently.
With Christopher Walken, you’ll probably investigate what happened in Weeks 14-16 to see what caused the interruption in what had been encouraging progress over the previous 6-8 weeks.
Unfortunately for Kate, Johnny, Matt, Julia, and George, there’s no justification for additional investment.
Stage two: RainmakerVT Online Training
Dezurve's library serves the Education component, which is Stage One of the three-stage learning mission (Education, Training, Coaching). Those who demonstrate that they're serious about learning will progress to Stage Two, which is RainmakerVT online training via video lessons and interactive simulations.
When lawyers satisfy your Stage One criteria and earn the right to advance to Stage Two, let us know. We'll set up a private location on our server for all your firm's training activity. After we train you on the RainmakerVT administrative system, you'll be able to grant course access to lawyers yourself, in one of three ways:
A lawyer has satisfied your requirements at the Education stage, and has "graduated" to the first of two successive 3-month guided programs.
A lawyer has performed according to your standards on the first 3-month RainmakerVT curriculum, and you grant access to the second 3-month curriculum.
You can promote lawyers to Stage Two at any time, as many as are appropriate. Each month, we'll bill you $250 for each lawyer promoted to a 3-month Stage Two training curriculum during that month.
As the end of the first 90-day period approaches, we’ll provide you with a performance report card for each participating lawyer, and our recommendation, to inform your decision whether or not to authorize the second 90-day program. At the end of each month, we’ll bill you for the number of programs you authorized during that month.
BDM Orientation to RainmakerVT
In a 30-minute conference call, Mike O'Horo will coach your biz dev managers how to provide just-in-time support for lawyers who are enrolled in one of the two three-month RainmakerVT guided weekly programs, i.e., direct them to specific courses that support activities to which lawyers have already committed. For example, a lawyer is going to a networking event next Thursday night. Your BDM can approach that lawyer and direct her to the Networking Event simulation. Then, the day after the networking event, the BDM can debrief her and, if she's succeeded in finding a prospect who has agreed to speak with her after the event, direct her to the Next Steps Meeting simulation.
Access for your BD team
We provide complimentary access to RainmakerVT for your team. We encourage them to go through all the courses so they’re familiar with them and can refer lawyers to the course that’s relevant to their immediate need.
Here's what the two successive Stage Two programs look like:
Each Friday, participating lawyers will receive an email that shows what they should have completed the previous week, and a link to their plan for the following week. Here’s an example of the Week 6 email.
Each Tuesday, lawyers who haven’t clicked through to view their plan will receive a short email alerting them to that, and encouraging them to do so:
I see that you’ve not clicked through to view your RainmakerVT training plan for this week. Please do so today so you can complete it before next week’s plan arrives on Friday.
If you get behind, it's easy to get discouraged.
For those who satisfy your criteria for the first 90-day program, you’ll invest another $250 to grant them the second 90-day program.
Lawyers always ask, “How much time will this take each week?” That’s not an encouraging stance for them to take because it shows greater concern with time than with progress and developing critical skills. Lawyers who are serious about learning will find the time to do it. That’s who you want to invest in.
If you choose to answer the question, there’s a pretty reliable model shown below.
If you haven't already done so, I encourage your BD staff to subscribe to the following feeds. We’ll subscribe each lawyer to ResultsMailVT. Anyone can unsubscribe at any time with a single click.
Described by one Executive Committee member as "the leaves on the ground that prompt me to look for a rake," these are descriptions of situations that lawyers commonly face, correlated to the relevant RainmakerVT courses and simulations. Your BD staff should familiarize themselves with these. There's also a keyword search function.
Delivered each Tuesday by email, these practical, nuts-and-bolts marketing and sales tips have been published continuously since 1995. There's a searchable archive of all 700-odd posts.
Stage 3: Coaching
Program coaching: Whether you’re using internal or external coaches, this is the big investment, where firms experience the serious waste of money. Lawyers who have satisfied your requirements in the first two stages have earned a serious investment in a long-term coaching/development program with weekly progress checks. Here’s what the lawyers I coach can expect.
Ad hoc coaching: Many lawyers who don’t participate in the progressive learning stages may still have legitimate marketing and sales activities that will be more productive with coaching. To provide appropriate support without wasting money, you might consider limiting such coaching to activities that are already scheduled. The four most common, with suggested validation criteria are:
Sales calls: Date; Suspect/Prospect name, title, and company; genesis of the meeting; agenda, Suspect/Prospect expectations; goal
Networking events: Date, audience profile, goal
Writing articles: Deadline, publication name, audience, goal
Public presentations: Date, organization, audience profile, goal