When planning a sale, think of your colleagues as products

You have a call scheduled with a prospect, and you think it looks like a pretty good opportunity for a sale. You’re trying to decide how many, and which, of their colleagues to take with them. I’d like to say, “It depends,” but most of the time, it doesn’t. The default answer is “none.” Here's why, and what to do instead.

"Delusions of adequacy"

Despite the constant drumbeat in the legal press and within law firms, emphasizing the criticality of business development now -- no longer merely as the path to success, but now for mere survival -- too high a percentage of lawyers don’t take advantage of training and coaching offered by their firms. One theory that’s making sense to me is “delusions of adequacy.”

Unbundle your definition of "BD training"

For most firms and lawyers, “BD training” is a catchall phrase that reflects a lack of awareness about learning and skill development. For reliable skill development and consistent application leading to measurable results, unbundle the learning mission into three stages: Education, Training, and Coaching.

20 traits of the 100%-capable rainmaker

What does it take to be a great rainmaker, able to generate millions of dollars in business -- each year, reliably? What’s actually involved in the rainmaking sausage? As with every great accomplishment, there’s much more than you can see.

A relationship is "lagniappe," not the biz dev purpose

Are you still investing time trying to initiate and develop personal relationships as a key element of your business development strategy? If so, you’ve got it backwards. A personal relationship should lagniappe, a bonus, to be welcomed but not a predicate to doing business.

Besides selling differently, sell something different

Generating business today requires that you abandon long-held beliefs and habits about selling, and embrace new ones that align with clients’ current expectations. Those include delivering an integrated solution to clients' problems, which means partnering with some entities that you might consider competitors.

"You need to innovate, or you will become obsolete.”

Unless you’ve been under a rock, you’ve been exposed to the growing body of writing about innovation. First, do you read such things? Do you try to connect the dots and speculate about how breakthrough developments might impact your clients’ fortunes?

The essence of business development

Many lawyers perceive business development as complicated, sometimes overwhelming, maybe even intimidating, and as a result feel fear, anxiety, reluctance. Too often, this translates into avoidance. Let's simplify. To succeed at business development, you need only five things:

The Law Dept. is only one part of the company

During the 20-year boom market, if you had a relationship with a GC, or senior inhouse counsel, you were set, and you protected that relationship as the revenue-generating asset it reliably was. Now, though, the game has changed, and it’s time for lawyers to reconsider their loyalties.

Happy Holidays

Here's wishing a happy and healthy holiday season to all our clients and friends in the law biz. You've made the past 25 years stimulating, challenging, and rewarding.

ResultsMailVT will return Tuesday, January 2, 2018.

Mike O'Horo

Trish Wilson

It's that holiday time of year...

Within the next week or so, most of you will see your business socializing schedule ramp up and continue through the holiday season. Receptions and holiday parties hosted by your firm, clients and other business contacts. Many of you recognize it as an opportunity to meet and reconnect with lots of new people. Here's how to make it enjoyable and effective.

“Holiday Marketing” vs. Strategic December Business Development

About this time each year, law industry publications are rife with advice about “holiday marketing.” The advice tends to be about gift-giving protocols and using social events to network and create relationships.

However, today’s legal environment requires more substantial analysis and strategy, a “Holiday Marketing 2.0” if you will. Here's how

Innovative thinking about cross-selling

If your firm struggles with cross-selling like most do, here's a new tool that automates introducing cross-selling info as a component of normal emails.

What % of your business comes from other lawyers' referrals, really?

Too many lawyers waste time networking at bar associations and other lawyer-groups. Yeah, I know, you're hoping that, if you form relationships with these other lawyers, they'll refer work to you. Intellectually, that's certainly a possibility. However, over the course of your career to date, what percentage of your business has actually been referred by other lawyers? Unless you're an outlier, it's not enough to justify the time invested.

OMG! The accountants are coming!

CPA firms moving into legal services was cited by 64 percent of law firm respondents as the biggest threat to traditional law firms’ share of the legal services market, according to a study cited in Bloomberg BigLaw Business. Here's how you can neutralize this threat.