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Eleven weeks from tomorrow

Eleven weeks from tomorrow, Wednesday, November 23, the end-of-year clock starts ticking as people travel the US to be with family and friends for the (US) Thanksgiving holiday. What does that have to do with business development?

Market Change Requires Change in Lawyer Thinking

Law firms are paying more attention to, and investing more money in, business development, but many lawyers still aren't sure why all this is happening and why they should do things differently. The answer: The legal service market has undergone a basic and permanent economic shift from a demand market to a supply market.

You can't succeed at business development if you relegate it to "extra time."

Some lawyers declare this openly. Far more say it implicitly through their avoidance behaviors. Most relegate business development to the last item on their list, to be dealt with when everything else is done and they have some extra time. I've been coaching lawyers for 25 years and I've yet to see one who had extra time.

BD: Do you do it only for the money?

Why do you avoid the business development activity that you know is essential to having the practice you want? If you're doing it primarily for money, you may have found the culprit. Here's how to take a healthier approach, get better results, and (gasp!) enjoy it.

​Run for office at the next networking event you attend

Have you ever noticed how politicians manage to turn any question they're asked as a platform to say what they really want to say? Politicians are focused. Lawyers trying to develop business can apply their own version of this technique. Consider this the next time you invest your time in a networking event.

"Overcapacity" is a euphemism for "Find more work on your own"

In a 2015 Altman Weil survey, 65% of respondents said equity partners weren’t busy enough, and 79% said non-equity partners were insufficiently busy. As a result, for the last 18 months, law firms have been laying off lawyers, counseling partners to leave and closing entire offices. Here's what that means to you, and how to protect yourself.

The lateral-partner revenue mirage

A third of lateral partner candidates deliver less than half their promised book of business, and only 54% of laterals hired in the previous five years were regarded as a ‘break-even’ on the firm’s investment.” Here's what firms should do to turn things around, and what laterals should insist on before moving.

What does the pace of law firm mergers mean for BD?

The record pace of law firm mergers and acquisitions are definitive proof of the maturation of the law business. In a mature market, nothing that worked in a growth market will work. That means law firms have no choice but to embark on radical changes, beginning with the Sales function.

Eleven weeks from now...

Eleven weeks from now, Wednesday, November 25, the end-of-year clock starts ticking as people traverse the US to be with family and friends for the (US) Thanksgiving holiday. What does that have to do with business development?

Silo Selling is Lawyer-Centric, not Client-Centric

Most lawyers are comfortable in a neatly labeled box known as a "Practice Group." Such labeling is typically the first step into the world of Silo Selling. This may provide some context and perhaps even comfort for you. However, most businesspersons think in terms of business challenges or opportunities. These perspectives are not lawyer-centric. Here's how to be more client-centric.

The biggest marketing/sales obstacle lawyers face

The biggest marketing and sales obstacle lawyers face is unconscious incompetence. It means you don't know what you don't know. That's one of the four stages of competence. This matters because one characteristic of that stage is overconfidence about your innate ability to generate business, based on ignorance of what it actually takes to generate business. If you want to learn a new skill, get some professional help.