How long does it take to become relevant to your clients?

Somehow, it continues to be news that companies want -- and are beginning to require -- their outside law firms to be relevant, i.e., to understand their industry, business, products, and the overall context within which legal advice is formulated and rendered. How long does it take to acquire that perceived relevance. Here’s your answer.

58% of sales meetings are not valuable to buyers

In a recent post, I shared research showing that 82% of B2B decision-makers consider commercial salespersons to be unprepared. I speculated (with confidence based on almost 30 years coaching lawyers) that lawyers might not fare even that well on the “prepared” scale. Yes, it’s that bad.

Escape price pressure: Create your own "Blue Ocean Strategy"

A “blue ocean” is a market where there is no competition or much less competition. It means searching for an emerging problem with which very few lawyers associate, and for which the impact is so significant that solutions for it have no pricing pressure.

Relatively unexplored and untainted by competition, blue oceans are vast, deep and powerful in terms of opportunity and growth. You’re better off searching for ways to gain "uncontested market space" rather than competing with similar firms and lawyers.

Your bio: Focus on outcomes, not output

Your bio’s job is to cause visitors to conclude that you understand their problems and the context within which they must solve them, and why they hire lawyers. Unfortunately, too few lawyer bios do any of that. Most focus on the work they’ve done, i.e., their output. Here’s how to do better.

How to apply "Challenger Sale" principles to ramp up your success

Gartner research found that a company’s brand, products and services, and pricing are no longer the main drivers behind customers’ purchase decisions. Instead, the greatest differentiator between B2B sellers is the sales experience. Buyers said they want to be challenged to think about things more creatively. As explained in the book The Challenger Sale, the challenger approach is one in which the seller:

  • actively teaches their prospect,

  • tailors their sales process, and

  • takes control of the customer conversation.

How to develop a marketing communications channel strategy

As you work through your 2019 plan (you have one, right?), you have to balance your time limitations against having a robust distribution network for your thought leadership and positioning messages.

Here’s how to get all this organized so you’ll have greater reach than your schedule would otherwise permit.

Business Development: Step 1 is always “Google it”

Lawyers know they have to stay in contact, or risk missing out on work that a client or prospect is willing to award them, but doesn’t simply because too long a gap between communications has made them forget you. Too many lawyers struggle to generate relevant, welcomed conversation with clients and prospects. Here’s a better way.

How to run a great meeting

Too high a percentage of the meetings we attend are largely a waste of time. So say the lawyers, CMOs, BDOs and COOs with whom I’ve spoken about the topic. If it helps at all, the law biz is not alone in that experience and perception; the whole world suffers from “death by meeting.” Here’s how to make life better for everyone, every time.

Do your BizDev coaching sessions feel like “Groundhog Day”?

Many lawyers pretty much create the Groundhog Day experience with their biz dev coaches. They fail to get the maximum value out of coaching, or waste it outright by not being fully committed and engaged, instead merely going through the motions every week. Here’s how you can tell if you’re doing that.

Want to halt progress on your sale? Send information about your capabilities.

How many times have you ended a call with someone you’re trying to cultivate as a prospect with them asking you to send materials describing your firm’s capabilities in a broad practice area, e.g., IP litigation? How many times has an email exchange ended with this same next step? If your answer is “too often,” here’s what to do instead.

"Plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”

Lawyers detest creating business development plans. They delay and resist as long as possible, and when their firm finally brings down the hammer, too often they create something pro forma that lets them check the required box, but is of little practical use, and never gets looked at again. Here’s why you should view this differently.

No more to-do lists (reading time 5 mins)

The biggest business development obstacle that the lawyers I coach report to me is finding time for it. Too often, our weekly progress calls feature a rehashing of action items from the previous week that weren’t completed due to lack of time. In response, we make To-Do lists. They’re easy. Too easy, and mostly useless. Here’s a better way.

The importance of January 2-4, 2019

Many lawyers see the final two weeks of December as a business development Dead Zone. Prospects and clients are scrambling to meet year-end deadlines, and are distracted by professional- and family obligations related to the holidays. While this reasoning is understandable, the danger of shutting down your BD effort completely is that two dark weeks turns into four, or six, or more. Here's what to do instead.

Dig the well before you're thirsty

Lots of lawyers experience what’s called the “sell/do” cycle. That means that they’re either selling the work, or doing it. While they have it, they focus on billable work exclusively, ignoring marketing and sales entirely. “No time for biz dev. Too busy. Gotta get this work done.” Here’s how to break that cycle and become more consistent.

“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. Here’s a much better way to use the last few weeks of the year.