In my last blogpost I wrote about the importance of taking action for legal business development initiatives to succeed. As I explained, taking action is the most important element to a successful legal business development initiative. But despite its essential nature to the success of law firm business development – it’s frequently absent. This must change if law firms want to remain competitive – as it’s almost certain, in my opinion, that traditional partnership-model law firms will never adopt sales teams in large numbers (as NewLaw firms have done). (Some experts seem to still hold out hope that traditional law firms may adopt sales divisions, but I disagree). Hence, for the foreseeable future, I believe lawyers themselves will be required to conduct the bulk of mission-critical business development activities.
Strategy is as important as action
Almost as important (or perhaps as important) as taking action – is creating and adhering to a good strategy that underpins business development action. Without a carefully thought out strategy — a legal business development initiative is likely to either fail or produce mediocre results.
In an excellent article which appears in In House Community, Patrick Dransfield details the importance of strategy to law firm business development initiatives. And he provides some superb recommendations on how to develop a strategy, based on his years of working in BD and mareting roles for some of the world’s most elite law firms.
Some things to keep in mind when creating a good legal BD strategy
As Patrick explains, the marketing and business development function within law firms is often not well understood. This can lead to poorly designed and poorly executed BD initiatives. But things don’t have to be like this. He recommends keeping in mind the following when creating a legal business development strategy:
I believe these recommendations are very useful for any lawyer or law firm leader seeking to go further than simply seeking referrals as a primary source of new business. Most law firms generate most of their business from referrals, leaving themselves at the whims of the market and not in control of their own destiny. But if you’d like to go further and learn how to do more than simply generate referrals – you can. Some of the initiatives you might take I’ve blogged about here before (see my previous posts). In a nutshell – law firms that deploy sophisticated inbound and outbound business development and marketing strategies – would render themselves as competitive as the most successful law firms in the world.
I’ve helped hundreds of lawyers create and deploy business development strategies that produce new client engagements. If you’d like to discuss how I might help you or your law firm (or both) develop a strategy to develop more business – fill out the form below to arrange a conversation.