The days when all solicitors had to do were practice law are long gone. The financial crisis in 2008 has resulted in a challenging environment in which to succeed in the legal market. The market is demanding that their chosen law firms do more for less money.
As a result of the increasing competition within the legal market law firms are quite rightly placing greater significance on a lawyer’s ability to generate business. Firms do not want to rely on a few rainmakers to keep the work flowing through the door; they want to share this responsibility across the firm. Putting the message out across the firm that they are expected to generate business is a good start. However this isn’t enough. Firms should start asking themselves how they invest in enhancing their team’s business development skills. Do they invest in training their people how to prospect for new business? I’m not talking about turning up to a networking event. I’m talking about what to do when they get there; what to do afterwards; how to approach that first coffee meeting, turning the coffee meeting into a an opportunity to pitch and finally nurturing and growing that relationship once the first piece of business has been won. All of these areas require different skills that may not come naturally no matter how intelligent or gifted a person is in their chosen field of law.
I have over 10 years’ experience in selling services and marketing to the legal sector, I’ve attended seminars, networking events and countless meetings with solicitors. Working closely with my client Japenic Consultants, a training company, we work within the legal sector helping them to understand the techniques used by successful business development professionals.
Unfortunately providing quality legal services may not be enough to ensure success. Those firms investing not only in their legal skills but in bringing their services to market through a combination of networking, strategic marketing, relationship building and business development will be the ones that come out on top.