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4 October 2007

Economic pressures and the increased sophistication of clients mean lawyers have to compete for work, which means they have to get out and get business in. Not everyone is up to this. For instance, business development takes time - presentations, writing articles, networking, etc - none of which is billable. Some lawyers detest the dreaded sales pitch, are introverted, reflective and dislike self-promotion. Others fear failure. Yet, lawyers can be trained, and can develop their business development skills. How?

Partner involvement is crucial as partners shape the culture and behaviour of a law firm. If they want business developers, they have to be business developers themselves and must encourage this in others. Business development courses must build confidence and ideally should consist of a number of training modules, in which a wide range of skills are built over time in a manner that is tailored to the law firm. Lawyers must understand that they are not selling in the true sense. What they are doing is demonstrating experience and expertise that will ultimately win clients.

Business is in short a must-do activity and all firms can and should help their lawyers create the time, techniques and confidence necessary to develop their business skills.

Article on Legalweek

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