In the 16 years I've been in law firm marketing, I've seen at least 25 scenarios where law firms need sales training. Typically, it's the reason that a partner or marketing director calls me in the first place. These situations are found in law firms of any size, any practice and any location.
Take this 20-question quiz to see if any of them apply to you. If you check off 3 or more, you need sales training.
- Most of our rainmakers are over age 65.
- Few mid-level partners have opened a file on their own.
- The firm recently lost a top 10 client.
- Roughly 10% of our partners generate 80% of the new files.
- Most partners are content to be "service partners" and only bill hours.
- Lawyers resist developing new business, saying "I went to law school so I'd never have to sell," or something similar.
- Our associates are not encouraged to generate new business
- Business development does not come up in lawyer compensation reviews.
- There is no incentive or bonus (besides an origination credit) for generating new business.
- Few or no partners have individual business development plans in writing.
- About half of the lawyers are willing to market, but they don't know where to begin or what to do.
- We have an eat-what-you-kill compensation system.
- Our lawyers belong to many organizations as members, but few of them are in a leadership position or on the board.
- Cross-selling is a goal of the firm, but it doesn't seem to happen.
- Our lawyers have referred a client to another firm for a matter, even though we have partners who could do the work.
- Most of our lawyers are active in only bar associations and lawyer groups -- not in any organizations of clients.
- The firm has no client teams, or else they are inactive.
- The firm does not premeditatedly identify industries where it has experience with the aim of pursuing potential business clients in those industries.
- Our lawyers decline to pursue a potential client, because they say another law firm already has all their their legal work.
- We do a lot of marketing -- seminars, brochures, sports tickets, sponsorships, public relations and advertising -- but can't track any specific client to the initiatives.
- We reimburse the business development expenses of partners, but few of them spend all of their account.
- Business development time spent by lawyers is not tracked.
- The firm has never broadcast a Webinar.
- The firm has no blog.
- Our lawyers meet to discuss business development, conduct research and make plans -- but don't act on them.
Sound familiar? If you saw your firm in 3 or more of these scenarios, it's time to train the lawyers how to sell legal services and to coach them to write personal business development plans.