Monday, January 22, 2018

Six Leading In-House Counsel on How Outside Lawyers Can Perfect Their Pitch for New Business©

Six leading in-house counsel answered this question: “In what situations or under what circumstances would you and/or your company consider using an outside lawyer with whom you have not previously worked?” Below is a summary of their responses:
  1. When there is a new, developing and/or niche area(s) – such as privacy and data security – where in-house counsel does not have the expertise and/or capacity.
  2. Capacity issues. When the in-house counsel does not practice in that area, there is too much volume and/or there is no in-house counsel at the company/entity.
  3. Turnover of general or in-house counsel or other decision-makers, such as when a new in-house counsel is hired or a new human resources manager starts at the company. Two of the in-house counsel mentioned that they had started at their companies only about twelve to eighteen months ago, and out of the dozens of outside law firms their companies use, only about 10% of them reached out to them when they arrived in their new position. 
  4. Relationship issues with existing outside counsel. For example, some long-standing, existing relationships may be stale or may be transitioning from an aging baby-boomer lawyer. So, a client may feel: the need to consider new/other counsel; taken for granted; and/or that outside counsel is in a complacent/reactive mode. In addition, some in-house counsel expressed they have service issues with some of their outside counsel – issues such as lack of proactive counsel and advice and, inconsistent responsiveness, etc.
  5. Any lawyer or firm that can offer them comparable quality of legal services at lower total fees, fixed fees, and/or in any other predictable and transparent manner is always sought after. They are all under pressure to reduce the number of outside firms they use, to save money on outside legal services and to reduce their total outside legal spend by between 10% and 25% annually.
  6. In situations, cases or matters where various company/entity employees need or require separate, independent outside counsel.
  7. Joint defense opportunities, when a nonconflicting party is also a party to the same lawsuit, jointly retaining a firm might make sense and conserve total outside legal fees.
To gain more tips and techniques proven to win new outside legal work, rent this webinar: "Master-Level Techniques to Win More RFPs, proposals, and New Business Pitches" featuring the renowned sales coach for lawyers - Julie Savarino.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Improve Return on Investment (ROI) from Law Firm Marketing, Business & Client Development Investments

From over 30 years of surveys, the three highest marketing and business development costs for most law firms are:

1.  In-house staff (including salaries, benefits, bonuses, etc.),
2.  Individual lawyer travel and entertainment, and
3.  Seminars, events, conferences (all including firm/PG produced, co-sponsored, speaking at, etc.).

The key to improving ROI is to identify the key areas where - if improved, made more productive, efficient, and/or effective - will deliver the highest return-on-investment in the coming year.

Some specific ways to save costs and get better results from your marketing and business development send are to: use project management and/or process improvement techniques: identify projects, tasks, deliverables, and opportunities that overlap in more than one department within the firm; internally collaborate on ways to improve the process to streamline, maximize, re-purpose, re-cycle, re-use, outsource, to create efficiencies. Other commonly used strategies to save money include: eliminating and/or reducing items of least value, re-negotiating, creating an inventory then and ranking all (or top) existing content then refine, re-purpose, and/or re-use existing content as appropriate.

Many other proven and specific strategies, techniques, tactics, and actual examples are discussed during this webinar on demand: “Best Practices to Improve Your Firm's Marketing & Business Development ROI”.

If you like this post, check out and "like" the Business Development Inc. Facebook page @BusDevInc.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Top 5 Best Ways to Fuel Law Firm Growth (Other Than Strategic Lateral Hiring

In this extraordinarily competitive market for outside legal services, to remain profitable and competitive, law firms need to continually reassess, recalibrate, and focus their limited resources on the best and most promising assets, which consist of both the firm’s lawyers and strategic opportunities with clients and prospects. In this market, outside lawyers and law firms that 1) remain in a primarily reactive mode, doing the billable work on their desks, while mainly waiting and hoping for new work to come in the door, and 2) are not making strategic investments  - are increasingly losing clients, market and/or client share.  
In the more than 30 years since the Bates v. Arizona decision allowed attorney advertising, there is now a significant body of knowledge that proves what works best for law firms and lawyers if they wish to develop consistent new business, remain competitive, and grow. So, based on this body of knowledge, other than strategic lateral hiring, what works best and what are the best ways to fuel law firm growth?

  1. Your client’s voice. The world’s most profitable law firms have an organized program in place to regularly obtain and use client feedback. These programs do not need to be involved or cumbersome. To learn the best ways to gather and use client feedback in a cost-effective manner, register to attend this webinar, “Best Practices to Improve Your Firm's Marketing & Business Development ROI” being held on Wednesday, September 20, 2017 from 12 Noon to 1:15 p.m. EDT.
  2. Annual business plans. If your firm requires an annual plan from every partner and/or lawyer, but they “sit on a shelf” and are reviewed only at compensation time, there are proven tactics to make better use of them, so that more consistent and measurable new business will be generated over the course of a year. To learn the changes your firm can make to get the best use and results from your firm’s annual plans, register for the webinar linked above.
  3. Focus your resources on firm lawyers who 1) want to develop new business, 2) have a propensity for or a track record of doing so, and 3) are willing to devote non-billable time on strategic and targeted efforts. To learn specific ways to identify these lawyers in your firm, register to attend our upcoming webinars.
  4. Implement challenges and awards. Organizing a simple monthly or quarterly challenge in your firm to help attain client service, cross-selling, and/or new file-opening objectives is a proven way law firms use to get desired results. To learn how to organize and implement an award and/or challenge, register to attend this webinar, “Proven Ways to Motivate Lawyers to Cross-Service and Cross-Sell” being held Wednesday, September 13, 2017 from 12 noon to 1:15 EDT.
  5. Investment is required. To continue to thrive and grow, law firms must strategically invest both non-billable time and money. But many law firms continue to struggle to refine and focus their business development investments in the most effective way.
Our upcoming webinars will take a deep dive into the proven strategies and tactics law firms should fund and implement in 2018 and beyond. Register for both upcoming webinars before COB September 12, 2017 and get a 10% discount!

P.S.     Our webinars are highly rated by the over 70% of the Am Law 200, over 60% of the largest law firms in Canada, and lawyers and law firm professionals from the United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa and South America who have attended them!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Clients Increasingly Initiating Predictability & Control for Outside Counsel Legal Spend

Recently, some mega-companies announced significant organized efforts to reduce their company’s total annual legal spend by moving more work to outside law firms, lawyers, and other providers on fee arrangements other than the billable hour (AFAs or alternative fee arrangements). In the process, many companies are also identifying where unbundling their legal needs can create efficiencies, and reducing the total number of outside law firms, lawyers, and other providers they use.

Two companies in the news recently doing this are Microsoft and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). But in recent years, several other Fortune 10-100 companies have also been working hard to move their significant volume of outside legal work on fixed or flat fees.

So, the three related trends below are not new, but they are increasing significantly in pace, sophistication, and voracity:
1. Moving more or all work to AFAs,
2. Unbundling legal needs, and
3. Reducing the total number of outside firms/lawyers used. 

Law firms that remain in a mainly reactive posture, simply waiting for clients to send them an RFP or RFQ, risk falling behind the curve and being left behind. If your firm can use experienced assistance creating and implementing a proactive strategy and plan to ensure you do not lose significant client work and share in the future, please contact me, Julie Savarino.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Benefits of Using a Personal Business Development Coach – Are You Coachable?©

Many lawyers, law firm marketers, and other highly educated professionals mistakenly assume that once they graduate from college or law school or earn their CPA, all they need to do to be successful is to practice. This may be true for the elite in their field – a very select few. But for the vast majority of lawyers and other professionals, history demonstrates that college or graduate degrees alone do not necessarily guarantee success. True success is a lifelong process, and many subjects and skills not taught in school are required for a person to be truly successful.

One such critical skill is the ability to get new clients and/or new work. Without the ability to secure, develop, maintain, and retain a client relationship, all the credentials and schooling in the world will still leave a practitioner with little to work on. Without clients, there are no problems for you to counsel or advise on, solve, or resolve. So sales, client development, or business development (whichever phrase you use to define the processes of developing qualified leads and getting new work in the door) are fundamental and crucial skills and disciplines for all professionals.

The most effective and successful professionals – whether they are practicing lawyers, CPAs, business advisers, sales coaches, consultants, or in-house marketers – have at least three traits in common:
1.         They are personally committed to self-development and continual learning.
2.         They are self-disciplined and willing to work with others to complement and augment their own capabilities.
3.         They work to be effective communicators and are willing to address difficulties in working relationships as they arise.
The bottom line is that personal attitude, mind-set, capability, and commitment over time are crucial to attaining any degree of success in business development or any other field.

So, would you benefit from a personal business development coach? Ask yourself:

1.      Do I already know all there is to know about “sales” and client development? Too many professionals assume that selling is nothing but common sense and instantly think to themselves, “Yes, I think I do know everything I need to know about developing business – it’s just common sense,” and don’t pursue ongoing formal training or coaching. However, the fact is that client/business development is a specialty, both a science and an art, just like the practice of law or other professions. For example, when the field of life sciences emerged, were legal experts already in place? Hardly – those lawyers who were interested specialized in the field, conducted personal study, took continuing legal education courses on the subject, and gained the experience to become competent and eventually experts. The same is true for business development, which is a science that arguably came to the forefront in professional services fields approximately 30 years ago. Consequently, the practice of business development for the professions has become increasingly sophisticated and complex.

If you answered no to question #1 and you do think there is more you could learn to improve your performance in the client/business development area, ask yourself: “What is it that I don’t know?” Studies have shown that the more educated people are, the more they THINK they know about any given subject, when in fact they actually know less than a person of average education. Bottom line: we don’t know what we don’t know until we know it. In other words, knowing a lot about a subject and doing it well are two separate issues. If you accept that there may be things about client/business development that you don’t know or may want to improve, you have the right attitude to enhance your performance and results.

2.      What are my NATURAL abilities/aptitudes, and what areas do I need to work on? The best strategy is to focus on and maximize your natural gifts while being aware of and making efforts to minimize those traits that may negatively affect your performance. If you are a natural “people person,” you are relatively unique, in that people with those skills represent a fairly small percentage of the general population and an even smaller percentage of lawyers and other professionals. Most professionals are more naturally cerebral and consequently need to work on developing their people skills. Even if you have natural people skills, in this competitive environment, if you do not know the proposal process (both reactive and proactive) and/or do not close the sale, all the people skills in the world will not be as effective as they could be in building your book of business. If you are not sure of your natural skills and abilities in the client/business development area, a professional, thorough assessment will help you gain insight.

3.      Do I respond well to suggestions/ideas? Or am I already set in my ways or mentally stuck? The answer to this question is what makes the difference between someone who will benefit from training and coaching and someone on whom it will largely be wasted. At most law firms, 5 to 10 percent of partners are highly resistant to input and suggestions on business development subjects and feel fully capable themselves without help. In this highly competitive environment, if you are a partner who is resistant to any assistance in client/business development AND develops at least $2 million annually in new business, keep doing what you are doing! Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Often, it is those lawyers who need to adapt and enhance their skills the most who are the greatest naysayers or put up the most resistance.

In this world of consolidating legal and professional services, bringing in business, and developing and maintaining client relationships are no longer optional for any partner, any professional striving for partner status, or any law firm marketer/business developer coaching lawyers to bring in new work.

Register to attend this webinar - “Best Practices in Sales Coaching for Law Firm Marketers/Business Developers” being held Wednesday, August 23, 2017 from 12 noon to 1:15 p.m. Eastern time.

About the Author: Julie Savarino is an attorney and renowned Rainmaker Coach. She is one of the world’s most highly recommended RFP, “sales”, and new business development coaches and consultants for lawyers and law firms. If you like this post, check out and "like" Julie’s Facebook page @therainmakercoach.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Increase Law Firm Revenues by Enhancing Client Service Touchpoints, Upgrading Sales Coaching & Conducting an Assessment©

Below are five common client service touchpoints that every client experiences when working with a lawyer and law firm. Review them and ask yourself:
  • How well do I perform during each of these?
  • Do I leave each client feeling good about working with me?
  • Most important, do I know which three touchpoints clients rate highest and value most?
Knowing and improving the client experience during the three most important touchpoints can make a major difference in a lawyer’s and law firm’s reputation, revenues, referrals, and profitability. Here are those five common client service touchpoints:

  1. Initial Meeting – Did the potential client feel understood, cared about, and important, and have a sense of trust and confidence that the lawyer can help?
  2. Hiring the Lawyer – Did the potential client feel as though he/she knew what to expect, the approximate total cost/fees, what the lawyer would be doing, and when the lawyer would get back to him/her?
  3. Working with the Lawyer – Was the client able to get timely access to the lawyer at any time? Was the lawyer responsive, and did he/she have an appropriate “bedside manner”?
  4. End of Case/Matter – Did the client feel like the lawyer/firm went over and above what was originally expected? Was something added/given beyond what the client initially expected?
  5. Final Bill/Invoice – Did the client recover more than originally expected? Was the total amount the client paid clear, straightforward, fair, and reasonable considering the result?
If you want to learn what the top three most important touchpoints for clients are and specific, proven ways every lawyer can improve them, register for this webinar being presented by Julie Savarino, one of the world’s highest-rated and most-recommended business development advisors, speakers, trainers, and coaches for lawyers and law firms. Identify& Upgrade Your Client Service Touchpoints to Ensure Client Satisfaction,Increase Referrals & New Business for Lawyers©, being held Wednesday, July 26, 2017 – 12 Noon to 1:15 p.m. Eastern.
ü     Best Practices in Providing Sales Coaching to Lawyers©, being held Wednesday, August 23, 2017 – 12 Noon to 1:15 p.m. Eastern.
ü     Best Practices to Improve Your Firm’s Marketing & Business Development Return on Investment (ROI)©, being held Wednesday, September 20, 2017 – 12 Noon to 1:15 p.m. Eastern, featuring guest speaker Jennifer Petrone Dezso of the renowned BTI Consulting Group.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day in America - U.S. Law Firms and Lawyers Support the U.S. Military and Veterans*

For lawyers whose practice already includes representing members of the military and/or veterans or for those lawyers/law firms interested in doing so, the American Bar Association (ABA) website offers over 7,000 resources which can be accessed by visiting the site and typing “Veterans” in the search bar.  Many state bars have also developed either heroes’ and/or heroes’ and veterans’ assistance programs, for example the state bars of Oklahoma, Georgia, Texas and North Carolina.

Also, pro bono representation opportunities to help veterans and their families abound.
Every lawyer, law firm, law firm and legal industry employee can help support U.S. troops and veterans if they so desire. There are many great ways to do so, and many pro bono efforts/charities/groups exist. Excellent and bona fide pro bono and/or volunteer programs that support veterans can be found by contacting:  The American Legion (; the VFW (; the ABA ( and/or state bars. To volunteer and/or donate in the most productive manner, be sure to first verify the group/organization (because not all veterans’ charities/organizations use/apply their donations legitimately). Websites to visit to verify charities’ track records include: the American Institute of Philanthropy, Charity Navigator and/or GuideStar.


Julie Savarino is a lawyer and renowned business developer who helps law firms and lawyer new generate revenue by serving as a professional business developer, coach, trainer, program developer and strategist. She had the privilege and honor of serving pro bono as chief communications officer for Snyder v. Phelps and related efforts. Julie can be reached at (734) 668 7008 or If you like this post, check out and "like" Julie’s new Facebook page @therainmakercoach where she will be posting useful and valuable "sales" and business development tips and content for lawyers, law firm marketers and law firms all year long!

EXCERPT – from an article published in the November 2012 issue of Strategies, The Journal of Legal Marketing,