Thursday, April 16, 2009

Coaching IS the new branding!

Back in the boom years, firms rushed to establish a brand and invested heavily in advertising to promote it. Now, with overall marketing budgets tightening approximately 5 to 30% in most firms, the remaining available budget is being re-directed at many firms. Since advertising has a much longer payoff than does direct client development efforts, many firms are increasing the percentage of their overall marketing budgets allocated to client development. Some firms have abolished their advertising budgets altogether and re-allocated those funds to support and enhance attorneys direct client development efforts. For example, many firms are commissioning custom client development training and coaching "pilot" programs for interested partners, designed to help take their rainmaking skills and abilities to the next level. Other firms are retaining "coach the coach" programs, where outside experts train internal marketing and business development staff to become better at coaching their lawyers in the area of successful client development. Doing everything possible to support and enhance the one-to-one, direct client development process, procedure and results are key in this flat economy.

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