Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mastering the 'Sales' Process for Lawyers¨ - nationally renowned client development training and coaching program

To be held Friday, December 10, 2010 in New York City at the offices of Linklaters LLP, 1345 Avenue of the Americas

To remain competitive, lawyers and law firms need to continually upgrade their efforts to generate a consistent pipeline of new business. "Mastering the 'Sales' Process for Lawyers©" is a time proven program that helps lawyers develop more business from existing clients and convert various contacts into new clients by learning and applying the science, skill and art of the most effective client development techniques. New and experienced partners gain from attending and participating in this renowned program (see What Clients Say). Participants learn, practice and master both the art and science of the 'sales' or client development process as it applies to lawyers and law firms.

Why attend? Or, why offer this program for interested partners in your firm? Each attendee will receive the following benefits:

  • Develop intimate familiarity with each step of the 'sales' cycle and process for lawyers.

  • Identify and apply what works as 'best practices' when selling legal services.

  • Learn how to prepare for and analyze new business opportunities and take client development skills to a 'master level'.

  • Learn how to make the most out of personal contacts and convert them into clients.

  • Pitch real-life clients Peter M. Jennings, Assistant General Counsel, The Dow Chemical Company and Thomas Ball, Vice President, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary, Online Resources Corp. To view what other in-house counsel have to say about this program please visit: What Clients Say.

  • Learn how to generate a personalized Money Book© and 'sales pipeline' to methodically and systematically develop profitable new business.

Registration fees for this public enrollment session are $2,495.00 USD for the first attendee. Discounts are available for subsequent attendees from the same firm. Registration fees are non-refundable, but are transferable within the same firm. Registration fees include a breakfast, lunch, an optional post-program reception and a copy of the course materials. Personalized, one-to-one coaching is available as an option after this NYC program for an additional fee.

For more information or to reserve a spot(s) for you firm at the December 10, 2010 NYC program, or to commission this program privately for a group of interested partners at your firm, please contact Julie Savarino.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Firms Are Upgrading the Hiring & Vetting Process for Marketing & Business Development Staff and Outside Consultants, Trainers and/or Coaches

Whether you are searching to fill an internal position or to find a temporary or project-based external consultant/vendor, taking the time to create a formal assessment/vetting process to evaluate the experience, capabilities and deliverables you can expect from any/all marketing/business development support will go a long way to insure that you obtain the return on investment that you want.

As is true in any profession, mar com and bus dev candidates come in varying sizes, shapes and (most importantly) skill sets and competencies. Unfortunately, in the law firm marketing and business development profession, there is a low barrier to entry – in that virtually anyone can "say/claim" they can do this work. That is a major reason why bona fide capabilities and true talent vary widely. Over the last 25 years, hundreds have claimed to do this work, many of whom are no longer in the field. In addition, many consultants offer themselves up as both marketing and business development experts. But these are two very distinct and different disciplines. Just like lawyers, some consultants are generalists and some are specialists, while some have a combination of skills. Not all are created equal, nor are they all credible or even legitimate.

With increasingly limited funds available to invest and the high cost of turnover and attrition, it is important for firms to utilize a more formal vetting process beyond the old-school "throw a person at the problem" approach to hiring. Too often, the old school approach consisted of trying to sense if the candidate “seemed likely to fit” – i.e. using more subjective selection criteria. Common choices included hiring: a paralegal who already got along with everyone; a recent college graduate related to a partner; a person who had done PR in the community; or a candidate recommended by a client – all with minimal emphasis on assessing deliverables. Now, more firms are considering more sophisticated, objective criteria as part of the selection and vetting process, asking questions such as:

  1. As precisely as possible, exactly what is the problem your firm wishes to solve? What are your goals and objectives for this hire? What do you hope to accomplish? Exactly what results do you want to achieve and in what time period? To answer these questions, work with the candidate to establish realistic, attainable and measurable objectives.

  2. What criteria are most important to you/your firm - credibility, ensuring results, fit within your firm culture? List and rank them. Then, consider a process to create a "short list" based on the following and other considerations unique to your firm/situation.

  3. Does the person have the expertise to do the exact type of work you need done - i.e., law firm business development?

  4. What is the person's level of experience - i.e. for how long have they done this exact type of work, for which firms and with what outcomes? Do they talk the talk and walk the walk? Is this a person who simply says what you want to hear, could they be an "empty suit" or motivational-type "talking head"?

  5. What are your expectations (as precisely as is possible) and can they be met by this person? And their expectations - are they in alignment with yours?

  6. What exact results do you want and can you expect to receive? What is the endgame/outcome you desire? How will you measure whether you have gotten there? Will you receive a "cookie cutter" solution or one designed/customized for your firm? What demonstrable experience does this person have getting these exact types of results?

  7. Does this person the credibility/credentials you want, with a proven track record of gaining the respect of the kinds of audiences he/she will be working with/communicating with in your firm?

  8. Does the consultant have the integrity & character to say up front if they will be doing the actual work, or will they substitute another consultant(s)? If so, vet them too. What do others, especially clients say about them?

  9. Do their communication style, work style and track record show that they can work well with lawyers? How responsive are they? What is their formal "personal style type" and how does that compare with those with whom they will be working? Are they self-centered or can they subjugate their ego to lawyers and others with whom they work? Are they a good writer? Will they "represent" your firm well?

  10. What differentiates this person, making them different from or better than other options/competitors?

  11. Have you been given written references? Plan to talk personally to at least three at organizations that are most like your firm. Ask about the prospect’s strengths and weaknesses because no one is perfect.

  12. Have you defined the work product and agreed in writing to the scope, timing, work plan and deliverables?

  13. Have you developed a contract that includes confidentiality and other appropriate terms?

  14. What other considerations are unique to your firm and situation – have you thought through all the questions you want to ask before you start doing interviews? If new questions emerge as a result of the interview process, be flexible and add them to your list.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Matthew Snyder Fund re: U.S. Supreme Court Case - Snyder v. Phelps

Tragic Case Going to the U.S. Supreme Court - Please Consider Helping the Family

This fall, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case involving a dead Marine, privacy rights at funerals and the 1st Amendment. Case is: Snyder v. Phelps, a very very tragic story for the family, see this link for more info - www.matthewsnyder.org . In a nutshell - the case involves the picketing at a deceased Marine's funeral involving the defendant Phelps of Westboro Baptist Church. The plaintiff, Albert Snyder, the father of a U.S. marine killed in Iraq, won a $10.9 million jury verdict for invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress against the Phelps clan as a result of their picketing his son's funeral carrying offensive, unpatriotic, and antigay messages, as well as their publication of "The Burden of Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew A. Snyder" on the church's website.

Here is a link to the Good Morning America piece that aired yesterday morning: http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/; CNN's coverage on March 30: http://www.cnn.com and the Baltimore Sun's recent story: http://themoderatevoice.com/

The family needs our help! They need to raise money because the 4th Circuit mordered them to pay the defendants court costs in the amount of $36K. In addition, the family also needs $20K for printing the Supreme Court brief and are facing a demand for an additional $97K because of a cost petition at the District Court. So, we are trying to get the word out to as many people who may want to donate/help, because every donation - no matter how small - will help will all the costs needed to take this to the Supreme Court. Unfortunately, because this is not a non-profit, donations are not tax deductible. But donations can be sent through the website - www.matthewsnyder.org or made payable to "Al Snyder Fund" and sent to the family's lawyer, Sean Summers - law firm at the following address: Barley Snyder LLC , 100 East Market Street, York, PA 17401. The family's lawyer is working pro bono so all funds donated will go to cover costs and not attorney fees.

Additionally, you can show support for the effort by posting an entry and joining the Facebook group by clicking here.

Mr. Snyder's daughter has also started a Facebook page. http://www.facebook.com/

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Two New articles for the New Year and New Decade

As a service and a "thank you" to our valued clients, referral sources, partners and friends - I have written two new articles you may find of interest.

One entitled "The Evolving Law Firm Business Model - Changes in Market-Driven Strategies to Increase Revenue" can be found at www.BusDevInc.com under About Us, Articles, scroll down the page to the Strategy, Profitability & Compensation Section and it's the first article posted there.

The second article, entitled "Important Distinctions Between Marketing, Business Development, Client Development (a.k.a. "Sales") and Client Service for Law Firms & Lawyers" can be obtained by e-mailing me: Julie@BusDevInc.com.