The highest strategic priorities in 2015 and beyond for most law firms are to measurably get new business and to increase profitability. In today’s extremely competitive market for outside legal services, attaining these objectives requires adopting and implementing proven strategies in addition to and in conjunction with the most commonly used growth strategy: new lateral hires and acquisitions. Below are several proven tactics to achieve the priorities of increasing revenues and profits in a measurable manner:
1. Formalize/Upgrade Collections Year-Round – To avoid large, old and non-collectable A/R, collecting should not primarily be a year-end effort. The proven tips in this free, highly rated, 30-minute webinar on “How to Turn Collections Season Into a New Business Development Opportunity” may help.
2. Assess and Invest in Attorneys’ Business/Client Development Potential and Interest – Ask: which firm lawyers (whether partners and/or associates) have demonstrated some capabilities when it comes to developing business and also want to/have the desire to put in the work to become better rainmakers? Consider sending a query, tally and then provide proven programs, tools and resources to help them get there. If you are considering supplementing internal business/client development support with proven, outside programs and services guaranteed to return a measurable return on investment and report measureable results, we can help.
3. Avoid Expenses Associated with Reinventing the Wheel – Considerable attorney and support staff time and cost savings can be attained by identifying existing, proven already-built programs and resources, thereby avoiding having to take the time and make the investment to re-create them. For example, on our website we offer:
a. Highly rated live webinars - Receive a 15% discount for any three 2015 webinars of your choice if you register by December 15, 2014;
b. On demand webinars are available on such topics as: “Getting the Most Out of LinkedIn for Lawyers©”, “Key ‘Sales’ Tools for Lawyers©”, “Innovative Client Service©”, and “Mastering the RFP Process™” among others;
c. 20-minute Rainmaking Express™ videos available on demand;
d. Our Rainmaker Coach™ app is available on iTunes® for iPads® and iPhones®;
e. Among hundreds of other resources – many complimentary – available at www.BusDevInc.com.
4. Intensify the Focus on What Works to Develop Business – The vast majority of lawyers’ business and client development efforts are non-billable, so optimizing lawyers’ preparation and results from all non-billable efforts is key to increasing revenue and profitability.
a. Over the last 25 years, we have compiled all available and relevant information and research that proves what works best to develop new business and clients for lawyers and law firms — beyond having the right relationships. This body of research consists of decades of study, surveys and data analysis - including intake and client surveys, reading hundreds of books, reviewing financial and statistical data, and analyzing numerous other survey results from hundreds of firms - yet few law firms are fully aware of this ‘proven science of business/client development’ nor do they educate all lawyers about it or capitalize on it. If you would like more information on the science of business and client development for lawyers and law firms, please email me.
b. Another option is to consider formally assessing and identifying the strategies, tools and tactics in your firm that generate the most revenue, the fastest. Then, benchmark, compare and consider upgrades/changes that can yield even better results from them and educate internally. For example, most firms have Key Client Teams, yet not all function optimally. Also, some law firms have created Client/Referral Source Advisory Boards, but few use them as productively as possible, and most lawyers are pitching new business and responding to RFPs now more than ever, yet not winning as much new business as they would like. Consider commissioning a customized “Perfect Your Pitch” program for lucrative and interested practice groups such as: “Perfect Your Data Security & Privacy Pitch”, “Perfect Your National Coordinating Counsel Pitch”, “Perfect Your Water Rights Pitch”, “Perfect Your Wage and Hour Pitch” or “Perfect Your Patent Litigation Pitch.”
5. Objectively Assess and Upgrade Your Firm’s Business & Client Development Processes – Just like the practice of law, business and client development are a process, each stage of which consists of many sub-processes. To remain competitive, regular upgrades and innovations to these processes are critical. The keys to the success of any process are the people who do the work and creating efficiencies within the process. Gone are the days of “we have always done it like this,” and the days of having only one or a few marketing directors/staff members who “do all our marketing/business development” are waning. We have assisted numerous firms that needed to conduct a thorough assessment, and then assisted them with the implementation of upgraded strategic investments to improve their measureable results. One of the biggest trends in the past few years is law firms’ increased hiring of specialists within the business and client development function — people such as pricing specialists, client development “sales” specialists, strategy and innovation specialists, internal “sales” coaches, etc. Consider registering before December 15, 2014, for the highly rated program “Mastering the Sales Pipeline Process for Law Firms,” which will be held June 5, 2015, in Chicago, and receive a 10% discount.