November 11, 2010
Gain a competitive advantage by bringing marketing and business development together.
Most large firms have a marketing staff as well as a business development staff. Even though they work for the same team, they don’t always come off that way to prospects.
In a firm, marketing and business development have the same goal and hope for the same outcome – more clients. So why don’t they have the same point of view? Why aren’t they on the same page? What happens during that dreaded “hand-off” or time gap when the marketers hand off clients to the business development team? Why are both teams trying to sell so many different ideas and services?
You will gain more clients, which ultimately leads to more money, if you integrate these processes. Make sure you are hiring people that can handle your firm and all of its practice areas. Have a public relations person/team, a social media expert, writer/editors and business developers. All of these people must have the firm’s principals at the core of all their decisions. This not only helps you to gain more clients, but it also strengthens and demonstrates your expertise and intellect. You don’t want to be the firm known for not having a concise plan. You want a consistent brand message across all your marketing channels.
When you are selling these ideas, whether through marketing or business development, make sure all ideas are well-researched and can be backed up with white papers, articles, and expertise in that legal area. Once you establish these strategy, make sure you are pitching the same ideas throughout your firm. Don’t focus on selling too many different services, but rather on a few well-thought-out practice areas. Create a process that is clear-cut and gives roles to each department. With this process, there won’t be any knowledge gaps and hand-offs between the marketing team and business developers will go smoothly. Like I said before, stay on the same page!
Working as a collaborative group will lead to many more future prospects and CLOSING the deal!
To read more about this and to see survey results and graphs check out, Getting Marketing and Business Development on the Same Page in the Legal Marketing Reader.
July 22, 2010
No matter where new law firm clients come from, it’s important to celebrate each one and recognize the originator.
Getting new clients is tough. Especially in this economy. Whether your firm has a full-time business developer, or if new business is brought in by each attorney, getting new clients is nonstop hard work and often goes unnoticed. But it’s vital for the growth of your firm, so it’s important to stop and take the time to celebrate each new business victory.
Here are 5 reasons to celebrate your law firm’s new client wins:
- It gets your law firm focused on the future. Reminding your attorneys that new business is the lifeblood of your law firm is a good thing.
- It creates buy-in for your law firm’s new business process. Your new business pipeline needs to be a well-oiled machine, a process that creates a consistent flow of new potential clients. Consistency is key, and recognizing wins will make others want to be a part of the process.
- It provides an opportunity to recognize everyone who contributed to the effort. Oftentimes, the staff doesn’t realize who was responsible for the initial lead, so make sure the originator gets recognized and feels appreciated for their efforts. Even if the new business comes from unlikely sources, like your receptionist or intern, encourage them and recognize their efforts.
- It breeds a positive attitude among the staff and creates excitement about the firm.
- It builds a reputation that your firm is on a hot streak and draws the attention of other prospective clients. There is a natural curiosity that comes to those who break out of the pack among their competitors.
Law firms often fall short on internal communications, so I thought I would pass on some ways to communicate wins and control the message so that your staff isn’t hearing about new business for the first time around the “water-cooler.”
- Have a celebration with the entire firm.
- Provide a monetary payment to the staff member who provided the initial referral.
- Build buzz with a press release. Include “appropriate” photos from the celebration.
- If your firm has one, communicate new business wins through your firm’s newsletter.
- Share information about new business, if appropriate, via your social media outlets.
- Add new clients to your Website, along with a copy of the press release too.
If you would like to share some of your law firm’s new business wins here, please feel free to do so in the comment section below.