Rainmakers and Trailblazers: A unique, practical guide to business development

What’s it about and who’s it for?

Whether you work for a national or international law firm, business development is a vital aspect of your role as a partner or aspiring partner. However, it is rarely touched on in law school or post-qualification training, and most books only focus on one of two areas: practical actions and skills for the individual lawyer; or a strategic approach that focuses on the firm’s strategy, planning and its marketing infrastructure.

Rainmakers & Trailblazers: A unique, practical guide to business development shows how lawyers and support teams can help bridge both of these key areas, providing step-by-step, pragmatic advice for lawyers as individuals (Part I), while also providing the organisational context (Part II), ensuring effective use is made of the firm’s central marketing and business development resources.

The publication is essential reading for:

  • Senior partners who are considering firm wide programmes to increase the effectiveness of business development amongst lawyers
  • Partners who are keen to develop their own portfolios and that of their team through more structured business development
  • Aspiring partners and other senior lawyers who want to generate new business and grow their reputations and client and referrer networks
  • Those in support departments who want to help lawyers in their business development activities

Integrate marketing, selling and client/referrer relationship management

There are books about marketing, selling and relationship management (business development) for lawyers which focus on the practical actions and skills for the individual. There are books which take a more strategic and organisational focus starting with the firm’s business plan, marketing strategy and its marketing infrastructure. There are books which talk about traditional methods of legal marketing and those that concentrate on digital and social methods.

This book bridges all approaches – providing step-by-step pragmatic advice to what an individual lawyer (senior or junior, serving commercial or consumer markets) might do to get started or in specific situations (part one – the lawyer’s perspective).

Combine traditional and digital methods

It offers suggestions for both traditional and digital methods (although you can skip the social media ideas if you want to). And it does this whilst also providing the organisational context (part two – in the context of the market, your firm and department) to ensure there is strategic, united and focused effort and use is made of the firm’s central marketing/business development and other resources. We don’t want you going off on some tangent or to reinvent the wheel.

Your personal and practical coach

The book is written in a conversational style – to make it feel like a personal coaching session for you. Management and marketing jargon is kept to a minimum and there are pointers to where the author has written blogs for further tips and advice. Not everything in the book will suit everybody, but there should be something for everyone.

Use action and check points on the trail

The publication is best used as a workbook. Read each step and take some time out to undertake the suggested actions as they arise. Key steps are highlighted in “Trail Check Points”. That way you will be actually starting your business development programme as you read. That should motivate you.

Marketing and business development folk will find the book a useful tool when coaching their lawyers. There’s a lot of experience in here from the author who has been doing just that for over 20 years.

Report structure

Part I

Marketing fundamentals as they apply to law firm business development

  • What type of lawyer marketer are you?
  • Knowing your strengths and preferences
  • Busy Bee - Networking
  • The Entertainer – Lunches and dinners
  • Ipad Icon  – Social media
  • Rock star – Media relations
  • Technical Expert – Conference speaking

Prepare yourself

  • Analyse your information
  • Understand your market
  • Know what you’re selling - Preparing your messages and proposition
  • Agree aims and objectives (financial projections)
  • Select targets and critical relationships
  • Organise yourself
  • Create a plan

Deepen existing relationships

  • Deliver service excellence
  • Research clients and referrers
  • Understand buying processes (working with procurement)
  • Network through organisations
  • Manage the account, not just the matters
  • Build a team around the client
  • Plan for collaboration and growth

Raise your profile

  • Create “Brand Me”
  • Manage online profiles
  • Develop web content
  • Stand in the spotlight – newsletters, media relations, blogs
  • Press the flesh – speaking engagements, networking
  • Why you need your own campaign

Make connections

  • Nurture internal relationships
  • Network – on and off line
  • Productive first meetings
  • Follow up
  • Manage the sales process

Generate new business

  • Find the pain/needs
  • Pitch at opportunities
  • Close the deal
  • Build the relationship once on a panel
  • Work referrers for more

Get help

  • Developing your business development skill set
  • Communication (NVC/empathy)
  • Persuasion
  • Speaking and Presenting
  • Selling (questions, listening etc)
  • Negotiation
  • Motivation
  • Work with others in your firm
  • Further reading

Part II - The market, your firm and department

The market

  • Why you need an outside-in approach
  • Fast review of changes in the business and consumer worlds
  • Overview of what’s happening in the legal market
  • Research on what legal buyers want
  • The role of procurement

Your firm’s strategy and plans

  • What’s strategic planning?
  • Why worry what’s in the firm wide strategic plan?
  • Working as a team as part of a sector or practice group

Make friends with finance

  • Understanding the numbers
  • The difference between forecasting and budgeting
  • Information you need vs information they have
  • Monitoring investment time

Love your marketing and PR team

  • The marketing team is on your side. Yes, really
  • Brand and reputation
  • Using the firm’s brand personality and design
  • Supporting firm wide reputation management
  • Plugging into firm-wide channels of communication
  • Lead generation and client engagement
  • Campaign management
  • Driving web site traffic (SEO and social media)
  • Digital marketing initiatives (newsletters etc)
  • Events programme and entertainment
  • Product and service development
  • Understanding value and benefits
  • From advisory to commodity and packaged services
  • The rise of risk and project management
  • Pricing
  • Focus on profitability
  • Strategic pricing vs tactical pricing
  • Measurement and return on investment
  • Operational analytics
  • Marketing effectiveness

Who’s managing sales and relationship management?

  • Managing the sales process and your pipeline
  • Surviving large tenders and formal pitches

The need for information, research and knowledge management – and technology

  • Market knowledge, analysis and commercial insight
  • Developing buyer profiles
  • Client satisfaction surveys and service reviews
  • Client Relationship Management (CRM) – more than a database
  • Key Account Management programmes

Help from human resources

  • Working in the right environment – culture matters
  • Feedback and avoid the fear
  • Tools for teams
  • The importance of motivation and reward

Summary

  • Key lessons
  • Just do it
  • A glimpse into the future

About the author:

Kim Tasso has worked with lawyers since 1989. Yes, that’s nearly a quarter of a century. She’s worked inside some of the largest firms and also assisted some of the smallest. She is one of the most prolific trainers of lawyers in an array of management, marketing and selling skills. She has written books on the subject and thousands of articles and blogs. And through her coaching work, she has worked on a one-to-one basis with hundreds of lawyers in different regions, practice areas and levels of seniority to help them devise and implement effective business development plans.