Business Development

Not long ago, legal acumen and experience guaranteed a law firm’s success. But since the practice of law has morphed into the business of lawyering, success now requires a keen focus on business development—skills law schools don’t teach, and law firms don’t nurture.

We have trained and individually coached over 700 lawyers in firms large and small. We know what it takes to help your lawyers acquire the skills needed to succeed in today’s ultra-competitive marketplace.  Our programs will help your attorneys:

  • Become more comfortable asking for business
  • Improve conversion rates
  • Learn to develop business without looking like a pushy salesperson
  • Understand the importance of internal marketing
  • Develop individualized business plans
  • Make common sense common practice


Creating a program that works for your  firm

Start with a client perspective

The capacity for self-deception is limitless.  Lawyers think they know what their clients’ views are, but many never ask. What could be more important to developing an effective business development program than knowing what is important to clients?  That’s why, unlike other consultants, we have built our business development programs on the insights we’ve gained from interviewing hundreds of firms’ key clients. General Counsel, CEOs and CFOs have told us:

  • How they choose and why they replace their law firms
  • How lawyers can get their foot in the door
  • What their “hot buttons” are

Understand firm needs  

We can help you accurately assess the full range of your business development needs. We take the time to understand your firm’s business development “persona” and culture before helping you address the big questions: What sets you apart? What do you hope to achieve? What are potential areas of opportunity and growth? What are the biggest challenges to generating new business?

Our needs assessment includes:

  • Interviews with firm leaders and business development managers to learn about existing business development efforts
  • Evaluation of strategic plans and performance analytics
  • Review of marketing and development staffing needs
  • Development of web-based surveys and questionnaires that explore firm business development culture, opportunities and challenges
  • Recommendations for enhancing the firm’s business development initiatives


Achieving a Successful Outcome: Training & Coaching

“One-off” and “off the shelf” group training programs are not effective. In addition to tailoring our programs to each firm’s unique goals and culture, training and coaching require ongoing commitment and firm leadership involvement during and after the formal program has ended. Mentors, advisors and supervising partners are essential participants in the program.

Accountability is crucial, and is one of the most important predictors of a program’s success. We work with the business development and marketing staff to ensure that ongoing coaching and accountability are built into the coaching.

Less Is More

When it comes to group training and workshops, our belief is “less is more.” Our approach is straightforward. In advance of any training, we determine the business development “IQ” of each participant and develop an agenda that is specific to the needs of the group. Then we conduct a half-day workshop to introduce the group to business development concepts that serve as a foundation for the individual coaching sessions.

Practice Makes Perfect

Most people develop skills effectively by “doing”—performing the necessary tasks with the supervision and feedback from an experienced coach. Coaching sessions focus on developing specific strategies, step-by-step relationship building, and problem-solving activities for each lawyer. Participants track their activities and report on progress. They develop three to six month business development plans. At regular intervals, we update management on progress.

Keep the momentum going

At the end of the coaching program, we transition participants from their outside coaches to their advisors/mentors in order to sustain the momentum and transform the new learning into long-term habits.