Here are my notes from today's Larry Bodine/Michael Cummings webinar on Associate Marketing Webinar I did with Jan Dubin today:
1. Get motivated to market
- Business development is absolutely important.
- Everything you do is marketing. You are selling yourself internally and externally
- Business development is a marathon, not a sprint. Relationships take time.
- Start thinking about business development early in your career – the earlier the better. It is a habit you want to develop over time.
- Make it fun and rewarding for you, not a chore, otherwise you will not be motivated to develop business later in your career.
Example 1: Relationship Rainmaker: 1st attorney in firm to make 7-figure compensation. As an associate he made a list of 50 people he knew, or could know, who would be outstanding clients. He built relationships with them over time. Many became leaders in business, politics and community, who trusted him for both legal work and referrals.
Example 2: Specialization Rainmaker: Associate specialized early on in employment law for small and mid-sized companies in rural west. Started road-show seminars, e-mail newsletters, and built relationships with HR managers throughout state. He wrote, spoke, and attended SHRM and industry events to develop a reputation and build a strong book of business before he was a partner.
Example 3: Entrepreneur Rainmaker: Two associates saw an industry trend with low density of lawyers. They quickly developed an expertise in financing, permitting, etc and got very involved in industry events, resulting in new clients and matters for them, and the firm. Shows enthusiasm, energy, and focus – fast track to Partner.
Example 4: Networker Rainmaker: Associate gets very involved in local and state politics, community service, and pro bono work, developing a network of business and government leaders along the way. People trusted associate resulting in new work and clients for him and the firm.
Example 5: Roadie Rainmaker: Associate takes specialty to a different geographic location where the office and city has fewer lawyers, setting up meetings, seminars, and networking events with current and potential clients. She has two offices in two cities, growing work for entire group.
- Have a personal plan.
- Do something every month, at least one internal and one external activity or event a month.
- Develop a pipeline – serve others that can give you or your firm business.
- Collaborate with others.
- Be a person with a life. Have a life outside of the office. Be interesting.
- Help others.
2: Be a Team Player
- Find your strength and build on it: Writing, speaking, networking, community service, other skills.
- Consider the three types of people who contribute to the tipping point: Connectors, Mavens and Salespeople. Which are you? Where can you grow?
- Know your client’s industry and business. How can you bring industry expertise to your group?
- Develop relationships throughout your client’s organization. Develop friendships with peers in client’s organization.
- Develop a niche practice. Specialize. Market that specialization first internally, then externally. How can you help other Partner’s clients with your specialty?
- Develop a “R&D” project to expand the capacity of your practice or industry group. What is coming around the bend? How can you help your clients prepare for the future?
- Example: R&D: Y2K, Biofuels, Space Law, Corporate Compliance On-line training and certification
- Example: Strategy retreat with client. Night out with clients’ team. Attend an industry conference together. Plan a team-building exercise. All on the firm’s nickel, of course.
3: A plan should include:
- Strategic Networking
- Outstanding Client Service
- Know Client’s business and industry
- Develop a niche or specialty
- Develop a personal brand related to your specialty and audience
- Build relationships with peers, alumni, clients, referral sources, community
- Focus on a target audience. The narrower, the better.
- Seek ongoing training
- Internal marketing and relationship building is as important as external. Perhaps more.
- Consider productizing services that you can cross-sell to other clients and partners internally
- Examples: H&H Emergency Response Service: Training, on-site consultation, emergency response services, which leads to the matter.
- Example: HHCMS: Export Control training online, with testing and reporting function.
- Leverage industry expertise to build reputation and open doors. Blogging and podcasting a cool way to go. Speak and write to targeted audience.
- The best way to learn is to watch and listen.
- Shadow good rainmakers at community and firm events to learn more about the firm, its clients, its culture and its stories.
- For a mentor, find someone who is similar to you, someone you admire, would like to emulate, is fun, and will give you a chance to try things out.
- Ask mentor for stories, examples, and introductions
- Practice, practice, practice, with your mentor. Go on sales calls, BD lunches, networking events. Make your mentor your partner.
- Go with your strengths. Be aware of weaknesses.
- Invite your mentor to keep you accountable and help you accomplish your personal BD plan.
- Have mentors inside and outside of the firm.
- Think: Personal Board of Directors.
5: Find the support you need:
- Calendar time for BD activities
- Treat BD activities like billable work – set an annual and monthly budget – 200 hours a year? 100? 50?
- Give yourself quotas and goals: how many networking events, BD lunches, community events, etc?
- Develop a hit list of strategic relationships – 20? 30? 50?
- Find ways to build relationships that work for you. Both a mix of written and face-to-face activities.
Marketing Department can help by:
- Creating personal budgets and plans with you
- Opening doors to BD opportunities, events, committees, community involvement
- Training and coaching
- Speaking and writing gigs
- Personal branding
- Teeing up opportunities internally and externally.
- Internal networking and introductions.