Asking for Business Part 1: Initiating the Conversation

Asking for business can be challenging, and many lawyers struggle with this critically important aspect of business development.  Some may worry that it is too soon to ask a prospect. Others worry about how to respond to a “no” or a non-committal answer.  Many fear ruining existing social relationships by bringing up the prospect of working together.  Numerous concerns get in the way of effectively asking for business. This workshop includes:

  • Natural ways to approach existing clients for new matters;
  • Effective methods for exploring mutually beneficial opportunities without being pushy;
  • Techniques for asking friends or associates for business without harming the relationship;
  • Strategies for approaching companies that are already represented; and
  • Criteria for choosing the right time to transition from getting to know someone to asking for business.

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Asking for Business Part 2: Pitching and Closing the Deal

You have developed a relationship with a potential client, learned about their needs and set up a formal or informal pitch.  How can you optimize the likelihood of success? This workshop includes:

  • A recipe for what should be included in a pitch;
  • Effective methods for being persuasive without being pushy;
  • Six common approaches to closing the deal and some examples of appropriate language for each;
  • Guidelines for having a sensitive, service-oriented conversation with a client who has a money objection;
  • Methods for having a respectful, no-pressure conversation when a prospective client is deciding between you and another firm; and
  • How to know when to pop the question.

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How to Sell Yourself in 60 Seconds or Less

Some lawyers spend a lot of time networking without generating much business.  Using well-designed self-introductions can dramatically increase the effectiveness of networking activities by helping lawyers authentically and succinctly communicate their strengths and specialties without seeming cheesy or contrived. This workshop includes:  

  • Seven common mistakes many lawyers make when giving an elevator pitch, and how to correct them;
  • Defining an elevator pitch and how it fits into an overall business development strategy;
  • Techniques for identifying an individual’s or practice group’s unique selling points;   
  • Guidelines for being memorable while maintaining dignity and professionalism; 
  • Effective methods for identifying one’s strengths and natural selling points;
  • Simple strategies for defining and describing ideal clients; and
  • The importance of authenticity and clear communication, both to comply with ethical guidelines and to increase the likelihood of attracting clients.

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12 Point Business Development Inspection

Do you sometimes struggle to maintain your enthusiasm for business development?  Is it taking longer than planned to achieve your business development goals?  Do you wonder if you are focused on the right things?  Consider that if you are not getting the results you want, or not getting them as quickly as you would like, that your business development could use a tune-up.  If your car started making funny noises, you might take it to a mechanic who would use a multipoint inspection to diagnose the problem. In similar fashion, the 12-Point Business Development Inspection provides a systematic approach that participants may use to identify what works well and what could use some extra attention. This presentation is appropriate for lawyers at every level, from rainmakers to junior associates who are trying to get a head start in this area. Lawyers will leave with at least three concrete actions that would expand their capacity in the area of business development. 

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Business Development: The Road to Mastery

Mastery of business development, like any other subject, is achieved through a combination of hard work and thoughtful analysis. However, left to their own devices, few people conduct a thorough and objective assessment of their progress. Sometimes, an attorney may achieve spectacular results, but not know how to replicate it. Other times, a project may go awry, but rather than taking time to reassess and revise the plan, the lawyer may just quit or continue in a half-hearted manner. In order to ensure that the attorneys learn the most from their business development efforts and position themselves for ever-greater success, we will systematically examine their networking, speaking, writing and other activities. Participants will identify successes, explore obstacles, make decisions about moving forward, and design structures to support ongoing success.

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Cultivating Bravery: The Key to Successful Business Development

Willingness to take risks is one of the most important qualities for becoming a rainmaker. Reaching out to potential clients; writing a controversial article; overcoming a fear of public speaking; trusting your gut and pursuing a unique or unusual client niche when no one else sees the possibility are all actions that take courage.  Regardless of the path, even the bravest sometimes lose heart and even the most steadfast sometimes want to quit. Academic research in recent years provides valuable insights for cultivating courage.  This workshop provides practical tools and proven techniques to help participants sustain their level of bravery and persistence while developing a book of business. 

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Teamwork: Moving from the Predictable to the Extraordinary

“Not finance. Not strategy. Not technology.  It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare.”  -- Patrick Lencioni 

Some attorneys have great strategic minds and see opportunities everywhere. Some are great closers. While others are very warm and can connect with anyone. The wonderful thing about working as a team is that everyone’s strengths can be used to their best advantage and individual weaknesses become irrelevant as others’ skills and talents compensate for any gaps. Teamwork can make business development easier and more fun; which naturally leads to greater success, efficiency and profit. This interactive workshop focuses on how to improve teamwork regarding business development. Participants will:

  • Learn the basic qualities necessary for a great team.
  • Identify what is already working well on your team.
  • Envision what might be available from the next level of teamwork.
  • Build trust through sharing successes and challenges in small groups.
  • Design team goals and commit to a plan of action for each of these areas.