February 13, 2014
The wealth of data and competitive intelligence tools available to attorneys today can be very useful for identifying prospects. However, it can also be easy to get lost in all the options if you do not know exactly what you are looking for.
Using competitive intelligence tools effectively is key not only to a successful business development strategy, but to an effective process as well.
So, where does one begin?
First, start by looking inward. It vital to know, really know, your firm. This can be accomplished through having conversations with attorneys and coming to fully understand their practices. If you are working with litigators, like I am, watch them in court and read their briefs to find out what they have done to win in the past. Business development professionals might also consider attending professional development sessions with attorneys. Before you begin digging through data, you must know:
- What work was handled in the past and what relevant experience does your firm have?
- What types of cases are your attorneys looking for?
Now, you know what you need to identify. The second step is to use a tool like Monitor Suite to see the big picture and identify prospects. If it looks like the prospect’s legal activity is a fit for your firm, dig deeper into the dockets to see what was at stake, what was being argued and who was involved to see if it is a match.
From here, you can use tools like LinkedIn to identify connections between the potential clients and your attorneys. Doing this after completing your research will help you efficiently identify key connections.
In conclusion, the creation of a strong business development strategy comes down to three things; intimately understanding what the attorneys of your firm do to win, knowing precisely what you are looking for and identifying the right contacts so that the dots can be connected.