10 business development best practices for attorneys

January 16, 2015

Attorney time track billable hourAll too often, firms talk a good game about encouraging marketing and business development, but put no accountability or follow-up in place.  Based upon more than 25 years of working with law firms, I can tell you the absence of accountability is the major cause of failing business growth programs.

The 10 best business development practices cited below overcome this hurdle and make things happen and produce measurable results.

  1. Energize partner-leaders for each target that practitioners have stored in the back of their mind  (usually called “low hanging fruit”).
  2. Set and manage timelines for each step toward the final “ask for business” and its closing.
  3. Furnish regular success reports to firm management.
  4. Lead strategy debates before investing in rfp  responses or initiating new contacts (Go/No-go decision making).
  5. Regularly review unsuccessful business development efforts in formal post-mortem meetings.
  6. Fortify the business development efforts wherever you have lawyers who really want to be engaged.
  7. Assure that professional development sessions are practical, not academic.
  8. Position your firm to be ahead of economic and industry trends – build this into every client/prospect contact.
  9. Identify, improve or abandon under-performing marketing and business development activities.
  10. Double efforts to respond to and overcome inhibitors to action such as compensation, individual capability and discipline, operational structure, reporting, etc.

Determine how much new business you want for the year, activate these practices, and watch what will occur in just 6 months.