In Black And White

Legal Business Development: I Finished The File... Now What?

"Do something every single day." If you are a regular reader you have heard me say this hundreds of times. Why should you do this? It fuels the fire of business development. SO... what happens if you don't do this? You put the final touches on the file you are working on and look up to find nothing on the horizon. You kick yourself for not working to develop business all along and promise yourself you will never let this happen again. Okay, a good start... but what do you do next? Attorney at Work blog ran an article... I Need Clients Now! It included great advice from 5 experts. The best is from Sally Schmidt, she advises...

"While it’s always easiest to get new business from existing or former clients, let’s say that well has been tapped. What next? Many lawyers fail to realize the best thing they have to offer is the last thing they worked on.

First, think about how lessons learned in a recent project can prevent a problem for someone else. For example:

  • “I just wrapped up a major litigation matter that resulted from ambiguous language in distribution agreements.”

  • “A contractor came to me with a major issue because he had misclassified his subs.”

  • “I helped a technology company develop an enforceable non-compete agreement for its engineers.”

Then think about what you can do to help. For example:

  • “Audit” agreements to identify problem language.

  • Review the employee handbook.

  • Conduct a training program for managers.

Make this service easy to buy—a discrete project with a fixed cost. The key is to get one file; then you can build the relationship with your new client."

I think Sally has the right idea from several points of view. It starts with your work, so you're comfortable talking about it; you are calling people that you have a relationship with, so it's easier to pick up the phone. And lastly, it's a piece of business with a fee. What could be better than that? Try it!

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