Business development is a revenue generation tactic most law firms are familiar with. Strategies can include attending and participating in CLE’s, submitting your written work to legal and academic journals, and more. With this in mind, it’s important to know how to expand on business development basics to further your firm’s reach and to ensure you are getting the most out of your efforts.
Understand the Role of Business Development and Why it’s Important
While many attorneys out there know business development is important to both retaining and gaining a healthy client base, many neglect to appreciate the overall role it can play. Business development is much more than scouting for new potential clients – it’s also about connecting with your local community and building rapport with those who otherwise may not know about your practice.
If you work in personal injury law, for example, you might consider attending community events promoting drunk driving awareness, because you can connect with those directly affected by such an event. Though connections made at these events will likely not directly lead to an acquisition of new clients, attending them will show the public you are involved in your community and you care about the issues affecting residents.
Focus on a Single Practice Area at a Time
Most firms specialize in more than one area of expertise. While this is a great way to keep your reach broad, especially if you are a member of a particularly large firm, when it comes to business development tactics sometimes it’s best to focus on one area at a time. Trying to target all of your practice areas at once can actually leave more room for error than you think. Tailoring your outreach efforts to one practice area at a time will allow you to cover more ground regarding an area of focus. If your firm handles both insurance defense cases and commercial litigation cases for example, try targeting events catered to insurance liability or reinsurance, joining legal groups with a focus on business litigation, or even speaking at localized conferences that cater towards insurance for different entities.
Keep Communication Open
While it’s no secret law firms and attorneys stay busy, when it comes to effective business development strategies, keeping the lines of communication open with current and prospective clients is absolutely essential. Think about it this way, if you attend an event, speak to someone about your law practice, and they happen to call or email your firm the following week to speak to you about a case and receive no response, it not only paints you in a bad light, but it also looks bad for the firm.
This kind of situation can lead to mistrust, where the potential client thinks you actually don’t care about their needs as much as you might have when you initially met. Whether current client or prospective client, word of mouth is powerful and one person’s bad experience can lead to them telling others to not work with your firm due to communication failures.
There are a multitude of opportunities to contact clients, referral sources, and even prospects. The best way to communicate is via phone calls, emails, and text messages. Think about what would ultimately impress you the most if you were in their situation. The important thing, however, is to maintain the level of communication necessary in order to meet the prospect’s needs.
Law Firm Business Development Consulting
Business development is a big task that is seemingly endless; but, when it’s done correctly and with the right attention to detail, you’ll find making new connections is a lot easier than you think. If your firm is considering expanding or revamping its business development efforts, contact the professionals at Stacey E. Burke, P.C. today and we can help assess your current program and advise on future endeavors.