The New Colors of Law Firm Marketing, published by Made For Success Publishing, is indeed, the world’s first law firm marketing coloring book. Studies have shown that taking “digital down time” is a healthy way to exercise your mind, which is the inspiration behind the book.
Humorous quotes heard over the years from attorneys and in-house counsel about marketing and business development have been converted into cartoons to illustrate the points and combined with the latest observations and tactics to grow new business.
“New Colors” is not your kids coloring book. Rather, the readers will be able to immediately apply the tactics and strategies to:
Grow more revenue
Grow more clients
Open more doors
Build a strategic advantage
Create more opportunities
Overcome the fear of the sales process
The crayon-wielding lawyer is encouraged to advance at his/her own pace. Each illustration is accompanied by content designed to focus the crayons on amplifying new business growth. So lawyers and law firm marketers can now color away, while reflecting on ways to grow their business, at their own pace, in a relaxed environment.
Let’s now review these quotes from attorneys and the content that provides entertainment and education.
Convert Your Values to Their Needs
This first cartoon comes from an attorney with a large Chicago based firm who stated, “When I was in law school, marketing meant going to the grocery store.” But the term marketing in this context holds that achieving organizational goals depends on knowing the needs and wants of your “suspects” and “prospects.” And each attorney-marketer must be able to deliver the desired satisfactions.
This quote also represents the beginning of a lawyer’s journey from first year to seasoned professional. They now recognize the needs and wants of prospects and convincingly satisfy these more effectively than competitors. If you have spent any time marketing (“selling”) in today’s highly competitive marketplace, you know how challenging it is. Many industries are individually idiosyncratic and uniquely resistant. It requires special insights, strategies, and training to penetrate successfully.
Everyone Needs to Have the Same Elevator Message and Unique Positioning Statement
The following quote/cartoon comes from David Packard, Founder of Hewlett Packard, who once said, “Marketing should not be left to the marketing department.” Now don’t all you marketing pros go getting upset. Mr. Packard’s message means that everyone should be marketing. Business development is chasing suspects and prospects, and business generation means closing the deals. Secretaries, paralegals, accounting, attorneys, etc. should all be able to share “what the firm accomplishes for clients.”
Community participation and social gatherings are among the best places to raise awareness of your firm. Transform your firm’s business growth culture to ensure communications within the firm go to everyone. Raise awareness and build that profile. Search for opportunities to place your colleagues on advisory boards, industry associations, etc.
-GO WHERE THEY GO; KNOW WHO THEY KNOW; READ WHAT THEY READ-
ABR – Always Build Relationships
Another of the book’s cartoons features this quote from a lawyer with 15 years of experience in a midsized city, “Honestly, I don’t know how to begin.” The answers seem so elementary yet are often overlooked by even experienced revenue builders. If you see a client or his/her company mentioned in an article, cut it out and send it with a short, hand-written note. How about this one, keeping in touch
with college and law school colleagues? If you are on local boards of directors for npo’s, offer your professional expertise, or get active on the program committee. Give decisive preference to those foundations and boards with current or prospective clients whom you may be selling to (or want to sell to) and with which you are already involved.
“Touches” with the people you know or meet begin relationship building. Go to a ball game, set a meeting, call and catch up, send an email, have lunch.
Managing partners, practice group leaders, partners-in-charge of offices should require each up-and-comer to accomplish five actions per quarter. Think about the impact. If you have 40 attorneys, making only five contacts per quarter, that’s 200 possible new business contacts per quarter. Multiply that by four quarters = 800 contacts per quarter. What are you waiting for?
Rainmaking Need Not Start Outside the Firm
Just like the previous quote about not knowing where to begin, we heard “I failed on one proposal before; why try again?” This attorney from a very large New England firm had been pressed to bring in new business yet she was given no internal support. Shortly after that she lateraled to a firm that provided active business development and professional development training and ongoing support.
We urged her to join business development groups in her new firm that were actively reviewing failed business development efforts in formal post-mortem meetings.
Beginning to “try again” she was ready to prepare a quarterly action program. After evaluating different approaches to build client relationships, she picked one and began to work on it. We urged her to always have questions ready to ask, know what her firm’s competitors were offering and began a more active schedule of updating her existing clients.
Value Creates a Dynamic Optimally Suited to “Closing”
Delivering value is at the base of many of the quotes and cartoons. “Our law firms are spoiled and dull. I want to shake things up.” This quote is from a very senior in-house attorney with a Fortune 50 Company. She had spent 10 years with a prestigious law firm before moving inside. She would often permit firms to come in and pitch, because she was always looking for “advanced help.” However, if the first five minutes did not resonate, she sent them packing. We continue to find the absence of strong leadership and accountability as the two most common problems in accelerating new revenue. That is why in our workshops we emphasize the six laws of exceptional leadership – listening, making decisions, communicating, holding people accountable, taking risks and leaving a legacy. With so many firms managed by either consensus or collegiality, decisions get delayed until the non-decision becomes the decision. No wonder in-house counsel wants to shake things up.
As to accountability, a good leader looks at underperforming assets, proposal rejections and pitch teams, and determines which to abandon or improve. They identify meaningful metrics to measure individual and practice
group efforts. And the absolute key to this action is to identify the value you bring to the table and teach your team to apply it when chasing new business.
Emails Won’t and Don’t End in Handshakes
British Airways used this advertisement to generate more business. It makes a perfect cartoon with a lesson i.e. “there are only three sources of new business: clients; referrals; and prospects.” A professional services firm, such as a law firm, should have at least 50% of its new business-every year - coming from clients and referrals.
This source indicates a client’s recognition of your high-quality work and ongoing awareness of client service (“value”). This, in turn, results in more work from recent and past clients and their willingness to refer business. While many firms focus on generating new clients –
-GO FOR THAT 50% FACTOR THAT MOST TEND TO OVERLOOK – PAST CLIENTS-
Draw Your Own Cartoon
The New Colors of Law Firm Marketing contain many more humorous and educational cartoons and content. It ends by giving the colorers an opportunity to pick a topic and draw their own cartoon. Suggestions for topics come from other excuses the authors have heard from other attorneys and marketing professionals:
I’m afraid of the process
I won’t cross-sell
I’m not compensated for marketing
We have no training program
I know no one who knows anyone
If you notice while coloring that you have an idea, an epiphany, are feeling more creative or thinking outside the box, enjoy it! This is the book, as Nike says, “Just do it.”
Dr. Allan Colman is Managing
Partner of the Closers Group
Frank Mims is a Strategic Partner
with the Closers Group