Marketing Skills Can Be Learned

Marketing is a necessary component in your Lawfirm 2.0 strategy as well as for any healthy business. Lawfirm 2.0 makes it necessary for all practitioners to become comfortable with marketing as soon as possible. It is not necessary to be a “master marketer” as the traditional “rainmaker” is labeled, but it is necessary that you become comfortable enough to take advantage of opportunities and are open to the marketing process. Often it is difficult to step back and evaluate how an aversion to the marketing process hurts progress. If you recognize the symptoms of your marketing aversion, you may be able to see a correlation between them and your lack of progress in the area of client development. Your aversion is not something to mask. It is something to accept and work towards, overcoming your aversion. It is also hard to learn what you avoid. Experience tends to strip away mystery and put people at ease with the process. If it is not second nature to market yourself, then you need to put your best foot forward to learn. If any of the “red flags” below strikes a cord in you, think about formal client development training. The process will help you overcome your aversion through role playing and other educational tools before you go for it live.

Among the “red flags” I am talking about are:

• You hesitate to make follow-up calls to prospective clients.
• A lion’s share of your new clients is the result of the efforts of only relatively few attorneys.
• More time is spent talking about marketing than doing the solid activities.
• You hesitate to pursue a client in a competitive business presentation situation.
• You don't understand your client's business outside of the practice area you are engaged to represent.
• You can't articulate the difference between you, your firm and all competitors.
• You think you have a marketing strategy because you hired a public relations consultant, hired a marketing person, or published brochures or newsletters.
• You think of marketing in concepts rather than in solid activities, such as presentations, call-backs, or prospecting new clients.

Traditional reliance on “rain makers” puts too much control in the hands of too few and leads to an “ownership imbalance”. In Lawfirm 2.0 it is about supporting each others’ efforts and making sure that everyone takes an active role. A kind of “no lawyer left behind” plan, which makes sure that every lawyer, even the ones for whom it is not second nature to market themselves, learns marketing skills and actively develops them through education as well as participation with others who display a degree of comfort. This focus will empower the business and create an inclusive atmosphere as goals are met and new goal are created.