Track the results, stupid !

Track the results, stupid !

It’s American presidential race time again and a Clinton is in the hunt for the Oval Office – again. I couldn’t resist paraphrasing a past presidential slogan in the title to this blog mainly because a heading entitled “Track business development initiatives” is as dull as some of the Republican candidates. To avoid that, I can state now that no Mexicans were harmed in the making of this blog and Medicare is a good idea.

According to a recent survey in the USA, except for a few major law firms, tracking the results of business development initiatives on a firm wide basis just doesn’t happen.

Why would that be? Putting my Trump hat on, I would say, mainly because the initiatives are put together by business development managers and marketers with little relevant and co-ordinated input from the lawyers within the firm. Unsurprisingly, the initiatives are not overly successful and the BDM’s and marketers hardly want that advertised.

Cynical, but believable.

This isn’t an attack on BDM’s and marketers, they can only work with what they are given. That’s the point, if lawyers don’t know how to maximise these resources then the cost of them becomes a bit like paying for a gym membership and only going once a year. You wind up stiff and sore and why would you go back for more? Unlike gym membership, when it comes to poor business development, you can blame the BDM’s and marketers for not doing the business to make yourself feel better. Apparently there is a new term for this behaviour arising from the Trump presidential race, known as “being honed by Donald”.

But, like a bad haircut, you are responsible. To paraphrase another past, and slightly more credible American president, the buck stops here – with the partners. What you should be doing is targeting particular clients and industries, building your profile in that area and creating a strategy to get you in front of those clients that will convince them you are the expert in this field and the one to instruct.

It’s not easy, anymore than it is to go the gym regularly. What is difficult is that the results of regular attendance in the gym are there to see – increased fitness and a sleeker, more toned body. Business development results are harder to capture. Sales pipelines need to be created and monitored to do so. That is where your BDM comes in and pushes matters along because you will have given them the strategy to start with. The marketers will know what to do if the strategy needs a boost to get the desired results because they will know what you are trying to achieve.

Do all that well and the results will come. Don’t under rate it– do you think for a moment the Americans are going to get the best person possible for their next president? They will get the one they want though.  Clients are not much different in that regard.



Rod Morris - Paradigm Shift NZ

Rod brings over 25 years of experience of legal practice including being a partner in three firms and running his own practice. Coupled with this he has attended the Thought Leaders Business School in Australia in 2014 and has an armoury of practical models and new skills to apply for the benefit of his clients.

He is in the process of writing a book - Shift lawyers: the changing face of legal services in Australasia. It is due out shortly.

Rod believes that law firms are facing the most challenging of times. Technology has changed the way clients operate as it has for lawyers, but more importantly it’s changed expectations. Clients expect their lawyer to be an expert and transparent over fees. That is the perception when they walk through the door having already done their homework.

The challenge for lawyers is a task they have never been trained for and getting clients to use their services in terms of an office, a title and a law degree are not enough in themselves to persuade them to do something. We give lawyers the skills to excel and do this successfully.

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