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The Red Zone

WHAT DID NOT WORK III

By Allan Colman, Managing Director, the Closers Group: www.closersgroup.com

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WHAT DID NOT WORK III

This is the third in a series of comments on why in-house counsel rejected law firm business development efforts. In a recent discussion with a group of outside attorneys, they pointed to the following:

1. Make sure your team members talk to the client, not to themselves. Prospective clients want to see how you work together in responding to their questions and deal with strategic issues. Don't be talking "under your breath" to a colleague, which implies you are hiding something. Be open, direct and responsive.

2. Attorneys are great at giving presentations to bar and professional associations and industry groups. But don't show up, speak and leave. You are there to network; be available for contacts. Not getting the names of attendees also contributes to business development failures.

3. Make sure you know what medium your client prospects prefer. Don't send e-mails when your target prefers phone calls. In must-have discussions before a presentation, listen carefully to how the client prospect appears to digest information. Do they want great details, or executive summaries? Your presentation and future communications should be directed in this fashion.

Next time we'll review other deal-killers, such as a lack of business etiquette, cold-call materials and client surprises.

For more detail, go to www.closersgroup.com/resources.

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