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Over the years, I worked with many organizations starting back with student political organizations and the school paper at Stony Brook. This includes actual businesses, civic and religious organizations. Many of these...more

Law Firm Business Development:  Don’t make this common mistake when following up with a prospective client

I chuckled as I read Jon Manley’s article, “Stop Touching Base with Your Prospects.” It might seem counterintuitive, but a closer look reveals a common trap many of us can fall into.  Consider the following email outreach...more

Just Say Sorry

I worked for someone once who I thought was the biggest pain in the rear end and I think when I got older and started my own business, I finally understood where he was coming from. When I work on my own and something...more

What to Say When a Client Lets You Go

A client may discharge you at any time and for any reason. When it happens to you, be ready to write a letter to the client confirming that the client wants no further services from you and you won’t be providing them....more

Law Firm Business Development: Nailing the Fundamentals

It is one of the simplest yet often hardest questions to answer— “What do you do?” Having a crisp answer can often be the difference between making a connection with a client to help them solve a problem, or a wasted...more

Best in Law: Know 'What-Ifs' of Every Transaction

A standard part of the pre-flight instructions on every airline is the directive to “look around and identify the nearest exit.” That is good advice, because it allows you to be prepared if things do not go according to plan....more

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Professional Trustee

Your client, as settlor, creates a special needs trust set up for a child or grandchild and needs a professional trustee to administer it. Before hiring a potential trustee, the client should determine whether he or she is...more

Headings Are Key to an Effective Document

Whatever document you’re drafting—from a memorandum for a partner to a brief for the court—using clear and concise headings and subheadings will take your reader by the hand and lead them smoothly through your document....more

Be the Effective Team Your Clients Need

“When I select attorneys to handle a matter, I really look for a team. I want the leader to be familiar with the case and giving people direction. I don’t expect him to get in the nitty-gritty from day one, but you do really...more

How to Deal with Feedback

The single greatest truth in any client feedback effort is simple: If you are not prepared to act on the feedback, don’t ask for it. In every client feedback program—whether we are conducting the interviews ourselves...more

AFAs Are Finally Catching On, But So Much More is Possible

Michael Rynowecer of BTI Consulting had a great, must-read post today on his Mad Clientist blog. In the post, which I strongly recommend, Michael makes these points: I get a picture of Samuel L. Jackson staring out from the...more

A GC’s Guide to Winning (and Keeping) Business

In my career, I have had the opportunity to be general counsel for a bank holding company, a large state medical center and a state bar association. Each entity was different in terms of its leadership and operating...more

10 Tips to Score a Perfect “10” with your Corporate Clients

As outside litigation counsel, we are often brought in to represent new clients when they are on the receiving end of a fresh lawsuit. Jumping in to get a handle on the matter is key, but taking time to get to know your...more

Law Firm Business Development: Take a Team Approach

We encourage each of our individual clients (Partners, Associates, and Counsel alike) to develop individual business development plans. We also continually emphasize the importance and value of teamwork in business...more

What’s the big deal about China?

Well, first of all, China IS big. With nearly 1.5 billion people and an economy whose growth has outpaced that of the U.S. more than three-fold since 2011 according to the World Bank, China has been a ‘hot topic’ for years....more

Game On: A Fresh Take on Business Development Training

We play and watch games throughout our lives. Own a frequent flyer card? You qualify as a player. Buy an occasional lottery ticket? Play recreational sports or video games? Yep, you’re a player. Games are everywhere in our...more

The CRM Foundation

Once you have a concrete strategy and have formed a plan, you need to build a solid foundation for long term CRM success. Doing this type of ‘groundwork’ will ensure that your CRM implementation and structure will stand the...more

How to Ask for Work

“Teach me how to close…I need help with ‘the ask’.” This a common request from many of my new coaching clients. Many come to me with reasonably healthy lists of good quality contacts. They seem very well connected, go to...more

Hindsight 20/20: What I’ve Learned from Successful CMOs

Many of you are aware that I was in the CMO role for over a decade. It was not without its challenges, and there were moments when it felt like pushing a boulder up a hill, but I really loved the position. I loved being in...more

Choosing Your CRM Builder

Selecting the right team to build your house is essential. We’ve all heard horror stories about dealing with bad contractors. Without the right building partner, you are likely to get a house that takes longer and costs more...more

Help Your Clients with Spring Cleaning

As the weather warms, I find myself wanting to do household spring-cleaning chores while also dreading the effort. I long for a day to pack away winter coats and make room for lighter, brighter clothes in the closet, to...more

The Crucial Difference in Real Deadlines and Perceived Ones

In a recent client feedback interview, a deputy general counsel told a common story. He had all but forgotten the Thursday deadline for a filing in a litigation matter of medium importance. His regular outside litigation...more

The Client Contact You Need to Know

Not long after I made the move from law firm practice to general counsel at a Texas financial institution, I observed that the senior executives at our holding company (the key decisionmakers) all had internal people within...more

Book Review: ‘Creating a Cross-Serving CultureShift: Mastering Cross-Selling for Lawyers and Leaders,’ by David Freeman

No one will disagree that it is often easier to get work from existing clients than from prospective clients, yet huge obstacles to cross-selling still existing in law firms. In his book, Creating a Cross-Serving...more

Be a Resource—Not a Roadblock

In some businesses, clients view their lawyers as impediments to making things happen. Those clients often work with outside counsel who throw up roadblocks and tell them why something won’t work instead of seeking a solution...more

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