Law Firm Business Development: Take a Team Approach

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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 development. Many times we hear compensation credit gets in the way of professionals working together to bring in a new client. Unfortunately, more often than not, compensation credit getting in the way of team-oriented activity is simply an excuse for active exclusion. Either way, for the majority of lawyers who are in favor of going it on their own, they are likely depriving their clients of receiving maximum value and they are likely leaving the door wider open to the competition. Time and again, clients express their favorable opinion about teamwork as it relates to their service providers. Further, market data shows that the firms that take a client-focused, collaborative approach to the relationship receive the more interesting and profitable work. Further, much like any problem-solving team that has diverse members, taking a team approach to selling and client service results in new ideas, new perspectives, new solutions, and, ultimately, maximum value to the client.

We have been told time and time again that seeing their Trusted Advisors actually trusting each other enough to share something so valuable as the client relationship results in a further deepening of trust and respect for the firm. For those of you don’t believe that clients look for (and value) team behavior and who may go so far as considering your partners as your competition rather than an asset to share with your clients, your actual competitors are going to bring team play to your client’s front door, pushing you out in the process.

Competition in the legal space is tougher than ever and clients are demanding the absolute best service and experiences from their law firms. So, think about your client’s business issues and strategic priorities, put your best cross-disciplinary team together, visit your clients, and communicate with them with a collective voice. Your clients will appreciate it on multiple levels. So, whether your firm has a formal client team program or not, future winners in the legal industry will take a team approach to business development.

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