Perspective: "Not Your Father's Oldsmobile!" - Effective Business Development Coaching Has Transformed

JD Supra Perspectives

...clients are seeking greater collaboration, predictability and innovation in working with their attorneys.

Is there a partner or two in your firm that might like to increase their receivables and develop a stronger client base?

Every day, it becomes more obvious that clients are seeking greater collaboration, predictability and innovation in working with their attorneys. This sheds a new light on business development coaching strategies that yield new business – even with targeted non-clients.

The standard business coaching protocol was primarily focused on setting goals, strategies and tactics for partners to follow. Although it is critical to develop SMART Goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-deadline stated), it is prudent these days to monitor and adjust our thinking to mirror and match changing client needs.

...monitor and adjust thinking to mirror changing client needs.

Imagine a scenario of several partners or a practice group being trained in the process of working more collaboratively with clients to identify their pain points in working with outside counsel and then assisting them to develop a process to minizine that pain. What if these partners could also help these clients achieve their business goals – maybe even assist them in maximizing their bonus potential?

Successful rainmakers solve problems.

Coaching attorneys requires careful planning and exploring a variety of avenues that are: 1) comfortable for the attorney, and 2) will attract clients and potential clients to work with them.

These days, the coaching process might also incorporate social media tactics that involve prospective clients and clients periodically in posts, articles and interviews. A strong focus on the vertical industry or practice area a partner or firm works in is a great asset to successful content marketing.

With years of lasting results assisting clients to build strong books of business, and as a member of the Legal Marketing Hall of Fame and an inductee into the College of Law Practice Management, it has become obvious to me that successful business developers have shifted the focus and emphasis of how they approach, convert and retain clients.

It is imperative to work closely with the attorneys during the coaching process to develop a strong rapport and to adapt a style that matches each attorney’s preference. Coaching is a very personal relationship and interaction. To that end, it would be my pleasure to set a short call with any attorney in your firm who is considering business development coaching to enhance their client base.


[Merry Neitlich, Managing Partner of EM Consulting, is located in Irvine, California. We assist law firms with strategic business development, branding, websites, legal operations, and client enhancement programs. Merry can be reached at 949.260.0936 or]

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