Three Ways Law Firms Can Leverage Lateral Hires With Sales Navigator

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With over a dozen years in the books working with law firms, I have been privileged to watch so many attorneys make lateral moves. But even more exciting is when an attorney moves to a firm that already has Navigator deployed and they can immediately put their network to work for the benefit of their new colleagues.

Here are three ways in which I’ve seen lateral hires make a real, immediate impact based on discovering mutual connections:

1. In your own practice: leverage a lateral's existing relationships by exploring 'Saved Lead' searches

During onboarding, a senior partner helped to introduce a lateral to Navigator - what better person to showcase the tool's value than a successful attorney who has already used it strategically?

Anyone within the firm holding a Navigator license (whether a partner, a BD professional, or an assistant) could now access the new lateral’s profile, click on her connections, and then click on “Search Within My Saved Leads.”

This move quickly overlayed the partner’s saved leads but highlighted those that the lateral was connected to on LinkedIn. In this case, she knew 23 of the 40 in his currently Saved Leads. Great, a perfect starting point.

That number seemed like a lot to digest, so the partner shortened the list by filtering to those leads whose title contained the word “counsel” (to cover most in-house roles). Now he was down to eight common contacts and, lo and behold, two of those were leads who have not yet answered any of his communications.

What a wonderful talking point to bring to the welcome lunch with the lateral on Tuesday! As it turned out, one of the partner's primary prospects was her brother-in-law’s best friend. Now he had a warm introduction based on a detail he never would have known without Navigator.

Translated: thanks to Navigator, the partner and the lateral hire hit the ground running.

2. Across practice groups: explore commonalities among key clients with 'TeamLink'

The chair of a new lateral’s practice group had initially hired the lateral because they were staffing up to target a significantly higher deal flow from their top 10 clients.

...the firm was able to put an immediate succession plan in place to continue the institutional relationship...

The lateral’s additional capacity to take on more work was the impetus behind the decision, but upon her arrival, the Practice Group Leader (PGL) discovered something even more valuable by performing the same process as outlined above. In Navigator, he clicked on the lateral hire's name, and then his own saved list that contained key client accounts, and perused the common connections therein.

In a matter of moments, the PGL discovered that the lateral had connections to professionals at four of their top 10 clients. None of this had come up during the interview process, but it was surely an important topic to investigate.

As it turned out, several of those connections were newly formed decision-makers at a key client, and now the firm was able not only to gain access to them but also to put an immediate succession plan in place to continue the institutional relationship with the younger attorney and her contemporaries at the company.

In a matter of moments, the PGL discovered that the lateral had connections to professionals at four of their top 10 clients...

At the lateral’s first PG meeting, she was able to quickly detail the strength of her relationships to each of the other key connections, and new in-roads were quickly made at several key clients to help solidify their dedication to the firm.

3. Outside the new firm: connect past to present with alumni filters

A lateral joined an AmLaw firm from the one across the street, and the two firms were fiercely competitive with one another for that reason (among others).

The lateral’s new firm had Navigator, but his previous firm did not. One of the first searches he ran during his initial training was simply to take a short list of prospects and filter them using alumni filters, showcasing the overlap among past employers.

As it turned out, an attorney who had worked alongside the lateral at the prior firm had just made a move to an in-house position after leaving the old firm with some grievances and not a lot of loyalty to her former employer.

The old firm didn’t even have the chance to react...

Within mere seconds, thanks to Navigator, the lateral was able to pick up the phone, congratulate his former colleague, and set up a lunch to discuss working together.

The old firm didn’t even have the chance to react and make a pitch before Navigator’s competitive intelligence helped the new firm gain a competitive edge.

Within a matter of weeks, the lateral was over the moon with his very first client origination at his new firm, an old colleague had new counsel, and the old firm was simply furious. Just another example of the urgent bird getting the worm.

Have you experienced an immediate return on Navigator-investment upon landing at a new firm? Do you have a great lateral success story? Send me your stories, and I will include them in my next post.

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[Samantha McKenna is Head of Sales, Enterprise, NYC at LinkedIn. Follow her for her latest writings on law firm BD on JD Supra. Connect with Sam on LinkedIn to see how Navigator can transform your firm's growth efforts.]

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