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  • February 13, 2019 12:24 PM | Deleted user

    By Eric Fletcher

    Where will your next great piece of work come from?
    Sure, if your budget is the size of a tech giant’s, or if your brand has the cache that brings your name to mind at the mere hint of a need, or if you’re in an arena that allows you to simply play a numbers game — then developing new client relationships may not be an issue.
    Otherwise, a timely connection with prospects in need of (and ready to pay for) the experience and expertise you provide is likely becoming a greater challenge with each new year. With rare exception, most lawyers are left to hope that new clients will somehow seek them out when the need arises.

    Is There A Way To Generate Viable Leads For The Professional Service You Offer?
    Notwithstanding what your experience may have been, it is possible for your marketing efforts to open doors to meetings — create a pipeline of leads — that result in the kind of work you want to do.Here’s the catch. It is decidedly not the byproduct of an afterthought. Or something you only turn to when business is slow. Or something you half-heartedly invest in.The good news is that you can build a marketing / business development / sales process that will create a pipeline of real leads.Here are the three basic components this kind of process requires.

    1 -  Identify Specific Targets

    This is the foundation of a process that will generate a pipeline of leads. No matter how creative or eloquent, cast a marketing effort “out there” with nothing more than the hope that it reaches the right audience, and you’re wasting resources. On the other hand, invest in identifying targets for whom your service is relevant, and your marketing efforts have a fighting chance in a noisy marketplace.
    If you can’t build a target list, put the brakes on your efforts and dive into the work of Target Identification.

    2 - Deliver Something of Value

    This is where efforts often go awry because we go to the marketplace with what we deem to be important — investing mightily in our message. Our (canned) presentation. Our story.
    If the thesis of your marketing plan is “if we can just get the word out” you have fallen victim to the hang-a-shingle-and-they-will-come strategy. In a competitive market, a killer website alone is not going to prompt anyone to beat a path to your door.Effective lead generation instigates a productive on-going conversation with a target. This is initiated by delivering something your target market defines as valuable.Ultimately, this is about knowing and understanding the business issues faced by the target. Become relevant here, and you have a shot at an on-going and productive conversation.

    On the other hand, insist on making a pitch without knowing that your offering connects to what your target values, and risk becoming nothing more than market noise — where all the players look, sound and act the same. And are interchangeable parts.

    3 - Do the Follow Up

    This is what separates the relentless business developer (read: rainmaker) from everyone else.

    Question: In what endeavor of consequence does delivering a message one time get the job done?

    Without respect to targeting, delivering value, and proving relevance, if your go-to-market sales strategy does not include intentional and strategic follow up, you’ve embarked on one more less-than-productive marketing initiative.The nature of the follow up will vary depending on the specifics of your offering. But without an intentional effort to establish dialogue, you are still hoping the market will do the hard work, and chart the path to your door...undistracted by the promises of competitors. An effective marketing and sales effort will utilize a variety of tools, and may be built on a number of platforms.  These are the three keys to differentiating your efforts from the masses, generating meaningful leads, and delivering measurable return on your investments in marketing, business development and sales.

    About Eric Fletcher:

    With more than twenty-five years of experience, spanning broadcasting, advertising, marketing and professional services business development, Eric Fletcher is a seasoned connector — of ideas, people and strategic growth-oriented solutions. For the past twenty-five years he has managed, directed, and consulted teams focused on targeted business development, sales and client service in the professional services sector. Follow Eric's blog:

  • February 08, 2019 9:33 AM | Kirsten Lovett


    Submit your nomination now for the

    2019 Legal Industry Sales & Service Awards

    We're two weeks away from the deadline to submit for the LSSO Sales & Service Awards! The awards salute the efforts and results of individuals and teams who have spearheaded initiatives contributing to law firm revenue growth.

    If you or someone you know has demonstrated innovative techniques in retaining or growing firm revenue, submit a nomination on or before February 28, 2018. Large firm and smaller firm categories. See the nomination form for more details.

    Sales & Service Executive of the Year
    This award goes to a leader who played a crucial role in retaining clients and/or growing firm revenues in 2018.

    Submit Executive

    Sales & Service Team of the Year
    This award goes to a team who played a crucial role in retaining or growing firm revenue in 2018. 

    Submit Team

    Awards will be presented by Hellerman Communications at the 16th Annual RainDance Conference June 5-6, 2019 in Chicago. Winners will receive one free registration to RainDance.

    Deadline Thursday February 28, 2019.

    Questions? Contact

    Kirsten Lovett


    Presented by:

    Hellerman Communications, an award-winning corporate communications agency positioning professionals to win business and navigate crises. Its founder, John Hellerman, and his team are recognized and sought after for their ability to help lawyers and their firms build and protect lucrative relationships through Strategic Marketing & Content Development, Crisis & Litigation Communications, and Social Influencer & Stakeholder Relations. Follow on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.


    June 5-6, 2019

    Chicago, IL

    "...Always the best conference for our group...Content was excellent, really top notch...Great speakers and practical deliverables...Provides smaller, more intimate groups...Collaborating and sharing with my peeps!"

    RainDance 2019

  • February 06, 2019 11:56 AM | Kirsten Lovett

    Become a Master Coach, network with your peers and advance your career. Register now for an upcoming event.


    March 19-20, 2019 in Chicago, IL

    May 15-16, 2019 in New York, NY

    Coaching is emerging as an important discipline within the legal profession. Learning or refining business development coaching skills to help lawyers reach their full business development potential is an excellent career advancement strategy. Through our partnership with LawVision, we at LSSO offer our attendees and members the unparalleled opportunity to advance their careers as business development coaches. Our coaching certification program provides training, tools, and credentials for coaching lawyers at all skill levels. 

    Register Now


    June 5-6, 2019 in Chicago, IL

    RainDance offers less of the theory and more of the practical, effective sales and service strategies for attendees to bring back to their firm and implement immediately.  With an intimate setting, you can expect open and honest dialogue among the attendees about the challenges they face in meeting the demands of the increasingly competitive and evolving industry.

    Register Now


    Law Firm Management Master of Professional Studies

    Apply today for a Masters in Law Firm Management at George Washington University. Designed to accommodate the demanding schedules of full-time professionals, the master’s degree in Law Firm Management provides you with the perspective of senior partners and prepares you to take leadership roles in the management of your firm. Students have compared the program to an MBA for the legal services industry.

    Apply Today


    Monday, April 8 to Wednesday, April 10, 2019
    Atlanta, Georgia

    Expand your skill set with concrete ideas and strategies that will increase your value to your organization and help you tackle your day-to-day challenges at the 2019 Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference.

    LSSO members receive the LMA member registration pricing.

    To register call 1-877-562-7172 or visit and quote the exclusive LSSO registration code B00-810-810FX03.

    Join LSSO

  • February 03, 2019 7:18 PM | Kirsten Lovett

    The first Women Lawyers Rainmaking Survey was conducted in 2003. At that time, it was one of the only surveys collecting data on women lawyers’ business development efforts and successes. The Women Rainmaking Survey now serves as a leading resource for law firms and attorneys.

    The benchmarking data provides valuable insight into:

    • The keys to rainmaking success
    • Profiles of successful women rainmakers
    • How much time is dedicated to business development for best results
    • What business development activities work best
    • What are the barriers to advancement, potential road blocks to success, and areas for improvement
    • How firms and others are supporting women lawyers
    • Best practices for firms and women lawyers

    Please take the survey and/or share the survey with other women lawyers.

    Take the Survey

  • January 23, 2019 5:01 PM | Kirsten Lovett

    By Deborah McMurray

    Imagine this scenario:  A lawyer receives an RFP from an existing client on Tuesday who wants to consolidate the number of outside law firms from 50 to 10. The RFP is due in three weeks. You have THREE WHOLE WEEKS to try to win this work!

    According to two 2018 industry surveys, the ILTA 2018 Marketing Technology Survey[1] and the Content Pilot Flash Survey about Best Practices in Proposals and RFPs, only 25% of the nearly 170 respondents to both surveys have proposal automation tools in their firms. This means that this RFP response will likely be managed and assembled manually.

    A marketer’s typical response to a large RFP may be to start with an old proposal and “save as” the new one – then, review it page by page updating firm and lawyer minutia that have changed.

    Strategy 1:

    I challenge you to reframe your thinking and approach. A proposal is an opportunity to reset an existing relationship – to start fresh. It’s an opportunity for your firm and lawyers to be better.

    The problem with starting with existing material is that you aren’t refreshing your thinking for this particular client – you’re just focusing on the lowest common denominator as you update answers to: “how many lawyers do you have? Give us your diversity statistics. Itemize your relevant experience,” and so on.

    On Wednesday, sit down with your lawyers who represent this client and ask them, “How can we better serve this client? If we are honest with ourselves, where have we fallen short? What have we always wanted to offer them, but inertia kept us doing the same things?”

    Strategy 2:

    Dramatically shorten your proposal narrative. Take out everything that isn’t spot-on relevant to what the client is seeking. And then significantly trim what’s left.

    In the CP Flash Survey, marketers said that 93% of them include “narrative summaries of the affected services.” In other words, the services for which their firms are competing. Not surprising, but Lisa Konie, Senior Director of Legal Operations for Adobe Corporation, recently stated in an interview that “…law firms were overly verbose in responding to [RFP] requests.” She continued, “…firms and departments can get too shy about asking each other questions that would help focus firm pitches so they can provide the information that legal departments really want to know when choosing a firm. It seems that law firm lawyers, especially, are worried about sounding unintelligent or uninformed if they ask too many questions about what the law department wants in the pitch.” (The emphasis is mine.)

    Avoid the knee-jerk reaction to dump your website practice/industry pages into your proposal. To your buyer, it seems unfocused and lazy. After all, the buyer has already been on your website.

    Strategy 3:

    The client wants to understand your commitment to diversity. Be courageous, broaden your response and focus on EDI – equity, diversity and inclusion. Leigh Dance, President of ELD International, advises, “…gender, race and cultural diversity numbers should be presented NOT in a body of text unless you’re trying to hide them, but very visibly. Aspirational goals also count—for example, Eversheds Sutherland has made a commitment to reach equality by a certain year. And Accenture and Coca-Cola both have goals in reaching gender pay parity by 2022…  Be succinct and prove that your firm is really walking the talk. ‘Blah-blah’ about diversity and inclusion sounds like ‘Blah-blah’ to most buyers and just takes up space.”

    Refresh your approach to your EDI material. Create an infographic that tells your story of commitment and hope. As an example, here is Content Pilot’s EDI infographic.


    Strategy 4:

    Dramatically improve the design of your proposal template. In the CP Flash survey, a large majority of respondents use a plain, primarily text-based narrative proposal format. This design style forces clients to read (if they are inclined to do so) rather than scan.

    Now that you have trimmed your narrative and have made it easier to scan, make it more enjoyable to consume by adding relevant imagery, containers and boxes to highlight things of importance, related side-bar content, magazine-style lawyer photos, maps, charts, infographics and pops of color to highlight special features and awards. Be bold!

    Strategy 5:

    Design a head-turning winning strategy. Climb into the heads and hearts of your buyers – what are they really wanting? If the initial person doing the proposal vetting is in the procurement department, this is a tougher nut to crack. But if not, the people who will use your services and, in the case of this scenario, who know you, are the heads and hearts you must influence.

    During your Wednesday or Thursday planning meeting with your full lawyer team, here is what you discuss and include:

    1. Legal approach and business approach (You must prove you understand their business opportunities and challenges, in addition to the legal ones.)
    2. Pricing plan (Try to get more creative than your current fee arrangements. Describe the benefits of your new fee strategy.)
    3. Staffing plan (Have there been staffing snafus on this client’s existing matters? Address them and propose alternatives.)
    4. Service plan (Have there been responsiveness or quality issues? If not, good! But design a service program that highlights things that are important to them – matter updates, communication plans, teamwork and collaboration, for example.)
    5. Ensure that your experience is spot-on and relevant (Don’t include any piece of experience that isn’t relevant to this particular buyer. Once you win there will be opportunities to thoughtfully expand the relationship.)
    6. What will your competitors propose?  Why are your best ideas better than theirs? (Most law firms never think of this. This is a critical component of your strategy, fundamental to your planning process.)
    7. Rehearse to win. (Don’t regurgitate your proposal if you are lucky enough to get to the in-person presentation. They’ve presumably read it. Start fresh and be prepared to talk about them and your specific strategies and solutions, not yourselves.)

    Finally, whether you win or lose, conduct a formal win/loss debrief. 60% of the CP Flash Survey respondents said their firms don’t follow up after an RFP loss. And what does Eric Fletcher, a strategic advisor to law firms, say about that? “Six out of ten of your survey respondents are missing out on two enormous opportunities: 1) To gather additional market intel, and 2) To keep the conversation going with an important prospect.”

    Amen, brother.

    About the Author

    Deborah McMurray is the founder, CEO and Strategy Architect of Content Pilot LLC. She is a member of LSSO's Board of Editors. 

    She may be reached at 972-897-4921 or @contentpilot

    [1] Content Pilot was the third-party sponsor of the ILTA survey.

  • January 06, 2019 6:40 PM | Kirsten Lovett

    Fenwick & West is seeking a Senior Business Development Manager who will help oversee a team of business development professionals and reports directly to the Director of Business Development. The position can be based from our Mountain View, San Francisco, Seattle or New York office. Fenwick’s Marketing Department is highly regarded within Fenwick, with a reputation for providing targeted, innovative and useful marketing, research and business development services. The Marketing Department group is a tight-knit team comprised of career-driven professionals. We have a very collegial environment, with low turnover. It is a roll-up-your-sleeves group where everybody—regardless of title—contributes at all levels, from strategy to daily tasks. 

    The Senior Business Development Manager’s primary purpose is to accelerate the growth of key practices by extending our attorneys’ ability to develop business from current and prospective clients. The Senior Business Development Manager will: 1) work with attorneys and business development staff to develop and coordinate business plans, sales materials and experience management efforts; 2) support partners in driving and executing on business plans; 3) be primarily responsible for high-profile RFPs; 4) organize internal business analysis, market research and competitive intelligence to identify promising opportunities for short-term and longer-term growth; and 5) recommend overall improvements to the Firm’s business development functions.

    Learn more and apply

  • January 02, 2019 2:50 PM | Kirsten Lovett


    LSSO and Hellerman Communications are excited to announce that nominations are now open for the 2019 Sales & Service Awards. The Sales & Service Awards salute the efforts an results from individuals/teams who have helped their firm drive revenue.

    Now is the time to celebrate your accomplishments!  Submit your nomination on or before February 15, 2019 in one or more of the following categories.

    • Sales & Service Executive of the Year – this award goes to a leader who played a crucial role in retaining clients and/or growing firm revenues in 2018. Large firm and smaller firm categories. See the nomination form for more details.
    • Sales & Service Team of the Year – this award goes to a team who played a crucial role in retaining or  growing firm revenue in 2018.  Large firm and smaller firm categories. See the nomination form for more details.

    Did you or your team play a crucial role in growing firm revenue or improving client service? Did you lead efforts to retain an "in jeopardy" client? Did you initiate a new client relationship or  implement new technology to benefit the firm? We want to hear from you!

    Award: The winning executive and a representative from each team will receive a free registration to RainDance 2019 and may be asked to participate in a Q&A panel at the conference. All winners will receive a one-year membership to LSSO, an award and a badge for digital/print use.

    See past winners and learn more here: Sales & Service Awards

  • December 22, 2018 8:02 AM | Kirsten Lovett

    2019 Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference

    Monday, April 8 to Wednesday, April 10, 2019
    8:00 AM to 5:30 PM (Eastern Time)
    Atlanta, Georgia

    Event Type: Conference

    Expand your skill set with concrete ideas and strategies that will increase your value to your organization and help you tackle your day-to-day challenges at the 2019 Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference.

    LSSO members receive the LMA member registration pricing.

    To register call 1-877-562-7172 or visit and quote the exclusive LSSO registration code B00-810-810FX03.

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