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  • September 16, 2018 1:43 PM | Kirsten Lovett (Administrator)

    Coming Soon - the results of the 2018 Legal Sales Uncovered: Salary & Trends Survey. Here is a sneak peak at the results. LSSO members and survey respondents will receive a complimentary copy of the full report. Additional copies will be available for purchase on our website. Join LSSO now to receive your copy of the report.

    Join LSSO

  • September 16, 2018 1:16 PM | Kirsten Lovett (Administrator)
    By Silvia L. Coulter Principal, Law Vision Group, LSSO Board of Advisors and Co-Founder

    Time to take some pressure off the partners. Law firms are woefully behind every other professional services business to hire sales people. A trained sales professional with a successful background will help any firm drive more revenue, capture more client share of wallet, and relieve the pressure the legal professionals face when it comes to developing business. With some exceptions, lawyers hate or at least dislike selling. And, they are generally not as good at it as a solid sales professional.  Some firms are realizing the enormous benefits of hiring salespeople and building a sales team. While there may be some initial backlash against management for heading in this direction, the right sales professionals can quickly change partner thinking. Yes, I’m talking about hiring externally-focused, client-facing sales professionals. The benefits are significant and those partners who work with seasoned sales pros realize quickly that it makes good sense to have a team to obtain new business that includes the legal pros who can talk substantive law and the sales pro who knows exactly when to move the conversation and the sales process along and close business.

    Recently the head of litigation of a global giant said, “Why would we hire someone like that who could turn around and walk out the door with our firms client contacts and go across the street and do the same thing?”  Well, this is what we expect of laterals when we hire them, isn’t it?  Bring their clients with them across the street. A seasoned sales person may have many industry contacts and can do just that—bring their contacts to the firm and make introductions.

    In the same meeting, another dept chair of a 700 lawyer firm stated, “when we first brought Philip in most of our partners were aghast that we had hired a sales professional.” “Then all of a sudden everyone wanted a piece of him and one person wasn’t enough.” “It’s amazing how well someone like him works with our partners and how we’ve increased our odds of winning business by combining his talent with our lawyers’ talent.” “We now can’t imagine not having sales people at the firm.”

    Want to know how to take your key client teams to another level and really create strategic accounts? Get the help of a sales person who is responsible for client growth. Want to win more opportunities when competing against another firm? Hire a sales professional. 

    Where does one start? Who does the sales person report to? Start by looking at the firm’s most important clients. Which one or two industries is prevalent among those which represent the top 80% revenue? Bring someone in from that industry who has strong and proven experience with selling in that industry.  This could be someone from an accounting firm or directly from the industry itself. 

    The reporting structure can be tricky. Many good and strong sales people would never dream of reporting to a marketing person. A strong marketing person with excellent management/leadership skills will be fine. Otherwise, this individual should report directly to a department chair or the managing partner. Create a reasonable set of goals for year one since it takes time to develop or transfer relationships. After that, a quarterly sales forecast of what he or she is working on is a helpful tool to begin to measure results.

    Hiring an experienced sales person may just be the best thing the firm ever did.

    About the Author

    Silvia Coulter is widely regarded as one of the legal industry’s most experienced business development, leadership and organizational culture experts. Her experience includes working as a former strategic account executive and sales leader at a Fortune 50 company, a chief marketing and business development officer of two global law firms, and consultant and facilitator to firms across the globe. She can be reached by email here.
  • September 05, 2018 6:31 PM | Kirsten Lovett (Administrator)

    Fenwick & West is a top-tier law firm with an open and inclusive culture. With more than 300 attorneys and 400 employees in the Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Seattle and New York, we work with companies on the cutting edge of technology, life sciences and cleantech. For more than four decades, our Firm has helped some of the world's most recognized companies become and remain market leaders. We are proud to have been named one of the Best Places to Work in the Bay Area for the twelfth year.

    Working closely with Fenwick clients, attorneys and business professionals, the Client Service Manager is responsible for developing and executing initiatives that support the firm’s efforts to institutionalize client service and maximize value in client relationships. This position can be based from our San Francisco, Mountain View, Seattle or New York office.

    Read more and apply.

  • September 05, 2018 6:29 PM | Kirsten Lovett (Administrator)

    Ballard Spahr has an opportunity for a veteran marketing professional to lead the business development, brand awareness, and marketing efforts in local markets, serving as the primary business development and marketing contact for our offices located in the East. As an integral part of the overall Ballard Spahr Marketing team, the Regional Business Development Manager will work closely with office managing partners to develop and execute business development and marketing programs that focus on raising the Ballard profile regionally and in their assigned markets. This role is responsible for helping to reinforce and deepen existing relationships and drive the development of new targets and opportunities. The position will report to the Director of Business Development and can be located in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, DC, Atlanta, or New York.

    Learn more and apply.

  • September 05, 2018 12:21 PM | Kirsten Lovett (Administrator)

    Save the Date - the 16th Annual RainDance Conference is June 5-6, 2019 in Chicago, IL. Why should you attend RainDance? Take a peak at last year's conference:

  • September 05, 2018 11:39 AM | Kirsten Lovett (Administrator)

    Coaching Advantage Certification Program

    September 25-26, 2018 - Los Angeles, CA

    October 10-11, 2018 - New York, NY

    Register Now

    Coaching is becoming a profession within the legal profession.  Learning to become a business development coach or to refine your coaching skills to help lawyers reach their full potential for developing business is a great career opportunity. Through Legal Sales and Service Organization's (LSSO) partnership with LawVision, we bring our attendees and members unparalleled opportunity for advancing their careers as business development coaches. Further, our coaching certification will provide you with the training, tools, and credentials to coach lawyers at all skill levels. 

    LSSO's Coaching Certification program is delivered through classroom instruction by sales and coaching experts, accompanied by in house coaches who will provide case studies and examples of the day-to-day challenges and opportunities they face and discuss the methods for meeting those challenges and leveraging opportunities. Onsite programming, a live coaching session and one class follow-on webinar will complete your certification.

    Los Angeles, CA

    September 25-26, 2018

    Registration Fee: $2,500

    LSSO Member Registration:  $2,375

    New York, NY

    October 10-11, 2018

    Registration Fee: $2,500

    LSSO Member Registration:  $2,375

    Register Now
  • August 16, 2018 2:11 PM | Kirsten Lovett (Administrator)

    Manzama is a leading provider of current awareness and market intelligence to professional service organizations around the globe. Our Client Success Team has a reputation for strategically partnering with clients to understand their goals, workflows and pain points and use this information to develop plans to successfully leverage the Manzama platform. We are looking for a Senior Client Success Manager to join our team. Entrepreneurial, collaborative, self-starter, driven, service-oriented, and problem-solver are just a few ways we would describe our Client Success Team and Company.

    Learn More

  • August 02, 2018 3:32 PM | Kirsten Lovett (Administrator)

    By Eric Fletcher

    Client service can be a differentiator if it involves more than being accessible and delivering what your engagement letter promises. Here are three ideas to help separate you from the pack

    1. Deliver Relevant Information. 

    This isn’t about info related to a matter. And if you’re serious about being a trusted advisor you know your clients warrant more than a bulk email “alert” and a complimentary CLE event. Become a regular conduit of information relevant to the client’s business or market. And don’t settle for an email blast. Superior service is delivered with a personal touch.

    2. Be A Connector. 

    Virtually every business person places high value on the right connections at the right time. Find those places where your network intersects with the interests and concerns of your client(s), and you’ve found an important way to differentiate your brand of client service.

    3. Put Skin In The Game. 

    Extraordinary client service goes beyond counsel in your area of expertise. It includes being plugged in to what is important to your client. This may not have anything to do with a legal issue. It might be charitable or community organizations, social initiative, or even personal hobby. An eloquent way to serve the interests of your client is to Identify an area of interest or concern, and become involved by giving time, resources, and influence.

    Apply these 3 ideas in order to move client service from cliche to a tangible asset.

    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:

  • July 29, 2018 10:36 AM | Kirsten Lovett (Administrator)

    By Craig Brown, Senior Consultant, LawVision and LSSO Coaching Certification Instructor

    Recently, our consultancy launched a series of public courses designed to train and certify in-house law firm marketing and business development professionals on how to coach their lawyers.

    The success of the series has allowed us to learn more about the specific concerns and needs of our clients. One recurring question we get in these sessions is about selection. Course participants often ask, “How do we make sure we’re not wasting our time on people who will not react well to coaching or who won’t follow through on our suggestions?” Many program participants report that, when working with some of their lawyers, the initial meetings look promising and the lawyer commits to certain tasks, but interest wanes rapidly, and the lawyers begin to skip meetings and fail to return emails.

    This problem touches on several topics that we address in the course, including getting buy-in from the coaching participant, formalizing the program, obtaining support from leadership, finding quick wins, and so forth. One section of the course is particularly instructive: determining “coachability.”

    Most course attendees believe the conventional wisdom that one shouldn’t waste time and money on those who won’t respond to coaching. While it’s true that a program should focus only on those who will respond to the effort, many people make false assumptions about the right criteria for selecting the truly coachable. Often, there is an inclination to determine coachability based on personality or social skills. Wallflowers are out, glad-handers are in. The socially awkward lose out to the socially adept. However, coachability is much more nuanced than simply determining where someone fits on the introversion/extroversion scale.

    After coaching thousands of lawyers, we find that the best indication of success is simply attitude. Nothing signals potential coaching success more than really wanting the program to work and being willing to learn new things and put in the work to make them happen. We focus on the following three indicators:

    1.  Willingness to learn. An individual’s willingness to learn and try new things can overcome a long list of other faults. Lawyers are trained to be skeptical. Those who can set skepticism and ego aside and conclude that they can learn something new are great prospects for success.
    2. Eagerness to succeed. Originating business needs to be something that each candidate wants to do rather than something begrudgingly taken on at the request of a senior partner. Has the candidate approached you for assistance in the past? Has this person shown a genuine interest in being a part of the program? Look for these indicators as you select candidates.
    3. Enthusiasm/drive. It takes many “at bats” to score home runs. Ask yourself whether your candidate has the ability to see challenges as opportunities and to strive to achieve success. Can this person keep going after hearing rejection? Business development requires the ability not to get discouraged when efforts result in rejection. The resilient person who has the ability to keep trying is rewarded.

    Here are some actions to take to make sure that you have the right candidates for your own coaching program

    1. Get more than one viewpoint. I’m often surprised when I get input about who should be coached from more than one source at a firm. One time, I received lists of potential candidates from a managing partner, a CMO, a marketing manager, and a practice-group leader. While there was some overlap, the lists were wildly different, and some included people who were on others’ “do-not-coach” lists. People view this subject through their own lenses, so get input from as many “lenses” as you can. Taking on the task of subjectively deciding who will be a success may be too much for one person. Spread out that responsibility and take advantage of the viewpoints of others.
    2. Get more objective information. For years, I have used a tool called the Lawyer-Behavior Profile to help determine coachability. It assesses business-development strengths for lawyers and turns the subjective conclusions we make about our lawyers’ coachability into something more concrete.
    3. Get clear on your selection criteria. Make sure that you are evaluating people using a standardized list of what you are looking for in a candidate. “She is warm and engaging with people” may not be enough. You may want to add other criteria to your list. For example, is the candidate seen as part of the future of the firm? Is the candidate someone in whom the firm wishes to invest? Is this person possibly a future leader at the firm? Has this person taken a proactive approach to her career?

    Well-trained coaches who are selective about their participants can raise the ROI of your coaching program and thereby add to the firm’s bottom line. But there are other, less tangible rewards as well. There is nothing like the experience of finding a lawyer who knows darn well that she is not on anyone’s list as a potential rainmaker and helping her build a profitable and thriving practice.

    Help someone like that, and suddenly coaching isn’t just effective. It’s fun.

    Need more help? To assist our clients in their coaching efforts, we’ve partnered with the Legal Sales and Service Organization (LSSO) and launched a program that trains people to be successful internal coaches. Public sessions are scheduled for this September in Los Angeles and for October in New York.

    Click here for more information on LSSO's Coaching Advantage Certification Program.

    About the Author

    Craig Brown has worked with managing partners, attorneys, CEOs, and executives, as a coach, consultant and business executive for over 20 years.  He is a Law Firm Business Development Consultant with LawVision where his business development consulting and training practice focuses on helping law firms rethink how to build clientele by reconnecting people to their core strengths.  

    He can be reached at

  • July 21, 2018 5:31 PM | Kirsten Lovett (Administrator)

    Ballard Spahr, a national law firm with more than 500 lawyers across 15 offices has a new opportunity for a Director of Business Development.  The selected individual will assist the Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer (CMBDO) in the creation and execution of firm-wide business development initiatives and the development and management of the business development team.

    Learn more and apply here.

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