By Sibila D. Hujic
Business development among associates is different with every firm. Some law firms require it other do not. However, associates failing to bring in clients has been a recurring conversation topic among my clients. What can be done?
Lets look at some of the most common excuses that associates give when it comes to why they can’t bring in clients.
“I don’t want to be partner.”
“I want to focus on my craft.”
“I am a terrible salesman.”
“Every minute outside of the office is taken.”
“I can’t bill as many hours and spend time on bringing in clients.”
“It is not in my job description.”
Generating business is a skill, and like any other skill can be approved upon. Start with making it a part of every associates job description. Be clear on what is expected, a few hours dedicated to business development efforts is all one really needs.
Encourage your associates to join different organizations, blog, write articles, give presentations and so on. Teach them to focus on the people. Most importantly focus on your clients, word of mouth is the most powerful marketing tool. Sometimes people skills are more important than sales skills. For associates that need it, having them take a sales webinar or two will not hurt. Help your associates improve and grow as individuals and your firm will grow right along side them.
Excuses are unacceptable and should not be tolerated. Saying one has “no time” might have been a valid excuse at one point but is it not anymore. We all have 24 hours in a day and it is up to us to structure our days in a manner that results in the most productivity. Make sure that business development is a priority for everyone in your office.