Archive for the ‘Law firm marketing’ Category

A Whole New Mind

April 10th, 2015 by Altman Weil

Marci Krufka Taylor at Mantra Partner has a new commentary on Daniel Pink’s book, A Whole New Mind, and how it applies to law firm marketing.  Lawyers tend to be ‘left-brain’ analytical thinkers, but do clients in 2015 want more?

Read it at Mantra Partner

What do in-house lawyers read?

April 10th, 2015 by Altman Weil

“This matters, of course. First, if you want to talk intelligently to in-house lawyers, you should have a sense of what’s on their mind. Second, if you ever write articles with an eye on developing business, it would be nice to know that the target audience is seeing the stuff that you write.”

So says Above the Law columnist Mark Herrmann in this is must-read article for every law firm marketer and every lawyer who writes to promote his or her practice.

Read it at Above the Law

Differentiating your practice

March 20th, 2013 by Altman Weil

Marketing expert Sally Schmidt is right on point the value of differentiation in today’s Attorney at Work. 

“Differentiation is perhaps the hardest concept for lawyers to embrace. I say “embrace” and not “understand” because most lawyers understand the concept of differentiation—they just can’t or don’t want to do it. Perhaps it’s because they like to handle a wide range of matters; litigators, in particular, often like to say they can litigate any issue. Perhaps they think that, by defining or limiting the scope of their message, they will lose out on opportunities: “If they think I do ‘X,’ they won’t send me ‘Y.’”

The reality is, if you are completely undifferentiated from other lawyers, people won’t send you “X” or “Y.”

Read it at Attorney at Work

Business development is not a department, it’s a discipline

February 8th, 2013 by Altman Weil

 ”BD is not a department, ‘it is a discipline along with every other expertise in the firm.’ It can be taught—and learned.”

That’s the momey quote in Aric Press’ new article in The American Lawyer on how law firms must approach business development and client relationships in 2013.  He profiles the “Smarter Business Development Model” created by Trevor Faure, Ernst & Young’s global leader for legal services and former Tyco European GC.

Faure has set forth six traits law firms need to adopt, as well as four things all clients want.  Of course it’s not quite that simple, but it’s a very good place to start.  Worth reading.

Read it at The American Lawyer

Responding to RFPs

September 4th, 2012 by Altman Weil

LexisNexis released a new survey last month on RFP activity in law firms.  Considering the importance of winning new business in the current market, a surprising 41% of the 359 law firms responding to the survey reported that they don’t track the number of RFPs they receive or the time they spend responding.   Of the 200+ firms that did quantify RFP activity, the survey found:

  • The number of RFPs firms respond to varies proportionally with firm size.  Firms with 50 or fewer lawyers respond to an average of 5 RFPs each month, while firms with over 500 lawyers respond to 16 per month on average.
  • Firms spend between 20 and 25 hours on each RFP response, which works out to a minimum of 1,000 hours each year up to 4,800 hours a year.
  • 84% of firms responding said the number of proposals they send is the same or increasing compared to a year ago.
  • Despite the considerable resources expended on the RFP process, only 58% of firms report that they track RFP success rates.

Read it at LexisNexis

Rainmaker mentor program

August 15th, 2012 by Altman Weil

The ability to build a significant book of business has never been more critical for lawyers who aspire to partnership.   This can be difficult for most young lawyers, and particularly challenging for diverse attorneys who may not have the same access to relationship building and networking opportunities. 

As part of a program introduced by the Philadelphia Diversity Law Group, Virginia Essandoh, Chief Diversity Officer at Ballard Spahr (and Altman Weil alum), led a rainmaker mentor program at Ballard that paired an established partner with a diverse associate.  In the pilot program the mentor was chosen for “diversity insight, a superb reputation and a spectrum of contacts.”  The mentee was “a rising star with partnership aspirations and the enthusiasm to commit additional time and effort to this initiative.”

Essandoh concludes:

“The best practices learned from this initial match will cast the model for a new component of a firmwide mentoring program at Ballard Spahr. The fortunate outcome is that this pair of lawyers has become friends. That is perhaps the finest way to enrich business relationships.” 

Read it at The Legal Intelligencer 

Cultivating (another firm’s) clients

April 26th, 2012 by Altman Weil

How can a law firm that wants new business displace a competent incumbent firm?”  Aon VP and Chief Counsel and Above the Law blogger, Mark Herrmann posed this question to a panel of GCs recently. 

The answer is you need some luck.  He and his colleagues concluded that although there are circumstances when it can happen (he describes a few likely scenarios), they are outside of the control of an aspiring law firm.  But don’t despair.  Here’s his excellent conclusion:

“Consider what this means for law firms in the on-deck position — firms that are not currently doing business for a company, but would be at the top of the list if the incumbent flubbed something, lacked capacity, or saw a key lawyer leave. If you’re looking for a sweet spot, that may be it. Make contact with an in-house lawyer; stay gently in touch over time, forwarding items of (actual) interest perhaps once a month; and make sure the in-house lawyer remembers your name and area of expertise. When an event outside of your control occurs, you want your name to be at the top of the list of possible replacement firms.

The on-deck circle is an important place to be. Spend your time there intelligently.”

Read it at Above the Law

Revenue growth

February 21st, 2012 by Altman Weil

Check out The Legal Intelligencer’s latest article on law firm revenue trends.  Experts agree that it’s extremely challenging to grow revenues - not to mention profitability - in the current no-growth economy.  Altman Weil principal Ward Bower was interviewed for the story:

“Ward Bower of Altman Weil said the best way to increase revenue is always through increasing a firm’s share of existing clients’ wallets. That, however, has become competitive in a way it never was before with a booming economy providing a seemingly endless demand for legal work, he said.

And on top of low demand is increased competition, with firms from overseas looking to open offices in the United States, he said.

“I think firms really have to concentrate on their existing clients,” Bower said. “Somebody’s bird-dogging your clients all the time in a no-growth market. You can’t pay lip service to client service. You have to get out there and demonstrate and do it.”

Firms have to be alert to cross-selling opportunities, which is something Bower said firms have talked a lot about but have not always been successful in executing. For that reason, he said, it’s important to have someone other than the relationship partner solicit client feedback and find opportunities for other lawyers in the firm to do work for that client.

To get work from new clients in a slow-growth market is to steal it, Bower said, and that most often means hiring laterals. He said that is what is behind the growing number of lateral moves seen recently.”

Also included is a link to The Legal’s blog with six tips from Bower on connecting with clients to develop new business

Read it at The Legal Intelligencer

Successful meetings with potential clients

July 7th, 2011 by Altman Weil

It’s not rocket science – but why do so many lawyers get it wrong?   Nino Cusimano, General Counsel at Telecom Italia, offers a list of practical and effective tips for your next rainmaking appointment.

  • How to make the first contact
  • What homework to do
  • Who to bring with you
  • Talking about conflicts
  • Talking about fees

And (as they say) much, much more…

Read it at Corporate Counsel

A survey about client surveys

June 29th, 2011 by Altman Weil

LexisNexis has released Global Client Feedback Initiatives, a survey of 415 senior personnel at law firms around the world.  The survey found:

  • 48% of all respondents formally solicit client feedback
  • 64% of Canadian law firms have feedback programs - the highest percentage reported
  • 64% report the cost of client feedback efforts is less than 5% of their total marketing budget
  • 83% “agree” or “strongly agree” that clients value their efforts
  • 48% use written or electronic surveys; 47% interview clients face to face

Read it at AmLaw Daily

Download a copy of the survey