Let me start by saying not all lawyers hate doing the “S” word. There are quite a few that I know who would prefer to do nothing but sales especially if meant getting away from all that tiresome law stuff and those impossibly demanding client-types.
But, whilst business development is an acceptable alternative phrase for sales (but not real work apparently) actually getting down to doing it is not top of the to-do list for most lawyers, but why?
Based upon my own coffee-house investigations (OK some of them weren’t carried out in coffee houses) these are my top 5: -
- It takes too long – I just don’t have the time to fit it in.
- It’s not my job – that’s what marketing are employed to do isn’t it?
- The law is more interesting – it’s what I was trained for and it’s what I want to do.
- I’m not sure what to do – I’ve had no real training or guidance.
- It’s just a bit grubby – I’m a professional not a used-car salesman.
I’m not sure how close this to your own beliefs but they did crop up fairly consistently. By way of a response I would say: -
- It is your job and is going to grow in importance. Accept it and move on.
- Sales is what makes the world go around – nothing happens until somebody sells something. If it helps consider yourself to be more of a facilitator.
- Like most things you can do it in a highly professional or decidedly sleazy way. You choose.
- Once you have been trained it is easy and does not really take a lot of time.
- It can actually be great fun, satisfying and very financially rewarding.
I’m not a lawyer but I believe in the future the lawyers who get on most won’t necessarily be great at the law but they will be great at sales.