New entrants to the legal services market; a weakening economy; business savvy clients; a rise in internal legal departments; alternative fee arrangements; commoditisation – the list of challenges facing the legal world seems to be swelling by the day with some being more of a threat than others.
However, is there an even greater challenge lurking in the shadows that has been embedded in law firms for decades? I think there just might be……
Whilst there is no silver bullet available that will cure all ills there is one thing for certain: any firm with an effective sales function capable of generating a strong thread of new leads and of taking good care of established clients eases most of the challenges you’re likely to face.
So there it is; your knight in shining armour: sales or the ability to identify, engage, convert and cultivate clients in a systematic and organised way to maximise revenues and minimise loss to the competition, as we like to call it at Flair Towers.
And that, in my humble opinion, is the greatest challenge facing law firms today: most of the people entrusted with building and maintaining secure revenue streams are at best reluctant sales people and at worst are actively hostile towards the concept. What other business would have a sales force who would prefer to be doing something else?
It’s understandable I suppose. At some point in their lives each of them made the decision to become a lawyer: a corporate BSD; a champion of the under-classes or just somebody who was bought off by copious amounts of cheap lager at one of those university open nights. Who knows why but there is one for thing for damn sure: they never dreamed of being a hot-shot sales person.
So what can be done? Well its quite a difficult nut to crack and well beyond the scope of this humble blog post but I would suggest three clear lines of thought: –
- Acknowledge not everybody is capable of being a heavy-weight sales person. Work to people’s strengths and compensate for their weaknesses rather than force them to “get out there and network, damn it”.
- Be more structured. Build a system for sales with recognisable stages, established tools and techniques and a decent CRM system to house it all.
- Put somebody in charge of sales who is a sales person not just a marketer. Marketing definitely has a place in the business development orchestra but as a service to the sales function not as the driving force.
Build a systematic, organised and very controlled growth engine and put somebody in charge of it who has proven sales experience is one approach to overcoming the oldest and perhaps the biggest challenge faced by law firms today. What do you think?
Oh, and one more thing – isn’t it about time you downloaded the free sample chapter of my e-book? Look over there for more details ====>
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