Once you have found the best match between a lawyer’s personality and business development activities, the challenge becomes time. The best way to overcome the obstacle of time is to develop solid habits that become part of a lawyer’s regular routine.
“The best tool to accomplish this goal is the pipeline,” said Brown. “Pipelines provide organization, prompt next steps, track conversations and next steps, analyze networks, and help lawyers move from credibility and awareness (lower-level goals) to relationships (higher-level goals). Many lawyers like the analytical approach and structure of a pipeline.”
A pipeline is simply a list of qualified prospects that a lawyer would like to transform into clients – and a system that tracks exactly where a lawyer is in the process and the next step that needs to be taken. A sales pipeline is a system to organize, motivate and direct a lawyer’s sales activities – in the shortest amount of time.
A pipeline begins with a chart that includes the name of the target entity; the target contact within the entity; target revenue numbers; information, history and notes about the contact; next steps to be taken; and deadlines to be met.
An important part of the pipeline is the stage of the relationship. There are seven stages: (1) target identified, (2) initial communication made, (3) steps taken to build relationship, (4) meeting held to assess legal needs, (5) steps taken to build trust, (6) agreement to hire and (7) file opened.
This is part five of a six-part article. For the entire article: