Dallas, TX, April 23, 2014 --(PR.com
)-- Some attorneys are true rainmakers and have little or no problem building a book of business. For others it doesn’t come as easy. How can an attorney be a successful advocate for their client and at the same time such an ineffective advocate for themselves?
Tim Pugliese, 30 year legal marketing veteran and principal in the Dallas, Texas based communications firm, Commercial Ideas, has spent years exploring that question. He offered, “As a general observation it’s not unusual to see an attorney falling short of billable hours because they haven’t been able to build, or rebuild, a book of business. In those cases it can be a real problem for both the individual attorney and the firm they work for. Even litigators that are very persuasive in the courtroom can struggle with self-promotion and the effective mining of new clients or keeping business in the pipeline.”
Education and experience doesn’t prepare an attorney for the cold, hard facts of selling legal services. Pugliese continued, “There is no magic, and my experience is that you can’t just ‘become’ a natural born sales person…even for your own practice. Regardless of practice area, if you are not a general counsel, you will at some time most likely be faced with creating a business development strategy for yourself. I’m not talking about an advertising campaign, I am referring specifically to how individual attorneys do, or don’t, take personal ownership in getting business for themselves.”
Networking, the internet, direct marketing, following up on referrals from associates and friends, are all initiatives that could be considered “grass roots” self-promotion.
Robert Weigand, Vice President and Executive Committee Co-Chair of the litigation and appellate firm Godwin Lewis PC in Dallas commented, “We are constantly encouraging our attorneys to participate in the promotion of their individual practice. At Godwin Lewis we have always felt that our greatest assets are our attorney’s and it’s important for each of them to take an active role in building their own client base.”
Pugliese continues, “For the average ‘non-sales oriented’ lawyer looking to get more clients, I believe it’s really about having the right process in place. What they lack in innate skill they can make up for by following a plan.”
There needs to be an agenda that includes key action items to be developed and used by any attorney who sincerely wants to improve the way they generate new clients.
Pugliese stresses several points that, in his experience, yield good results in an interactive training program. “Attorneys can’t afford to invest a lot of time sitting in a class to learn how to promote themselves. They don’t need a lecture. I’ve seen great success using a workshop environment focused around an intense, swiftly paced, interactive session that concentrates base line marketing concepts into a few, vital, take-aways. “
Pugliese’s recommendations include:
· Committing to a calendar of networking events, both personal and professional
· Making a “Hit List” of potential referral sources from friends, colleagues, family and social contacts
· Understanding the value of consistency
· Understanding that closing a new client is heavily based on their
trust in you as a person and not just a lawyer
· Take the time to get out of your comfort zone and do some video role playing and analyze how you look and come across to other people
· Don’t forget personal packaging, i.e. wardrobe, make-up and grooming
Pugliese concluded with, “It’s a combination of addressing the details and making personal marketing a priority, even when you are currently busy. The pipeline may not always be full by itself. I encourage all attorneys to remember that if you eat what you kill, you better know how to hunt.”
Commercial Ideas serves the marketing, creative and internet needs of professional service providers in the legal, insurance, real estate and medial industries across the country.
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