Myths v. Reality
Urban Myths of Business Development
When it comes to building a legal practice, the most persistent myth is that attorneys have to transform themselves into something they’re not – slick salesmen – in order to gain new clients.
This myth is part of a collection of urban legends that easily stymie and derail lawyers’ business development efforts. Helping lawyers stay in their comfort zone and work with their natural talents is the core of our coaching and training guidance.
Check out our complete reality checklist dispelling “The Seven Myths of Business Development,” in an article written by Craig Brown. Here’s a selection of our favorites:
Urban Myth #1
If I want to be a rainmaker, I should act like the firm’s best rainmaker.
Reality: Trying to make a firm full of people perform just like that rainmaker is like trying to teach an elephant ballet: you can teach it the steps, but in the end it’s still an elephant.
Urban Myth #2
The marketing department will take care of business development for me.
Reality: This “large law firm syndrome” stifles business development efforts faster than just about anything else.
Urban Myth #3
Just join an industry group and the business will roll in.
Reality: Focused industry groups can be a great source of referrals but be aware of potential pitfalls – the group may be filled with competitors and it’s not enough just to show up.
Urban Myth # 4
Each bio on the firm’s website should list all representative work.
Reality: Your bio should be designed to attract the work you want to do.
Urban Myth # 5
Responses to RFPs are the best opportunities for business development.
Reality: Submitting an RFP doesn’t waive your responsibility to build personal relationships with potential clients.
Urban Myth # 6
Business development is such a chore but we have to do it to survive.
Reality: If it’s painful, it won’t be sustainable. Business development is not about trying to follow some prepackaged set of steps based on someone else’s notion about “how it’s done.”
Urban Myth #7
Lawyers are not natural marketers.
Reality: There’s some truth to the fact that marketing people and lawyers have different personalities. But contrasting personalities and interests should not exclude lawyers from learning how to bring in business.