Legal Rainmaking: To Sell Is…

This week, I met with a lawyer who’s been in practice for 50 years, who will be using The Reluctant Rainmaker to teach a law school class on business development.  We touched on how the practice has changed over the years and why he encouraged his sons to become lawyers, but the bulk of our conversation centered on how he has marketed his practice over the years.  Perhaps you’ll be interested in these three takeaways from our talk:

  1. Business development starts with personal development and must be grounded in integrity, authenticity, and truth.  Turns out that we’re both fans of Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, and I recommended The Speed of Trust by Covey’s son, Stephen M. R. Covey.
  2. Small, consistent touches are memorable and build relationships.  For instance, this lawyer sends a book that meant a great deal to him when his mother died whenever he learns of a death in a client’s immediate family.  His firm also uses a client satisfaction form at the close of every representation, and he’s created cards to send whenever he sees a client mentioned in the news.
  3. Meeting new people is critical to the success of any practice.  This lawyer serves on several boards, speaks regularly to associations relevant to his practice, and is active in a wide variety of community activities.  As we discussed, the small, consistent touches won’t accomplish anything if you don’t have people to receive them.

We also agreed that too many lawyers have bought into the myth that sales is inapplicable to professionals.  Every lawyer must understand how to sell, and that’s why I’ve reviewed Daniel Pink’s recent book To Sell Is Human recently.  Read about that here.

Out of curiosity, how would you complete the sentence stem, To sell is…?


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