The dreaded ‘S’ word.
Lawyers and partners use all the popular buzz words—relationship management, client engagement, trusted advisors, business development—but refuse to admit that what they’re really doing is selling.
Think about it. You’re offering a service to a client with the implicit intent of invoicing for this service—your objective is to make a sale.
Some law firms even expect their partners to make cold calls to attract new clients. If this isn’t selling, then what is?!
The fact that law firms refuse to admit that they’re ‘selling’ isn’t a slight on the industry; it is a common by-product of globalisation and the current state of commerce. These days, every industry is engaged in sales (whether it’s members admit it or not). Even industries once considered to be above traditional models of commerce (such as education and medicine), must sell their services to beat out international competition.
The current legal environment is the most competitive in history. There are more legal firms in Australia than ever before, all vying for the same pool of client work. Reputation is no longer a guarantee when it comes to attracting and retaining clients.
To stay ahead in today’s hyper-competitive legal market, law firms need to embrace the ‘S’ word. Lawyers need to be trained in basic sales techniques, and law firms need to furnish their business development teams with people who have professional sales expertise.
‘Sales’ shouldn’t be a dirty word.
Embrace the ‘S’ word—you might even be pleasantly surprised at the results.