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February 20, 2008

Be A Brilliant Salesperson to Be a Brilliant Solo Practitioner

I have talked about this on numerous occasions but this is the first time I've seen a law firm come right out and say that in order to be an associate in their firm you MUST have a sales background.  This is an incredible 'coming out of the closet' acknowledgment of how important it is for lawyers to be sales oriented and focused on the clients' needs; how critical it is to develop these skills in order to procure and keep good clients because this is a service-driven business. 

Construction law firm Scholefield Associates, P.C., is hiring new associates with a unique requirement -- a sales background. The firm says it is is borrowing heavily from the corporate world where the role of technical sales is fundamental to most successful business plans.

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Interestingly, new research by Suzanne Lowe of Expertise Marketing, most professional service firms shows that 86% of respondents want their firm to hire fee-earners who want to market and sell, 51% have made formal efforts to hire fee-earners who want to market and sell.

Suzanne writes, "First, it’s a challenge to find the right set of marketing and business development capabilities, especially if the firm has yet to define them for itself! A firm’s recruiters and hiring staffers need standards to objectively evaluate marketing and business development skills. They can’t be expected to conjure them up in a vacuum. This viewpoint repeats a theme that, by now, rings loudly through this entire survey: there are widely varying definitions of marketing and business development, and a general lack of understanding of the value these functions could deliver in a PSF."

I encourage you to read both this piece and pieces I've written called "Be  A Brilliant Sales Person to Be a Brilliant Lawyer,  and The T.R.U.S.T. Factor.....

I'm so encouraged this fundamental concept is gaining more traction.  The sooner everyone embraces it, the sooner solos can direct their budgets and energies accordingly and the happier and more profitable they will be.

(Pleaes note:  This is a 3 person law firm....solos/and small firms leading the way, yet, again!)

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