In our recent posts, “Why Lawyers Hate Marketing (Vol. 1 and 2)”, we’ve explored some of the reasons why some lawyers are uncomfortable with – or even detest – the concept of marketing themselves. Pain-points range from not having enough time to dedicate to marketing to believing a lawyer’s code of ethics inherently precludes them from marketing themselves…And the list goes on.
In an article published by ALM’s Careerist,business development consultant K.C. Victor, principal at Victor Legal Solutions, debunks common misperceptions about what it takes to be a rainmaker. She offers seven more reasons why some lawyers hate marketing:
It feels rude and maybe arrogant to pitch clients who already have lawyers
I hate selling
It’s too overwhelming. I don’t know where to start
I can’t call and ask for business!
I’m afraid they might tell me “no”
I am not a smooth mixer
I feel out-of-place, perhaps even sleazy, offering unsolicited business advice
More importantly, Victor provides advice on what law firm marketers can do to redirect attorney mindsets; astutely advising, “One need not be gregarious to build or increase a book of business. No particular personality is required for rainmaking, but lawyers should first make sure that they are going into it with the right attitude.”
Her advice to overcome the various walls lawyers may throw up– such as “I’m afraid they might tell me ‘no’”, “it feels rude to pitch clients who already have lawyers”, or “I can’t call and ask for business,”—boils down to communicating with clients, not selling to them. In other words, clients are unlikely to hire you if they think you don’t care about them or worse—they have forgotten you exist.
Victor advises, “People like attention…People like to talk about themselves and conversations evolve.” She recommends that lawyers simply pick up the phone to say hello or see how their client’s business is doing. Of course, these calls are most effective when tthe lawyer has done their homework and already knows how their client’s business is doing. This background knowledge, supplemented by the client’s insight, allows lawyers to take the ”just checking in” call a step further by creating a “need” or reason to follow up with their client. Perhaps they have read, seen or heard something interesting and they are calling to share the information with their client. Or they could call to invite or introduce their client to something or someone. Having a purpose behind the call will bridge the communication gap while also giving the client an incentive to speak with the lawyer.