It’s the third Wednesday of the month, so it’s time for another excellent rainmaking recommendation from expert Jaimie Field! Today’s is a great post about "sales" being a dirty word in the legal industry.

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I recently wrote a blog post asking whether every law firm should require their attorneys to become marketers and Rainmakers.  This was based on a new mandate by one of the largest law firms in the United States, Quinn Emmanuel, now requiring their associates to do a ‘marketing project’ in order to become eligible for their bonuses.

What my blog post did was spark the debate as to whether certain attorneys shouldn’t be doing marketing and business development because they just don’t have the talent. It is my contention that every single attorney has the ability to become a Rainmaker in their own right;  while they may not bring in a new client daily, weekly or monthly, they can bring in new clients. And if each attorney, who wasn’t currently doing so, could bring in one new client, think about how that will affect the bottom line.

 

The problem is the word “Sales”

Every attorney will tell you “I did not go to law school to become a salesperson.”

Get over it!

Everyone is in "sales" whether they know it or not. If you have kids, they’re selling to you– later bedtimes, dessert, those expensive sneakers/dress/jeans – you just don’t call it “sales”.

Attorneys are selling all the time, too! Whether you are writing a brief or in a conference against an adversary, or trying to negotiate a deal, you are trying to convince people to "buy what you have to sell" – your side of the argument. When you are standing in front of jury you are selling them to your side of the case. Again, you just don’t call it “sales”.

The issue is that most attorneys have such a negative connotation to that word that they shy away from ways to get business. It’s a matter of couching the term in a different way to avoid all of the negative feelings towards marketing and business development.

So, instead of thinking about selling your services in the negative, whatever that insinuation may be, think about in a different way: You are helping people who have an issue you can solve. As David Neagle writes in a number of his books: “Sales is not something you do TO someone, it’s something you do FOR someone.”

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Photo of Lindsay Griffiths Lindsay Griffiths

Lindsay Griffiths is the International Lawyers Network’s Executive Director. She is a dynamic, influential international executive and marketing thought leader with a passion for relationship development and authoring impactful content. Griffiths is a driven, strategic leader who implements creative initiatives to achieve the…

Lindsay Griffiths is the International Lawyers Network’s Executive Director. She is a dynamic, influential international executive and marketing thought leader with a passion for relationship development and authoring impactful content. Griffiths is a driven, strategic leader who implements creative initiatives to achieve the goals of a global professional services network. She manages all major aspects of the Network, including recruitment, member retention, and providing exceptional client service to an international membership base.

In her role as Executive Director, Griffiths manages a mix of international programs, engages a diverse global community, and develops an international membership base. She leads the development and successful implementation of major organizational initiatives, manages interpersonal relationships, and possesses executive presence with audiences of internal and external stakeholders. Griffiths excels at project management, organization, and planning, writes and speaks with influence and authority, and works independently while demonstrating flexibility in thinking, especially in challenging situations. She also adapts to diverse and dynamic environments with constant assessment and recalibration.

JD Supra Readers Choice Top Author 2019

In 2021, the ILN was honored as Global Law Firm Network of the Year by The Lawyer European Awards, and in 2016 and 2017, they were shortlisted as Global Law Firm Network of the Year. Since 2011, the Network has been listed as a Chambers & Partners Leading Law Firm Network, recently increasing this ranking to be included in the top two percent of law firm networks globally, as well as adding two regional rankings. She was awarded “Thought Leader of the Year” by the Legal Marketing Association’s New York chapter in 2014 for her substantive contributions to the industry and was included in Clio’s list of “34 People in Legal You Should Follow on Twitter.” She was also chosen for the American Bar Association Journal’s inaugural Web 100‘s Best Law Blogs, where judge Ivy Grey said “This blog is outstanding, thoughtful, and useful.” Ms. Griffiths was recently chosen as a Top Author by JD Supra in their 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards, for the level of engagement and visibility she attained with readers on the topic of marketing & business development. She has been the author of Zen & the Art of Legal Networking since February of 2009.