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.
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.”