Sales-101 for Attorneys

Today more than ever, it is critical that attorneys have skills as a business developer in their portfolio ( see this article by Waverly Partners on the topic).   Here is a view of 'selling' drawn from my years of experience as a business developer and consultant.  Selling is - quite simply - a number of interlocking activities which match seller solutions with buyer problems.

Sales Model for Success - a framework for business development execution
Sales Model for Success
Things to understand about selling:

     1)       What is Selling
Think of selling as a process, defining selling as a carefully calibrated set of activities designed to maximize firm and individual marketing and business development efforts.  (read this article about Solution Selling in legal services). 

      2)      The Fundamentals
The sales process is a set of integrated functions which begin with identifying a “value proposition” at the firm and individual level.  A key function is problem discovery and identifying a creative solution.  Look at firm overhead marketing and personal branding and (a) why each is important and (b) how they fit together.

      3)      The Widgets
Consider some of the tools essential to successful selling, including use of a Customer-Relationship-Management solution, collection of data to assess progress, use of social media tools, the importance of an elevator pitch, and targeting sales efforts to drive the best results.

     4)      The Mechanicals
Consider how to qualify new opportunities, what it takes to write a successful RFP response, the importance of rational pricing, the importance of succeds metrics to evaluate firm and individual progress, and compensation and how it can drive sales behaviors.

5) Its a Personal Matter
At the end of the day, selling - and everything discussed above - should enable a personal and direct connection with your buyer.  Buying is an emotional decision.  It requires confidence in the seller and a belief that the seller is delivering value and communicating in an open and honest way.

A Resource: Jerry Vass has been doing executive sales coaching for a millennium, and along the way - has published a couple of books on the subject of selling.  They're quick reads and packed full of valuable ideas and methods.  Visit Jerry's website (click here)..