There are numerous consultants that coach lawyers on the skills and techniques of legal marketing.  That is not new.  Also, experienced rainmakers in law firms could serve as coaches for younger lawyers.  Yet, it doesn’t seem that firms provide ongoing coaching for their lawyers after investing time and money on training them how to market their services in the first place.

It is common knowledge that the retention rate following training is very low.  (See the Cone of Learning by educator Edgar Dale). So, why wouldn’t law firms want to protect their training investment by providing ongoing coaching?

According to Ed Poll in a post this week, “Coaching is cornerstone of professional development.”  He quotes from an article in the March 2006 edition of “The Lawyers Competitive Edge” (sorry ABA subscription required) by Phyllis Weiss Haserot, a friend and long time marketing consultant to lawyers, who wrote:

“Studies show that coaching after training increases the value (return on investment) by four times(!), integrating and sustaining newly learned skills. Good ongoing coaching is missing in most firms and needs to be ‘the next big thing.’”

I’m not at all sure it is the “next big thing,” but I won’t say it shouldn’t be. I believe a good coach can:

  • Help provide focus and direction (and redirection)
  • Help to plan an approach or strategy
  • Reinforce and bolster your marketing ideas
  • Be a source of new ideas or approaches
  • Keep you on track and motivated
  • Help sell your ideas to management

 Most importantly, 

  • Can be a friendly nag (or PITA)

So, where is your coach?