No? W-E-L-L you should.
I can assure you that you are and have always been a TOTAL salesperson – in all aspects of your life.
Whether it is conning (err… convincing) your intended spouse to marry you, to convincing (not ordering) your kids to do the right thing, or, more to the point, convincing a client to do what you recommend or a jury to vote in your favor, you have been selling.
Most lawyers do not consider themselves a salesperson (we didn’t go to law school to sell snake oil, now did we?) and would argue the point (of course), but possibly they haven’t looked at it in quite this way. But, I can say without fear of contradiction that every person on this earth has been a salesperson since they were an INFANT.
Now, we need to put this in the context of legal business development. In Small Firm Business a few months back, there was an article by Paramjit Mahli, of Sun Communications Group, on business development (sales). She suggests that “… by hiring a business coach might help put you in the game.” Her piece is worth a read, as she gives several examples of how coaches have helped individual lawyers develop business.
But, what is this coaching stuff all about? As Paramjit points out in her article “Business coaches lie somewhere on the continuum between marketing consultants and psychologists.” That’s the very reason that I recently teamed up with Jim Hassett (at LegalBizDev) who has a Ph.D. in psychology from Harvard, and has been doing business development training and coaching for the past 20 years.
So, what can a coach do for you?:
- Focus your skills on realistic objectives,
- Assist in overcoming undesirable habits,
- Motivate and hold you accountable,
- Initiate weekly follow-up (in meetings or by phone) for support and guidance, and
- Provide exposure to new ideas and tools.
So, if you want to grow your business development skills, consider hiring a coach (with whom you can develop a rapport) to produce more legal business for you and your firm.