One challenging aspect of selling professional services is determining how to proceed, given all the potential options. But in law firm sales, taking any step is almost certainly preferable to being paralyzed at the starting gate. Here are a few single steps that together would require 2 hours, 35 minutes or less – about the minimum amount of time a lawyer should spend per week in sales activity.
- Join your college or law school alumni group on LinkedIn and review the list of members. If you feel inspired, send a quick LinkedIn message to an acquaintance you haven’t contacted in a while. Time required: 10 minutes or less.
- Get involved with your best client’s favorite charity. You can probably find this information on LinkedIn or via a Google search. Then decide how you can help, perhaps by joining the charitable organization, signing up for an event or making a donation. Time required: 30 minutes or less.
- Look up the 10-K statement for a client or prospective client. It should be available on the Web site of a publicly traded company, usually in the Investor Relations section. Pay particular attention to the “Risks” listed in the 10-K. Spend some time thinking about how each of your contacts within the company is affected by these risks—and how you can help them better manage these risks. If your client is not publicly traded, find and study the 10-K of a peer or competitor, because the risks will be similar. Time required: 60 minutes or less.
- Hand-write a note to a client or prospective client. Don’t call, don’t send an e-mail or a text; send a hand-written note. Say that you’ve been thinking about him or her. You don’t need to ask for anything. Put it in the mail and wait to see what happens. Time required: 10 minutes or less.
- Review your billings from five years ago. See if there are any clients (or former clients) with whom you haven’t spoken lately. If so, drop them a short personal message or give them a quick call. Ask how they are doing and offer to help. You might be surprised at how receptive old clients are to hearing from you. Time required: 45 minutes or less.
Of course, this is all pretty elementary. We all knew these steps, even before I wrote them up. The winners will be those who actually take them. See you at the finish line! Maybe.