Your Attitude Toward Marketing
The most common objection to marketing cited by attorneys is that it feels like a form of selling, and that selling, if not unethical, is at the very least unprofessional. Unfortunately, it’s easy to use the negative associations evoked by thoughts of “chasing work” and “going for the close” as an excuse for not having a thoughtful approach to business development. The truth is, however, that the most effective and profitable approach to business development is also the most ethical and enjoyable.
When you’re genuinely qualified to serve someone’s authentic legal need because your experience is well-matched to their situation, and when your conversation with them is grounded in your desire to understand and serve them, you’re not selling anything. If you’re well prepared, if you ask questions that deliver value by clarifying the situation, if you’re listening effectively – and if you conclude that you can, in fact, provide a high-quality solution – you will be able, at the appropriate time, to discuss the buying decision comfortably and directly. When you operate from this place of professional integrity, the experience, regardless of whether or not you are hired, will have been valuable.
Of course, it takes time to get to the point where you are consistently creating opportunities to meet with well-matched prospective clients. And it takes time to become confident in the skills listed in the previous posts, just as it takes time to build trusting, sustainable relationships. But by committing to a positive attitude toward marketing, and by committing to do business development through relationship development, you’ll get there.