How often do you try to fit a square peg into a round hole? Maybe more often than you think.
I was in a client meeting last week and the firm’s marketing partner asked me, “How are we going to get all of our attorneys up out of their chairs and out selling?” My response was, “You won’t – and I don’t think you should want to, either.”
Yes, business development and sales are imperative for the vitality of any law firm. But should every attorney in a firm be directly involved in sales or blogging or offering source commentary or writing bylined articles or giving speeches? My answer is no: You need to take a divide-and-conquer approach so you can leverage talent in the best way possible to make the most out of finite resources. People do their best work when they do something that is comfortable for them, not forced on them.
How can this be done effectively?
Go directly to the attorneys
Why not take a page out of the client service book, and start at the source? Develop a comprehensive list (think big) of all activities that currently are or should be a part of your law firm’s marketing repertoire. Then go directly to the source, garnering feedback from all of the firm’s attorneys regarding 1) what they enjoy, 2) what they dislike and 3) what they would like to learn more about. Dig a bit deeper and find out where they feel they excel and what they each think they are best at. All of this information will help in analyzing individual and firm strengths, and opportunities for improvement.
Develop a survey
Depending on the size of your law firm, an internal survey may be a big task, but there are a number of ways to effectively gather the information. You can do in-person interviews, send an electronic questionnaire, arrange time at regularly scheduled meetings, speak with each attorney via phone or audio conference, or use any other technique that works well for your firm.
Align skills with activities
Gathering and analyzing this information will help individuals and the firm strategically align skills with necessary activities. In addition, you can take the process further and use the empirical data as part of the hiring process and to plan for targeted marketing training that will ensure greater success.
Let’s not try to fit square pegs into round holes any longer. Instead, embark on a little internal marketing research and analysis to figure out which pegs fit into which holes and – maybe more importantly – which holes need a peg.