Book review – Rainmakers and Trailblazers: A step by step guide to Business development for lawyers

Posted on: April 28, 2014

Another review of my latest book on Business development for lawyers, this time from Jamie Butler who is Head of Training and Development at Russell-Cooke http://www.russell-cooke.co.uk/

“I read this new guide to business development (BD) wearing two hats: firstly as an ex-solicitor who remembers the challenge of combining marketing, selling and relationship management with high fee-earning targets; secondly (and currently) as head of learning and development for a Top 100 law firm, now helping associates develop their BD and other commercial skills.

The book delivers on its promise of “providing step-by-step, pragmatic advice” and is written in an easily accessible, conversational and interactive style.  As a coaching fan, I quickly identified Kim’s experience in this area too as much of her language resonates with coaching models and techniques.  At times, it reads as if Kim is perching on your shoulder, sharing her years of experience and guiding you along the path to BD success!  Whilst some may find this style casual and informal, it’s actually a refreshing change to many business reads.

The guidance will appeal to all types of lawyer, in large or small firms and whether you work in commercial law or advise private individuals.  Whilst I am not a BD specialist, it seems to introduce all of the key aspects comprehensively and veers off into more technical areas and processes when needed (although always avoiding unnecessary jargon).

There are also many useful tips on other client-facing and commercial skills, e.g. communication and selling skills, networking, presenting etc. With my L&D hat on, I appreciated the ‘workbook’ style of the guide.  The regular and helpful summaries (called ‘Trail Check Points’) force readers to reflect on their reading, consolidate new knowledge and skills and consider how they can take action in practice.

As a visual learner, the many lists, charts, checklists, acronyms and diagrams helped me to understand concepts such as the ‘sales pipeline or funnel’ and ‘market maps’.  The combined glossary/index at the end also serves as a useful summary of key points.

Whilst the book is clearly relevant to all fee-earners involved in BD or strategy at the various stages of their careers, it is also useful for those of us in support roles who work to help lawyers with their BD activities or learning.  From a personal perspective, the skills matrix at the end of the book will be a constant checklist for me of the various competencies which our lawyers will need to acquire, develop or enhance in the context of the changing legal market”.

For further details of the book http://kimtasso1.wpengine.com/publications/rainmakers-trailblazers-business-development-lawyers/

For reviews by partners at Thomson Snell & Passmore and Rix & Kay http://kimtasso1.wpengine.com/two-book-reviews-rainmakers-trailblazers-business-development-lawyers/

To order a copy of the book: http://legal-monitor.com/rainmaker-unique-practical-guide-business-development-law-firm-partners

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