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During 2013, I spent considerable time answering this question by writing a book called “Rainmakers & Trailblazers: A practical step-by-step guide to effective business development for lawyers showing how their support teams can help”.

These days lawyers have to be structured and sophisticated in their business development – and understand the integrated processes of strategic planning, marketing, selling and relationship management. They must also use a variety of digital methods and social media in an intelligent way.

They must understand how to develop their practice within the context of the fast-changing markets and the firm’s overall strategic ambitions and its cultural style and use the available resources within their support teams appropriately. I have touched on these points in the book, which has a structure that provides a trail through the business development process:

The lawyer perspective

  • Marketing fundamentals as they apply to law firm business development
  • Prepare yourself
  • Deepen existing relationships
  • Raise your profile
  • Make connections
  • Generate new business
  • Get help
  • Finalise your plan

In the context of the market, your firm and department

  • The market
  • Your firm’s strategy and plans
  • Make friends with finance
  • Love your marketing and PR team
  • Who’s managing sales and relationship management?
  • The need for information, research and knowledge management – and technology
  • Help from human resources