Lawyer Business Development: Why it’s Vital to Engage With the C-Suite

According to a recent study conducted by Beaton Global, law firms that engage in meaningful dialogue with the C-Suite generate more work from those carefully cultivated relationships.

The study found that lawyers often believe that they are safe if they focus on working with the legal department alone.  However, this is, according to the study, a mistake – as both the C-Suite and the law firm lose without constructive engagement.

As the Beaton Global Study details: “Given their necessary interest and the roles they play in major transactions, C-suite members need to be engaged and feel involved in the progress of matters – in ways that suit them…Law firms are losers because they are not maximising their opportunities for future work and referrals if they lose focus on…the C-suite during and following a significant transaction…The key is for individual partners to engage with their C-Suite relationships with the express purpose of determining how they can be of most value to the CEO, CFO, COO, CRO, etc when there is no particular transaction afoot. Partners need to demonstrate a genuine curiosity and empathy, be prepared to invest their time, and customise the activities of their firm to align with the specific needs of their C-suite relationships.”

Engaging the C-Suite as a part of business development

While it’s vital, as Beaton Global details, to engage the C-Suite during your law firm’s representation of clients, it is also very helpful to engage the C-Suite as part of the business development process.

By closely analyzing the business objectives of prospective clients and matching them up against commercial opportunities in your jurisdiction (e.g. potential acquisitions, strategic partnerships, government or private sector contracting opportunities, intellectual property opportunities, tax advantageous transactions or set-asides, etc) – you are well positioned to approach C-Suite executives based on the company’s commercial objectives.  These objectives are often likely to involve a number of legal specialisms which your firm maintains, thereby making the scope of your potential representation of the client far more expansive than what might be envisioned in stand-alone tenders where you’d be competing against numerous competitor firms.

Lawyer Business Development Coaching

I help lawyers develop approaches to the C-Suite based on identifying the commercial objectives of companies and opportunities in their home jurisdictions custom tailored to prospective clients — via one-on-one video or audio coaching sessions.  My experience includes hundreds of face-to-face meetings with prospective clients on behalf of law firms – where I helped clients realize how lawyers can help them achieve their commercial objectives. These meetings first required me to identify client needs – reaching out to those prospective clients and securing meetings with them on behalf of my clients and succeeding in securing those meetings. And shepherding those relationships to becoming new client engagements.  For more information about how I might be able to help you build your law practice, please complete the form below and I’ll contact you promptly.

Thank you for visiting my blog.  I hope to hear from you.

John Grimley

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