Law Firm Business Development in the Time of COVID

Here we (still) are very much in the midst of the pandemic and caution about the economy still has many businesses keeping legal projects on hold. That said, the lawyers I’m talking to are getting busier and projects are starting to loosen up. It’s a testament to the good relationships these attorneys have built and the view their clients and referral sources have of them as trusted advisors that helps the phone ring and the emails coming.

In some business sectors, forging new relationships with prospective clients remains a challenge as the networking events and in-person opportunities that lawyers are used to capitalizing on are at best infrequent and just-not-the-same, and at worst they are non-existent. Adding to these challenges is that fact that summer is widing down and back-to-school is ramping up. Many attorneys are feeling like they’re in limbo right now just dealing with their own family dynamics that the change of seasons brings.

There are cycles in every year. In every law firm I’ve worked in since 1990, BD drops off in the summer and picks up again in the fall. Distractions from family activities, trips, and a generally slower pace tend to dampen BD energy over the summer and make outreach less consistent. This lack of visibility coupled with the challenges that back-to-school brings to many in-house and outside counsel makes this fall a precarious time for your practice.

Your good existing relationships remain your key to success. And the key to unlocking new matters with new clients. Every attorney’s challenge is to equip your clients and referral sources with information they need to help you continue to expand your reach. This is done by focusing on two things:

  1. Continued generosity to your clients, prospects, and referral sources. Think of new ways to contribute to their bottom line by referring clients/customers TO THEM, making helpful connections FOR THEM, and brainstorming business solutions WITH THEM. And when you’ve done that, don’t be afraid to ASK THEM for help or a referral.
  2. Showcase your skills and experience through blogging, articles, roundtables, seminars (when we can do that again) and webinars. Make sure you’re sharing the content your firm is creating with your network as well.

A word about webinars: Even after we’ve got the pandemic under control webinars will be here to stay. Most firms have or should have access to Zoom, GoToWebinar or another service that will allow you to self produce and self promote webinars to enable you to showcase your skills and develop new leads.

Business development is a marathon. Stay healthy, stay hydrated and keep running!

Contact me to talk more about attorney business development.

Published by Kristo Sween

Law firm marketing and business development professional, RFP guru, voice actor, healthy lifestyle advocate.

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