Keys to Successful Rainmaking in 2008 by Lisa Goldstein
The major difference between the big shot and the little shot is the big shot is just a little shot who kept on shooting. -Zig Ziglar
One more year has gone by. Have you achieved your rainmaking goals? After another year of coaching young lawyers, I can offer two simple pieces of advice that will enable you to become a rainmaker. If you follow this advice you will succeed.
1. Set Realistic Goals
2. Consistently Follow a Plan to Accomplish Those Goals
One without the other is worthless. Great rainmakers not only have great ideas, but they are also able to execute their plans.
Set Realistic Goals-
I spend a lot of time with my clients helping them to set realistic goals. This is a long process that requires market knowledge and firm knowledge. You and your firm offer unique value to your clients and potential clients. You need to be able to identify those clients, and develop realistic goals consistent with your firm’s goals.
Start by educating yourself about your firm’s current clients. Before you can develop your own plan you need to answer the following questions.
-Who are we currently doing business with?
-Who are our biggest clients?
-What type of work is not appropriate for us to handle?
-What position does the person hold who typically hires us?
-Why are we chosen over other firms?
-How much work can our firm handle?
-How is work assigned when it is brought into the firm?
-Do I have internal credibility that would inspire and allow others to work on matters that I produce?
-How long does it typically take for a client to join our firm?
-In our firm, who are the successful rainmakers?
-How did our rainmakers become successful?
-How does our pricing compare to other firms?
-What outside factors will help our business grow? (For example, a down economy leads to more bankruptcy work)
-Do we offer better client service than other firms?
-What’s the perception of our firm?
When you have answered these questions you can set a specific goal. For instance, your specific goal may be to bring in one new client in the food industry.
Consistently Follow a Plan to Accomplish Your Goals-
Your plan consists of your action steps that will enable you to accomplish your goal. If you desire to bring in one new client in the food industry, your plan may be to attend one food industry function per month. During that function, you will meet three attendees. Next, you will set follow up meetings with your three new contacts.
Not sticking to a plan causes the demise of most rainmakers. There are a million excuses not to follow your plan. I think I have heard them all, but here are the most common excuses:
- I am busy practicing law (I had a brief, a motion, a deal etc.)
- A family situation (baby, buying a house, marriage, divorce)
- Attitude change (it’s too difficult, it doesn’t work)
The lawyers who succeed realize that life will always hold its challenges, however, rainmaking must continue to be a priority throughout. Based upon historical knowledge, the plan may change; but a plan will be followed.
Have a happy, healthy and successful New Year!