Top 5 Tips – Skills Associates Need to Grow Business

March 10, 2010 | By

It’s never too early for law firm associates to start building the skills they will need to grow business and bring in clients eventually.  Many of these same abilities are core skills of excellent lawyers.  Smart associates start building these skills and relationships early because they take time to mature.  Here is our Top-5 list:

1.  Associates can begin building these business development skills now with their peers:

  • Learn how to ask good questions to get others talking about their company’s business challenges
  • Learn to speak succinctly with a keen focus on what your audience is interested in
  • Begin telling stories that highlight their firm’s expertise in a relevant way

2. Associates need to develop relationships early with their peers in house and at law firms — and learn how to stay in touch in meaningful ways. Some of those relationships will continue and deepen and eventually lead to business.

3. Learn by doing— ask to get involved (and eventually go along) on prospective client meetings and pitches with partners.  Seeing first hand how lawyers in your firm get business will go a long way in teaching you how you can get business too.

4. Try to develop deep expertise in a narrow area of law or an industry — or both.  Deep expertise is valued by clients and it allows you to see trends and business needs that others might miss.

5. Start identifying emerging business needs for clients your practice group serves (or would like to serve).  For example, look at a group or industry being targeted now for enforcement and anticipate which industry might be next and why.  This will give you good practice at identifying the valuable “heads up” type of warning clients love to get from their lawyers.

Check out Marsha’s “Let’s Do Lunch” Business Development workshop for associates or partners.

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About the Author (Author Profile)

Marsha Redmon is a former practicing lawyer and television journalist who has been teaching lawyers to get the business and recognition they want through business development, communications, video and media interview workshops and coaching for the last 16 years. Contact her at: info [at] marsha [dot] com or 202.251.3390

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