Effective rainmaking for female lawyers
Effective rainmaking for female lawyers
Mar 18 2011, 11:37 AM
Joined: 17-July 09
Member No.: 125
Numerous surveys and studies indicate that women make up no more than 20 percent of the partnerships at most large firms, and hold an even smaller percentage of senior firm or practice management positions.
One effective way for firms and lawyers to broaden that participation is by emphasizing women’s career advancement through marketing. While too many lawyers — including women — believe they are not skilled at marketing, everyone can market effectively if they approach it within their zone of comfort.
The key is for the lawyer to learn what her comfort zone is and work within it. A successful marketer develops relationships, builds bridges and wins confidence. Marketing in that sense means learning about clients’ needs and pinpointing how to meet them, and making clients feel valued and understood when they receive such focused attention.
That brings up a potentially sensitive but completely valid issue: Studies have shown that women are considered more trustworthy than men because they generally are better communicators, willing to discuss how they feel and to listen when others express their own feelings.
For example, in his pioneering 1990s research, Dr. Larry Richard selected 3,000 lawyers nationwide and compared their Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality test results to those of the general population.
In three key personality indices — extraversion versus introversion, sensing versus intuition, and thinking versus feeling — women attorneys matched general population norms more closely than men.
Such values reinforce the approachability that creates trust — and client relationships. Clients and prospects want to explain their concerns as part of having their legal problem solved. Women can be highly effective at facilitating that.
If law firms encourage women to do interpersonal marketing, and if female lawyers seize that opportunity, they will have more clients, as such an approach makes clients feel like part of the team by seeking out their opinions and asking what they want to accomplish.
That requires a communications strategy that avoids the questioning style of a deposition or contract structuring; never put the prospect or client on the defensive. The best marketing “pitch” is a conversation between two friends.
That is not to say that the rainmaker must put her legal instincts aside. Empathy and rapport can be expressed through skilled questioning:
There is only one way to get that kind of information: personal, face-to-face meetings. Social networking on the Internet is effective, but personal contact is the differentiating factor that gets a lawyer noticed.
Women lawyers who use their perceived superior communication skills to lay the foundation for the rainmaking process can expect this to carry over to building successful client relationships and a successful career.
Check out Ed on YouTube
Follow Ed on Twitter
Join the LawBiz Forum
Become a fan of Ed's on Facebook
Ed's Latest Book, Published by WEST ®
Growing Your Law Practice in Tough Times
By Edward Poll
Following the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and facing a sea change in clients' demands and expectations, law firms must respond and adapt quickly and effectively. Law firms must choose the kind of law practice they will be; the marketing and business development tactics they will use; the overhead that is critical to their functioning; how to price, bill and collect for services; and how to manage the cash flow cycle. Success lies in identifying and capturing the right kinds of clients, providing the services those clients need in ways that add value, and ensuring prompt payment and the ability to grow profits. This book, based on the experiences of the author and his clients over 20 years of coaching and consulting, provides the keys to successfully thriving in the new era.
Special New Release Price: $79
Regular Price: $120
Call or Order Online at:
1-800-837-5880 or www.lawbiz.com
2011 LawBiz® Management. All rights reserved.
|Lo-Fi Version||Time is now: 1st March 2015 - 03:26 PM|