Lawyers who aim to be partners of a law firm or want to go into a solo practice are expected to do something they never learned while completing their Juris Doctor degree - get new clients.
In the business world, a rainmaker is someone who magically gets new clients. The term “rainmaker” originated from the practice of Native Americans dancing to bring about rain needed for their crops.
In the summer, the rainmaker would sing songs and dance on the field, and it was believed that by the tribe that rain would magically come. Along the same line, a business rainmaker would bring in new clients and businesses like magic to generate more revenue.
A rainmaker is any employee who brings in a considerable amount of new clients and business to a company. This term is often used in the financial services industry, such as in a brokerage firm. A rainmaker can also be someone who:
• Brings in new business
• Takes on a leadership role
• Initiates progress
• Has the drive to succeed
Any entity needs to have a steady supply of rainmakers as they are considered as crucial persons responsible for bringing in new business.
In the context of legal practice, a rainmaker is a lawyer who generates new clients for the law firm. Most rainmaker lawyers claim that they were not born as one. Instead, they studied to be one either by attending a marking seminar or by learning from a seasoned client-getter.
Since rainmakers can be trained or taught to be one, any lawyer can be a rainmaker. Here are six steps to get new clients for your law firm and be a lawyer rainmaker:
Before you can bring in the best clients to your law firm, you first need to make yourself a great lawyer. During the first years of your law, practice will need to be diligent, learn and master your craft, and work long hours to be competitive enough in getting the right clients.
When searching for a lawyer, clients look for a track record of success. No client will pick a lawyer who is still going to learn about how to fight for their Client in Court, about litigating, or how to complete his transaction.
Everything about the legal concern of the client is critical; thus, he cannot afford to hire an inexperienced lawyer. You should, therefore, exude the confidence of being a lawyer who is worth hiring.
Sometimes being a great lawyer is not enough. You will need to be a “thought leader, too. It would be best if you stood out from among the many lawyers in your area.
You should not only be one of the many lawyers in your area of practice, but you should also be a distinguished lawyer by having knowledge and skills in a specialized area of law.
You should, in essence, be the go-to lawyer when clients need legal help in your area of specialization. You can be one by completing a Masters in Law for a specific area of law such as being a litigation lawyer, labour lawyer, and others.
Tapping an eventually bringing in profitable clients to your law firm sounds like an easy task. You will be surprised to learn that many lawyers fail to look at profitability when generating new business.
Never be a lawyer who accepts work from anyone who calls. Create a clear picture of your ideal client and look for profitable clients
In the legal practice, just like in any business, it is seldom that clients will come knocking on your door. You need to get out of the comfort of your office and look for potential clients. Some lawyers tend to busy themselves going through tons of legal documents and do work they were trained to do during their law studies.
For new lawyers rising to the top, most of the praises they get can be attributed to the excellent legal work they have done. However, the future of your law practice is not only all about going through humongous piles of paperwork. You should also devote a significant amount of your time to rainmaking – bringing in new clients.
It is, therefore, logical to spend about 25% of your time getting out of the office and doing marketing activities, specifically networking. Networking can successfully be done by attending meetings of industry-oriented organizations or professional organizations.
It is more effective to do networking in social rather than in a formal setting. This is so because when you attend meetings of organizations, you know that everyone is there also to do some kind of networking.
You will be bumping into private bankers, insurance agents, accountants, and fellow lawyers you are in search of, too of new clients. The atmosphere can also be unnatural and stiff because almost everyone is on the defensive for anyone trying to sell to them while they work on selling their services to the same people.
On the other hand, attending social gatherings like children’s school meetings, and homeowners’ association meetings are more effective networking venues. No one is expecting that anyone will sell them anything because everybody seems to be in a friendly mood.
You, too, should not sell anything because networking is not all about marketing. Networking means meeting as many people as you can to develop relationships.
Lawyer rainmakers start building their network with their current contacts such as college friends, law school friends and then, move on to the community at large.
Human connection is what makes an effective lawyer rainmaker. This is so because new clients can be easily found when you build relationships. There are instances when it can be challenging to claim that you are the best lawyer in town because of the stiff competition.
When all things are equal among lawyers, clients will tend to go for those with a good reputation for delivering excellent results and one they can easily be comfortable with or one they like best.
How then can you become the lawyer most clients will like best? Do not look at networking strictly for business instead look at it from the viewpoint of building relationships. Talk to potential clients about their hobbies or their children. People always like to talk and share about their children’s accomplishments.
When building relationships, set aside your ego and let the potential client be the star of the conversation. There is no need to brag about your Masters in Law degree because you should never say anything that will make your potential client feel small, instead make him feel important.
Be as friendly as you can, and profitable clients will notice and follow you. Do not, however,go around selling your legal services to everyone you meet. If you are, for example, a divorce lawyer, a happily married couple has no reason to hire you. They may, however, know of someone who needs a divorce lawyer and they can refer to your legal services.
Be visible not only in social networks but in social media, too. The internet today has a significant influence on growing a business.
Almost everyone uses the internet to look for anything they need. As a lawyer, be sure to sign up with LinkedIn. This social media platform will, in many ways, connect you with many potential clients.
The more significant mistake a lawyer can make is over-promoting their legal services. The right way is to promote themselves authentically and positively without the need to brag about their accomplishments.
The legal profession can be extremely formal and strict. Thus, whichever way you look at it, it will still be a people business and all about building the right relationships.
Potential clients do not just look for a lawyer. They want to work with a lawyer they can comfortably talk to, one they like, and more importantly, a lawyer they feel they can trust.
A lawyer rainmaker acts naturally. Not engaging in hard selling to get new clients. Mastering the art of building relationships in whatever venue and platform will attract people you meet and act the way to want them to work. In no time, they will be knocking on your door.