July is a wonderful time to think about the gift of freedom. We are free to do things the way they have always been done…or not. We can change the way we think about things…or not. We can limit our opportunities…or not.
I’ve found we are often limited in the results we achieve simply because we believe things work in only one way. Take rainmaking, for example. Rainmaking is a state of mind vs. a specific one size fits all solution. Here are five myths about rainmaking that prove the point and could be limiting your results as suggested by Timothy B. Corcoran in his blog post, Closing Skills of Successful Rainmakers…and other Myths.
Myth #1: Networking is rainmaking: That is just not true. In reality, networking is a visibility strategy that may or may not produce results depending on the personality of the networker. In fact, for those in the firm that cringe at the thought of “networking,” their visibility strategy might leverage what they do like and are good at–authoring articles, speaking, or making their subject matter expertise available through targeted public relations initiatives. I’m not saying that it’s OK to take networking in its traditional sense entirely off the table, but rather put more emphasis on other outlets for increased visibility.
Myth #2: Rainmaking is asking for the business. No, that’s not true either. Sales books hype the “Ask” as a part of the big “Close,” but formulaic closing techniques can be quite manipulative and certainly inappropriate for a law firm focused on serving client needs. Consultative selling matches the benefits of what you do to what your client tells you that he needs. If your lawyers aren’t closing business despite the number of meetings they have, then the problem is not asking for the business but rather asking bigger questions and listening so they can better uncover what the prospect wants.
Myth #3: Rainmaking demands discounting. Uh, that would be a NO. Firms that recklessly discount their fees to win the business are building their book at the expense of their profitability–not smart in the long term. It also sets a precedent for other firms that make competition more difficult for everyone. If you find you must consistently discount your rates, then they are either too high or you have not effectively demonstrated your value by quantifying your results.
Myth #4: Rainmaking is solely building new revenue streams. “All revenue is good revenue,” as the saying goes. It’s far more efficient and much more likely that cross-selling existing clients will produce more revenue than landing that brand new client you have on your target list. That’s why good rainmakers can be those lawyers who know how to reel in new clients and those lawyers who know how to retain clients (and revenue) by how well they manage legal projects, including those involving criminal cases, although in countries like Canada the use of pardons canada could really be helpful for lawyers and clients.
Myth #5: Rainmaking leads to increased profit. If you are focused on revenue vs. the cost of delivering your services, then your profits will evaporate. It is far smarter to weigh the actual cost of the business you want to win and how it will affect what is left after those costs are met. And, thinking you will make it up in volume is a fool’s quest as you will only be doing more work and making less for it until you change your mind about it.
So this July, free yourself from ideas about rainmaking that may be keeping you and your firm from the fireworks of spectacular results.
Until next time,
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