5 Reasons You Can Be An Attorney Rainmaker: “Born” Salesmen Don’t Have A Monopoly In The Legal Field

When a lawyer becomes a successful rainmaker for his law firm, you often hear that he’s a “born salesman.” When it comes to writing a persuasive proposal – a rarity in the legal field – the term is a “born writer.”

In many ways, this explanation seems to relieve everyone of a good deal of responsibility. It conveys the idea that he doesn’t need to exert himself in order to make a sale. It suggests that he need only to appear before a client and go through the formality of discussing his practice – and some divine force will cause the actual rain.

But Here’s the Truth About Successful Selling for Lawyers

The sooner this myth is drowned in a lake and forgotten, the better. It belongs with the orcs and goblins of a fantasy world – because it has no place in this one. It certainly has no relation to achieving success.

I want to strongly encourage you to believe in yourself and your current and future selling abilities. Don’t give up.

Yes, it’s obvious that some attorneys have greater native capability for selling or proposal writing than others. But native capability is not all that a lawyer needs to sell his firm. Whether in a proposal in response to a Request For Proposal or in the “beauty contest” sales presentation, a lawyer needs more than in-born selling skills just as much as an in-born ear for music doesn’t make you Mozart.

Study and painstaking practice are more essential in developing good selling ability than natural aptitude. No attorney – no matter how much selling knack he has been gifted with – can succeed on the strength of knack alone. It may suffice to keep him or her bringing in a few enviable clients from time to time – but it only advances him to the front ranks because so few lawyers make any effort to learn any sales skills at all. To truly make it rain for yourself and the loved ones and staff who depend on you, you must constantly strive to improve your methods. You need to benefit from others’ experience. You have to add acquired knowledge of sales and proposal writing to whatever natural gifts you have.

You Have To Learn It To Earn It

Nobody ever sprang full-fledged into writing persuasive proposals or dazzling at beauty contests. It takes training to obtain possession of the powers that a lawyer must use if she desires to rise above the ranks of the mere plodders.

The best examples of success in legal salesmanship are no less “made” salespeople than “born” salesmen. Indeed, many of the most proficient attorneys have attained proficiency through sheer determined application in mastering the principles in selling. Despite the fact that they have had no “leaning” in the direction of sales, and no particular fitness at the start, they absorbed the essential strategies and techniques of selling for the legal profession.

As for responding to Requests For Proposals, no attorney has ever been born who wrote an effective one the first time around. And yet many law firms continue to cut and paste from previous proposals that date back to the very first one.

Don’t Be Discouraged By Ignorant Lawyers

Many senior partners and compensation committee members commit an injustice in carelessly classifying all good rainmakers as “born” salesmen. They imply by this that those who have not been born to this kind of work, who do not evince a special capacity for it at the beginning of their careers, are hopeless cases.

But any lawyer can learn to sell their services and their firm. Any attorney can learn to write a persuasive proposal to a client. Any law firm can put together a winning sales presentation for the beauty contest.

There is nothing about selling to make it incomprehensible to an attorney who wants to master it. Salesmanship is not like being an NBA center, where the job opening starts and ends with seven footers. Given brains and a determined spirit and a capacity for application, any attorney can achieve success in selling, even if she has grown up with no particular understanding of sales systems and the steps for effective selling or the proper structure for persuasive proposals for law firms. You can’t expect to study your way to being seven feet tall, but you can absolutely study your way to being a rainmaker.

There is an incredible need in the legal field for a greater number of lawyers who are thorough and competent salespeople. For this reason alone it’s terrible to discourage associates and partners who have the making of a good salespeople who are able to sell their firm and services by telling them that, if they are not “born” salesmen, they can never make a real success.

And As For Those “Born” Rainmakers

Oftentimes the success and ability of “born” rainmakers is seriously impaired by too much self-assurance. They get the idea that some sort of a lucky charm makes their efforts inevitably succeed. Some never even do their best work because – compared to other lawyers who don’t make any efforts to learn to sell – they feel that their poorest work is good enough. They’re content to set the pace and play some golf. It seems frankly unimportant whether they keep it up. Consequently, though they may still keep their knack of selling or presenting, they make very little improvement as the years go on. And they never improve at proposal writing.

It seems to them that their smooth talking is all that there is to salesmanship. Since they already possess it, there’s no point in them seeking self-improvement. And there’s no opportunity for them to improve themselves. This is a shockingly bad mistake.

If a law firm has what is known as a “born” salesman, it has a right to consider itself fortunate. But the rainmaker himself should be careful that he doesn’t forfeit his incentive to do better and to grow just because he feels he’s already reached a satisfactory height.

What you need to make your selling and proposal writing skills strong and competent is less being peculiarly endowed with the knack of selling as that you be animated with a belief in the possibilities of your own development. You need to believe that, if you learn to sell better, you will be rewarded for your efforts.

It’s hard to look around and feel that’s true sometimes, but it is.

It’s hard to feel that you have the time to learn selling or proposal writing, but you do.

It’s hard to imagine a better investment in your future than selling more of your services and selling it at a higher price.

How to Keep It Up

Keep hold of your ambition to achieve the greatest measure of development possible. The rawest and most ill-assorted law firm selling force – if each of your members is dominated by the belief that he can learn to sell your services and by the determination to do so – will earn more for a firm in the long run than the law firm made up of “born” rainmakers who are all so satisfied and content with present conditions that they don’t try to improve.

So summon all the energy of your mind and body. Never entertain a thought of failure. Make difficulties stepping stones to greater heights of achievement. No doubt you will meet severe opposition. There are people who will say, you’re too small, too big, too young, too old, too inexperienced, too expensive, and just about a million other things. Stick with your conviction and courage in the face of such remarks. Study the methods and techniques to counter these objections. Learn how to present the value behind your services. Quantify the benefits your firm provides that others don’t. Understand why you’re the right choice for your clients. Most importantly, differentiate yourself from the crowd.

Remember that many lawyers are making big successes despite these same objections. You too can do it. Develop your talent, sure, but especially grow your courage and define your purpose. It’s not just the power to achieve, but the will to do, that will make your legal practice a success.

Never before have lawyers had such opportunities to make money as now. It doesn’t seem like it, but it’s still true. The country is more prosperous than any time in history. Regardless of in-born talent, nobody who has character has any business being poorer than he wants to be. By successfully selling your legal services, you can ensure that you become prosperous too.

The Reason You Are Hesitant to Obtain the Legal Help You Require

Many people would benefit from legal support about once a year. Unfortunately, most people don’t seek legal counsel when these situations crop up.

In 2001-2002 the American Bar Association commissioned a study on the public perceptions of lawyers to be conducted by Leo J. Shapior & Associates. This research had some interesting conclusions that can help us understand the reasons for the disinclination of the typical person to get legal assistance.

The survey found that most Americans think lawyers are capable of navigating through the complex legal system and the majority of those who had experience with lawyers were pleased with the service they received. Nonetheless, lots of Americans also think lawyers can be materialistic, even crooked. Americans do not feel at ease with the associations lawyers have with politicians, the courts, and big business. They also think that the legal profession isn’t self policing.

Many Americans feel hesitant to deal with lawyers since they feel they cannot tell a high-quality lawyer from a poor one. And, most people are unclear about precisely what a lawyer can do for them or the price of that service.

Since many hold these views and uncertainties lots of people who would benefit from a lawyer do not make contact with one. The Shapior research found that roughly 70% of households in any given year encounter a situation for which communication with a lawyer would be beneficial. However, most people indicated they still would not use a lawyer.

Compare this to seeing your family physician. If you have health insurance, when you or your children become sick you do not hesitate to see your medical doctor. If you have several children, you might visit your doctor’s office 5 or 10 times in a single year. You are familiar with your doctor, the office, and possibly even members of the nursing staff. You’ve watched your doctor work with your children and realize the consideration that he or she has for you and your family’s health.

Contrast your visits to your doctor with seeing a lawyer. You probably never visited a lawyer’s office. Maybe you’ve searched through the Yellow Pages and haven’t the slightest idea which lawyer would be best for you. Plus, to top it off, you do not possess legal insurance that will pay for most of the cost of your lawyer’s fees. No wonder you are reluctant to make use of a lawyer.

It seems clear that the common citizen is unfamiliar with individual lawyers. Watching Boston Legal, Law and Order or reruns of LA Law or Perry Mason is not going to get the average person to visit a lawyer even if they could benefit from their help. Perhaps the best tool to encourage more contact with legal professionals is legal insurance. By becoming familiar with a lawyer in less serious situations, a person can have more comfort about contacting a lawyer for more important matters.

You could already have a legal plan available as a benefit from your employer. If not, there are a number of providers that offer prepaid legal plans.

Prepaid legal plans typically cover the costs for you to contact your lawyer by phone any time you have a potential legal situation arise. Additionally, you can normally visit your lawyer to have a will drawn up, or modifications to your will on an annual basis. You can also have your lawyer review legal forms you need to sign to verify that everything is in your best interests.

When you do need extensive legal help, your plan may include a number of hours of your lawyer’s time for pre-trial and trial activities. Beyond the time provided by your plan, you will normally receive further assistance at a discount.

If a year goes by and you don’t need legal support you can deem yourself lucky. One day, similar to fire insurance on your residence, your prepaid legal plan may come in real handy.

How Women in the Legal Field Can Overcome Stress and Anxiety

Everyone in the legal field faces a certain amount of pressure, regardless of the nature of the practice. Those who work as public defenders or paralegals in a criminal law firm may find themselves overwhelmed by the sheer number of cases and clientelle.

Those who work the same positions in the field of immigration will experience various pressures, from monitoring multi-year cases to differentiating the dozens of forms that accompany each case. In addition to the pressures that affect every legal employee, women face their own unique challenges in the workplace.

Women often feel they must prove themselves above and beyond their existing education and experiences. They may also believe they must hide their emotions in order to be taken seriously.

However, there are a couple unique methods of natural stress and anxiety relief that will help women manage their mindsets in the legal field: maintaining a list of strengths and accomplishments, keeping an active social life outside of work, and taking productive lunch breaks.

Maintain List of Strengths and Accomplishments

Maintaining a list of strengths and accomplishments is useful in many ways. For one, it can help an uncertain woman remind herself of her capabilities, especially when faced with criticism from supervisors.

In addition, it can be useful during a routine performance evaluation. Often times, women are afraid to discuss their accomplishments. They may feel a sense of impostor syndrome, or that they are not truly qualified for the positions they are assuming. Thus, the list of strengths and accomplishments will speak for itself when a woman cannot find her own voice.

Keeping an Active Social Life Outside of Work

Keeping an active social life outside of work is critical to stress maintenance. When one’s life revolves around work, he or she begins to believe that failure in work equates to failure in life. Pairing each work day with its own extracurricular experiences rids women of the mindset that their work performance reflects how valuable they are as members of society.

It should be noted that an active social life is not the only solution to this dilemma. Simply having hobbies such as exercise, shopping, or outdoor activities will enrich an individual’s life beyond the workforce.

Taking Productive Lunch Breaks

As women are often convinced that they have to prove their capabilities in the workforce, they may spend their lunch breaks getting ahead on their work assignments. However, this behavior may actually prove detrimental to their overall performance, as they will have had less time away from their screens to recharge.

Taking productive lunch breaks is just as important as taking them in the first place. In a productive lunch break, a woman takes advantage of the full break instead of halving it for the sake of appearances, gets to step away from her desk, and may even go outside to escape the confines of the office for a moment.

Conclusion

Overall, though women do face unique stressors in the workforce, they are fully capable of managing these stressors. Maintaining a list of strengths and accomplishments will help a woman overcome self-criticism and impostor syndrome. It will also prove useful in firms with periodic evaluations.

Keeping an active social life outside of work, or at least maintaining healthy hobbies, will ensure that work is not the sole and central focus of a woman’s life. Finally, taking productive lunch breaks will keep women motivated and well-rested.