By Beth Rosenfeld, Lisa Peskin and Brynne Tillman
Special to the Legal
Most attorneys don’t have a plan for business development. In fact, in addition to billable hours, lawyers frequently get stuck responding to dozens of emails, returning calls and putting out fires. Inevitably, business development activity falls to the bottom of the "to-do" list and days or even weeks go by without any prospecting activity at all. One of the challenges for many attorneys is identifying what time and activities are necessary to meet their objectives for business development. Here is a great way to help your firm develop an activity plan:
- Determine your revenue goal for the next 12 months.
- Subtract out expected billable hours from existing clients.
- Divide that number by your average billable client dollars, which will provide you with how many new clients you will need to hit that goal.
- Determine your personal close ratio (client proposals to new clients).
- Multiply that number by the number of new clients needed. This number is equivalent to how many proposals you will need to make.
- Determine how many prospective client meetings become proposals and multiply that number by the number of proposals needed, which will provide the number of prospect meetings you will need to hit the revenue goal.
- Determine where most of your business has come from. Who/what are the sources of past business? Who/what was the source of your best clients? Who/what are effective prospecting resources for your firm?
- Allocate specific time on the calendar for business development and treat it as a client. If a client were in front of one of your attorneys, they would not be distracted by the emails, phone calls and fires.
Schedule time, even if it's a small amount of time, to focus on business development without distractions.