Make it Personal: Fostering Client Relationships

We all know that the key to BD is fostering relationships. Christmas is a great time to do that. Whether you are sending a gift or just a card, the key, of course, is to make it as personal as possible for those that you can. Is your client a wine lover? We love this Canadiana wine package: https://givewine.ca/…/wine-gifts-1/products/canada-craft-150 How cared for as a client would you feel receiving this?

Our Gift To You:  Want to be more intentional and strategic about fostering relationships that lead to a more profitable and satisfying practice?  Contact Kathryn at kathryn@sccignites.comto arrange for a free sample coaching session or to discuss how experiential training programs can raise your  lawyers BD game.

About SC&C: Our Team of coaches, facilitators and trainers, work with lawyers and law firms to build their capacity to bring in bigger and better business, leading to a more profitable and satisfying practice. Based in Canada, with ties around the world, we can help you where you are to build the international clientele that you want. Contact us at info@sccignites.com.

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Presenting A New Formula For BD Success at FICPI

SC&C’s Kathryn Szymczyk Co-Presenting A New Formula for BD Success at FICPI’s 16th Open Forum

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Kathryn Szymczyk, Director of SC&C|Taking IP Practices Further, together with Rich Goldstein of Goldstein Patent Law, will be addressing the plenary session at FICPI 16th Open Forum, St. Petersburg, Russia, 5-8 October 2016 with a presentation on Business Development. The session will be moderated by former president of FICPI, Bastiaan Koster of Von Seidels, South Africa. The topic directly follows from the theme of last year’s FICPI Congress “Adapt to Advance” and focuses in on how IP Attorneys can and should adapt their business development strategies to prosper in an increasingly competitive environment.

Kathryn who practiced IP law herself for 12 years before founding business development consulting firm SC&C, notes, “In today’s market, we can no longer afford to limit our business development efforts to showing up at a conference a couple of times a year. We need a shift in mindset in order to continually and consistently win and retain loyal clients and grow”.  In terms of what FICPI audiences can expect from the plenary session, she states, “Rich and I have a formula for success, drawn from other industries and executive coaching, which we will be sharing with the audience. Through directed networking and coaching, participants will also have a chance to test our theories during the presentation. Finally, we hope to send everyone home with some ideas of how they can consistently bring this mindset to their Firms for greater success.”

The session will take place at 9:00 a.m. on October 6, 2016 and will be followed by two days of high level sessions that include best practices and updates on the nuts and bolts of IP law as well as practical business management sessions. The history and beauty of St. Petersburg promises to play an enchanting backdrop for all social events and receptions.

We hope to see you there! Надеемся вас увидеть на презентацию!

About SC&C: Our Team of coaches, facilitators and trainers, work with IP lawyers and IP Firms to build their capacity to bring in bigger and better business, leading to a more profitable and satisfying practice. Based in Canada, with ties around the world, we can help you where you are to build the international clientele that you want. Contact us at info@sccignites.comor visit our website at www.sccignites.com.

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What In-House Counsel Want Part I: Our Interview with Global Head Trademarks, Novartis Pharma AG.

What In-House Counsel Want Part I:
What are you looking for at INTA?

Myrtha-Hurtado-RivasInterview with Myrtha Hurtado Rivas, Global Head Trademarks, Domain Names & Copyright, Novartis Pharma AG, March, 2015.

INTA

Kathryn: We are all preparing for INTA this year. As in-house counsel, what would you say your main goal for the Annual Meeting is?

Myrtha: My primary goal is to tackle any important issues, meaning an important case/litigation or a problem that has arisen over the last 6 months. If we have been unable to resolve it over the phone or email then INTA is a good place to deal with these issues face to face. Often, it is a chance to give feedback – what has worked well and what hasn’t.

Preparing for a Meeting with You

Kathryn: That leads to my next question. What do you want your counsel to be prepared to discuss at these meetings?

Myrtha: One of the issues we have at INTA is that the people we meet with aren’t actually the people who did the work. When we meet at INTA, we want to give specific feedback and get specific answers in return. For example, “In this specific case, the way you answered this or that, the way you were with the authorities or whatever, we liked that/we didn’t like that”.

It is understandable that Firms may not be able to bring their whole Team to INTA, however the person we are meeting with should be aware of our cases. Before I go to INTA, I go to my Team and ask them for feedback about the people I will be meeting with and I come prepared to speak to those issues. Our Agents should be doing the same. They should also have given some thought to how they can improve based on our feedback over the year. For example, if we have indicated that they have done something we like, they should actually come with a proposal and say, “We realized you liked this, so we propose to apply a similar attitude/process/solution to some other aspect of what we do together.” Likewise, if we have flagged that something has not gone well over the year, they should be proactive and come to the meeting and say, “We realize in this case, we weren’t at the top of our game. These are the reasons why…We propose to handle it differently in the future, so this does not happen again and this is how …”. Finally, ideally we would like to be informed of any changes of law relevant to our industry.

How to get a Meeting with You

Kathryn: Let’s be honest, for a lot of attendees, the biggest goal for INTA is to get a meeting with someone in your position whom they do not currently work for. How would one of my clients be able to convince you to meet with them when you already have counsel in their country?

Myrtha: Let’s put it this way, most often we accept to meet people when there has been a referral from someone else in the industry. Given how regulated our industry is, it is important for us to find people that have proven experience and knowledge.

Also, table topics. I have been to a couple in the past where I have been impressed by people on the basis of how they talk, how they structure what they say, how they share things, and how candid they are during these sessions. I will make notes of people that impress me and call upon them if I need a second opinion or I need to tackle a complex issue in their jurisdiction.

Kathryn: Interesting. Has there ever been a time where you accepted to meet with someone based on an email?

Myrtha: The thing is you cannot send one standard email for everyone and expect a response. I think it’s probably self evident to say this but perhaps not because I get thousands of these emails. If you are directing your email to a pharmaceutical company, you need to say, in one paragraph, why you are a law firm that is able to handle pharmaceutical work. We are not interested in hearing that you will have ten representatives at INTA, and you are ranked so and so and are fantastic and have lately been on a winning streak. If I get “caught up” by an email, it is going to say, “We know you are the Head of the Trademark Group. Our Firm has an expertise in this domain and we deem we can help you with x in our jurisdiction”. Best case scenario, the writer includes information about a recent case they have won for a client who is also in my industry or somehow shows that they have regulatory knowledge, which is a decisive factor for us, If I see an email like that, then I say, “You know what? This guy is representing another pharma company and they have all the things I am looking for in a law firm. I should keep them in mind.” I respond well to people who come across as flexible, proactive, dynamic and want to share their successes, provided they are relevant. I will certainly keep these people’s names in mind and will often respond personally and say, “At the moment we have an agent in your jurisdiction, but we will keep your name on file in case I need a second opinion or I need to change agents.”

These people, if they are smart enough, will not insist on having a meeting with me at INTA. If I meet them at an informal event, and they come up to me and say, “I am the guy who sent you the email. Good to meet you.” I will remember that person.

Why Focusing Matters

Kathryn: That’s a great example. SC&C works together with its clients to show up at INTA focused and prepared. We work on identifying their ideal clients and the area of their practice they are committed to grow this year. If they make their list short enough, then they can have the time to do the type of research that results in the kinds of emails and meetings you are talking about.

Myrtha: Exactly, I have given similar advice to people that are trying to grow their business. I always ask, “Are you committed to focusing on a specific area?” If you really want to focus on the pharmaceutical industry then you have to go to PTMG. And if you go to PTMG, make sure you don’t go alone as a managing partner, but bring the people that actually do the work with you. I want to see your Team.

You need to convince in-house counsel that you know your stuff and don’t push for work immediately. Just try to work on an open, human relationship first. And then try to go from there. The people that have pushed for work, they sometimes get it, but the relationship is never as long term as those who patiently meet 2 to 3 times before receiving work. It’s having the right balance between getting in touch and not being too pushy. From time to time, when you really have something concrete to share that could be of interest, share it with a potential client. They might be interested.

Find more: Tips For INTA Meetings: What In-House Counsel Want

Tips For INTA Meetings: What In-House Counsel Want

Tips For INTA Meetings: What In-House Counsel Want

As I work with my clients to prepare them to get the best return on investment from INTA, two questions often come up: “How do I get a meeting with in-house counsel?” and “How do I make the most of a meeting with in-house counsel?”. In addition to SC&C’s usual tips for making the most out of business development activities – setting goals, narrowing the target audience and preparing in advance – here are some tips I gathered while interviewing Myrtha Hurtado Rivas, Global Head Trademarks, Domain Names & Copyright, Novartis Pharma AG about her goals for INTA. Click here to read Part 1 of that entire interview.

1. DON’T send generic emails asking for a meeting.

Myrtha Hurtado confirmed what many of us already know; in-house counsel ignore impersonal emails requesting a meeting.

2. DO consider sending personalized, in depth emails to your target dream clients.

What might come as a surprise is that emails that are personalized to the recipient, show an understanding of the issues faced by that person, indicate specifically how the sender can help and why they are the best choice, are well received and the senders noted, even when it is otherwise a “cold call”.

3. DO attend INTA Table Topics.

In-house counsel attend and sometimes moderate Table Topics addressing their area of interest. You should too. Come prepared to speak knowledgeably and do share your views. It will help you get noticed.

4. DON’T wait for in-house counsel to bring up issues at meetings.

Come prepared to acknowledge what did not go well over the last year. Follow it up with what measures you have taken and why it won’t happen again. In-house counsel will appreciate your initiative and your pro-activity will likely over shadow any past failures or weaknesses.

5. DO come to meetings prepared to discuss how you have improved efficiencies.

The number one thing on the mind of many in-house counsel is efficiency and cost effectiveness. When Myrtha Hurtado meets with her Agents at INTA she wants to know what processes and tools they have put into place over the last year that have increased efficiency. Firms that address this point without being asked get extra points, especially when they then offer to pass the cost savings on to the client.

6. DON’T push for a meeting or to receive work.

Remember that, on average, it can take 5-12 “touches” before a contact becomes a client. If you are not successful in getting a meeting with in-house counsel through your personalized and relevant email (Point #2 above), Ms. Hurtado suggests approaching them at less formal events and reminding them of your email while pursuing a more human connection. Follow up by email from time to time when you really have something concrete to share that would be of interest to the potential client. They might be interested.

7. DO be ready to share stories, anecdotes, opinions that will be of interest to your target audience.

It might sound like a bit much but, the more you prepare, the more you will come across as natural and authentic on the day. And don’t under estimate the power of asking informed questions. In-house counsel wants to know that you care about how to serve them better.

8. DO bring your Team with you.

Myrtha Hurtado and her Team want to meet with the people that actually do their work. If this is not possible, ensure you meet with your Team before you go so you are up to date on all issues that might arise during your planned meetings.

9. DO spend time and effort on the relationship with your existing in-house clients and contacts.

Of course, we all want satisfied customers. If you need an additional reason to strengthen your relationships with existing clients, keep in mind that they are your best source for referrals. Myrtha notes that this is especially true in highly regulated industries where experience is appreciated. Her number one resource when looking for new counsel is the pool of colleagues within her industry.

P.S.

Wishing all of you a successful and enjoyable Conference. See you in San Diego!

 

How can SC&C help?

Do you need help getting better return on your investment from conference attendance? SC&C can help. Please contact me at kathryn@sccignites.com or on +1 647 978 5502 to find out more.

As always, we would love to hear from you! Please leave your comments below. Feel free to post this article on LinkedIn, forward it or tweet it using the icons below.

Business Development Resolutions for 2015

Setting Business Development Resolutions for 2015:

Why and How It Works

Welcome to 2015! It is a new year and a fresh start. What do you want for your practice this year? How will you achieve it?This post is about setting some W.A.Y. S.M.A.R.T. business development resolutions for yourself and your Team for greater success in 2015.

1. Why Setting Resolutions/Goals Works:

When you make a resolution or identify a goal you are setting an intention. As noted by Elena Aguilar in her post Setting Intentions: A Powerful Tool To Help Us Learn , when you set an intention, you are more likely to make choices to support that intention throughout the year. In other words, it is easier to get what you want if you know what you want.

 

2. What Your Goals Should Look Like:

 

In addition to being S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound), your goals should be WAY SMART, (Written, Aligned (to your firm’s goals) and Yours (i.e. personally motivating)). As a simple example, if you have an interest in social media and gaming and your Firm has a goal of increasing their U.S. clientele, perhaps one of your goals this year is to win 2 new U.S. clients in the gaming/social media industry by September.

 

3. Choose a List of “Targets”:

 

Make a list of people you intend to meet/contact/reach during the year that can help you achieve the goals you have set. First, do the research. Some examples include, determining who else in your network has useful contacts; making a list of ideal clients in this category; finding out who represents the potential clients in their country of origin; etc.. Then make a short list of 5-20 “targets” to focus on throughout the year.

 

4. Narrow Your Focus For Better Results:

 

Given our busy “day jobs” we only have so much time and money available for business development (“BD”). Use the majority of your resources this year to reach your goals. This doesn’t mean you will not pursue other new business, however, by taking this more focused approach, you will be much more effective and more likely to see results.

 

5. Choose the Right Activities to Support Your Goals:

 

Now that you are focused in on specific goals and a target audience, planning your annual BD schedule and budget for maximum return on investment will be a piece of cake. Do you attend conferences? Take the time to research which events and activities are likely to attract your target audience this year and plan to attend. Do you like to write? Plan to write three articles of interest to your target audience this year; publish them, post them, and send them by email throughout the year.

 

6. Measure Your Success:

 

Set yourself benchmarks throughout the year and take stock of your progress at these times. How many of your targets have you been in touch with? How many times? Have you scheduled the conferences and/or marketing visits you planned? How are those articles going? Congratulate yourself on progress made.

 

7. Keep Yourself Motivated and On Track:

 

We all know that it is very easy to allow our BD efforts to fall by the wayside once the files start stacking up on our desk or our management responsibilities take over. Finding ways to make yourself accountable to others can help keep you on track. Some examples include:

  • Consider sharing your business development goals with other members of your Team and seeking their ideas and support at monthly BD meetings;
  • Involve your internal or external BD manager in overseeing research, strategy, reminders and updates to help you meet your goals;
  • Put reminders in your calendar;
  • Hire a business development coach to remind you of why your goals are personally important to you and to keep you motivated throughout the year.

 

P.S.

SC&C | Taking IP Practices Further would like to take this opportunity to wish you much happiness and (business development) success in 2015! We look forward to continuing to Step In to help you Step Out into new markets and strategies, Step Up your business development game and Step Ahead of your competition toward greater excellence and success.

 

How can SC&C help?

If you would like help formulating, tracking and implementing your Business Development Strategy for 2015, please contact me at kathryn@sccignites.comor on +1 647 978 5502 to find out how SC&C can help.

 

As always, we would love to hear from you! What has been your experience with setting business development goals for the year? What has worked? What hasn’t? Please leave your comments below. As always, feel free to post this article on LinkedIn, forward it or tweet it using the icons below.

Kathryn

Converting Contacts Into Clients: 5 Tips For Effective Follow Up

In the last post, Do You Have A Follow Up Strategy For INTA, we talked about the importance of having a long-term follow-up strategy for converting the contacts you made into clients. In this post, we give you some tips on what should be included in your follow up to make it effective.

So you have chosen your 5-10 prospects and created a follow-up strategy to turn those contacts into clients over the next year. Now what?

Based on the rule that it takes 5-12 “touches” to turn a prospect into a client (discussed in our last post) you may have some work to do. Three months after an event is a good time to again consider getting in touch. But what do you say? Whether you decide to connect on LinkedIn, send an email, pick up the phone or meet in person, every follow up should be an attempt to remind, showcase, be useful and include a call to action.  Here are some tips that have proved effective for many of my clients.  (Notice that sending an impersonal email attaching your fee schedule is not listed).

1. Make It Relevant:
Before getting in touch or meeting up again, spend some time to take a look at your prospect’s LinkedIn profile or scan their website to ensure your follow up is as relevant as possible.  This may also give you some ideas for content or conversation.

2. Make It Personal:
If possible, mention something personal (like a hobby or something they expressed an interest in during your last conversation).  This makes follow up more authentic and more likely to illicit response.

3. Make It Count:
Use the opportunity to subtly showcase why you and your firm are different then your peers.  Attach an article about a recent win, mention a course you went to in their country, weave in some information about some recent work you have been doing that may be relevant to them.

4. Make It Matter:
If possible, include an educational aspect to your follow up.  For example, provide links to blogs, articles, news stories in your written follow up or mention that you have been thinking of something they raised when you spoke last and offer a solution you have identified.

5. Make It A Call To Action:
Keeping in mind the 5-12 rule, your follow up should include a call for future follow up.  Ask them if they (or one of their colleagues) will be attending the next conference you are going to; ask them if you can add them to your firm’s mailing list; offer to come to their offices to give a presentation.

How Can We Help?
If you would like help turning your contacts into clients, please contact me at kathryn@sccignites.comto find out how SC&C can help.
P.S.
If you think any of your prospects could benefit from this post, why not use it as an excuse for follow up? To reach your broader network, use the icons below to tweet it or post it in on Facebook and LinkedIn.

As always, we would love to hear from you! Do you have any tips for successful follow up? Or, any feedback on ours? Please leave your comments below.

Kathryn

Do You Have A Follow Up Strategy for INTA? More Tips on Increasing Your Return On Investment

I hope you had a very successful conference and found SC&C’s Top 10 Tips for Increasing Your Success at INTA helpful. This post is about Tip #9: Follow Up.

Many of you will have already followed up with the contacts/clients/friends you met with at INTA this year. Perhaps you have already been successful in turning some prospects into business. If not, don’t despair! By putting a simple Follow Up Strategy in place, you can continue to see concrete results from the significant investment of your time and money in INTA.

80% of Prospects Convert Into Customers After the 5th Contact

The blog post entitled “Following Up Is Critical for Lawyers, from Attorney Profit LLC notes that “[a]ccording to the National Sales Executive Association, 80% of all client relationships begin on the 5th-12th contact.” As emphasized in that post, when it comes to developing business, consistent follow up is key. But, how do you follow up in a way that is manageable, effective and doesn’t leave you feeling like a pushy salesperson?

These ideas for creating and implementing your Follow Up Strategy can help:

1. Keep It Focused:

Choose a manageable list of prospects (5-10) for whom you commit to creating and implementing a Follow Up Strategy. These should be people that will help you fulfill the goals and reach the desired outcomes identified in your conference or annual business development strategy.

2. Have a System:

It’s important to have a tool that can help you keep track of your prospects. In other words, you need a customer relationship management (CRM) system. There are many types of software out there that can help. If you have nothing in place yet, you can accomplish the same thing (on an interim basis) with an excel spreadsheet.

3. Put It In Your Calendar:

Set reminders for yourself for when you commit to following up with each of your 5-10 contacts. Consider carving out 20 minutes each day for follow up and staying connected.

4. Use the Support of Your Team:

The rest of your Team can provide support, encouragement and will hold you accountable. Plan monthly meetings where you each report on your individual follow up strategies: what you have done, what you plan to do and the success you have enjoyed to date. (Serve drinks and canapés at such meetings if you really want to bring back that INTA feeling!)

5. Use LinkedIn as a Tool:

Spend some time on LinkedIn on a regular basis (see point #3 above). You will find lots of reasons for getting in touch with someone, whether it is to congratulate them on a new position, forward them a recent post or comment on one of their posts.

6. Keep Track of Your Success:

Use your CRM system to track your success on goals and the desired outcomes you have identified for each of your prospects. Take a reading at the three-month and six-month mark and announce results to the whole Team. Success motivates success.

7. Hire an Inside or Outside BD Person Who Will Oversee Your Follow Up Strategy:

For best results, put one person in charge of overseeing the firm Follow Up Strategy. This person can ensure that follow up is accomplished and can track success in a meaningful way. Delegate this important task to someone outside your Team who can motivate you, support you and who understands your business. Fee earners time should be reserved for business development activities that absolutely require their personal involvement.

8. Get Some Coaching:

Coaching can help keep you motivated and energized by reminding you of what you have to personally gain from formulating and implementing a tailor-made Follow Up Strategy.

How Can We Help?

If you would like help formulating and implementing a Follow Up Strategy for you and your Firm, please contact me at kathryn@sccignites.comto find out more.

P.S.

If you think others could benefit from this post, use the icons below to tweet it or post it in on Facebook and LinkedIn.

As always, we would love to hear from you! Do you have any tips for successful follow up? Or, any feedback on ours? Please leave your comments below.

Kathryn

Increase Your Success at INTA | Top Ten (Last Minute) Tips

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Consider these last-minute tips for increasing your return on investment at this year’s annual INTA Conference.

1. Show up with Purpose:

Before arriving at INTA, take the time to set yourself some specific goals.  Which geographical markets do you want to target this year? What kind of work do you want more of?  Turn vague goals of “maintaining existing clients and winning new work” into narrow and achievable goals that you can focus in on.  It’s time for an INTA Strategy.

2. Know your Objectives: 

Once you have your goals, identify concrete objectives that will signal your success.  You will be surprised by how the simple act of identifying desired outcomes will focus you, reduce your stress and increase your success.

3. Know your Key Messages: 

We all know that the key to successful branding is differentiating yourself from your competitors and conveying this in a consistent way.  Take the time to determine or remind yourself of your firm’s unique selling points and then look for opportunities to subtly convey them during the conference.

4.  Be Prepared: 

Set yourself up for success before your meetings by researching the people you are meeting with, their firm/company, and the issues they may face in your jurisdiction.   They will appreciate the effort and you will come across as a knowledgeable and trustworthy advisor.

5.  Stick to your Strengths: 

Successful business development is all about making genuine connections.  Whether you like to fly solo or work better as a team, whether you prefer one-on-one meetings or the buzz of a cocktail reception – seek out situations where you are at your best and can be genuine.

6.  Be Interested and Interesting:

Show up at INTA prepared to connect with people about what is going on in their part of the world.  (For example, if you don’t already do so, skim the summaries on the first few pages of the Economist on your way to Hong Kong; if you are a football fan, know who to avoid the topic of World Cup qualification with(!)).  Do whatever it takes to arrive at the Conference prepared to discuss (both talk AND listen) about something other than people’s travel schedules.

7.  Plant the Seeds: 

During your meetings or chance encounters, listen for opportunities to keep in touch. Keeping in touch allows you to become known to a person, gain their trust and establish credibility – the key elements to winning someone’s business.  Your keeping in touch email will have even more impact if it is the fulfillment of an undertaking you made during your conversation at the Conference.

8. Take Notes: 

I am sure that most of you will agree that INTA conferences are a blur.  Once back in the office it is difficult to remember anything that was said in any detail.  Taking the time to write notes on the back of business cards, whether it be in the taxi between receptions or at night back in your hotel room, can make all the difference between fruitful and unfruitful follow up.

9. Follow up: 

All too often, INTA attendees leave potential clients in the pipeline because they fail to follow up in a consistent manner.  If you have followed tips 1-8 above, you will likely have a list of people you met at INTA, with information about what you spoke about and an idea of how your firm can help them.  Maximize your significant personal and financial investment in INTA and build a follow up strategy for the year.

10.  Take Care of Yourself:

Finally, it is difficult to convey your strengths, appear prepared and genuinely connect with people if you are feeling frazzled, tired and edgy.  Leave time for maintaining some of your regular habits that will center and calm you.   Fitting in a morning walk, going for a massage or calling your family will likely be more important to your INTA success then squeezing in one more reception.

P.S.

Wishing all of you a successful and enjoyable conference.  I hope to see you there!

If you would like to know how SC&C can help you significantly increase your return on investment in conferences and other business development activities, do not hesitate to contact me at kathryn@sccignites.com or call me on +1 647 978 5502 to find out more.

Business Development Success For IP Lawyers: Why Coaching Works

Business Development Success For IP Lawyers: Why Coaching Works

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Any firm’s BD strategy must include training of their sales people (i.e. their professionals). However, without business development coaching to support it, firms may see little results from the time and money invested. During my 15 years in private practice as a trademark lawyer, I attended a number of business development workshops and training sessions. I came away with lots of plans and intentions. Then I got back to my desk, back to my client work, and failed to come up with a personal strategy, failed to put action items into my calendar and failed to follow through on my plans. Does this sound familiar?

Business Development Coaching Can Make the Difference

Through one-on-one sessions, usually lasting 45 minutes to an hour and ideally taking place every two weeks, a business development coach will give you the time and tools to turn what was an ad hoc approach to business development into a personalized strategy that is purposeful, motivating and, ultimately successful.

Here is why it works:

1. One Size Does Not Fit All:

Your coach helps you to discover your strengths, your personal style and what could be successful for YOU. Business development is all about connecting. Where do you do that best?

2. What Is In It For You?

Coaching drills down to discover what could be personally motivating about getting more business and helps you identify what that new business should look like. Why is business development important to YOU and the enjoyment of your day-to-day practice?

3. A Personal Strategy:

Coaching helps you to formulate a strategy for success based on your strengths and what motivates you. How much more effective could you be with concrete goals and specific desired outcomes tailored just for you?

4. Accountability:

Without accountability, coaching would just be a pleasant conversation. Your coach is there to support you and to remind you of your goals, your strengths and your personal reasons for why it is important for you to succeed.

5. Takes the Stress Out:

With a plan in place and concrete steps to follow, you know you are doing all that you can. How much more will you enjoy the next conference when you have a business development “to do” list and all items have been checked for the day?

6. Celebrate It:

Coaching not only gives you the space to celebrate your successes and take stock of your accomplishments, it also allows you to know when you are living your life the way you want to be. Feelings of success will only breed more success.

The Numbers to Prove it

My clients have reported that receiving business development coaching, when it supports a concrete Firm business development strategy, has increased their return on investment from conferences by at least 20-30%. Individual professionals report feeling less stressed, more focused and clearer about their goals.

Don’t Just Take My Word For It

A study commissioned by the International Coaching Federation and conducted independently by PricewaterhouseCoopers documents the many benefits experienced by coaching clients. Read it here

How Can We Help?

If you would like to STEP UP your business development game with a firm strategy and/or one-on-one coaching, contact me at kathryn@sccignites.com or call me on +1 647 978 5502 to find out more. Coaching can be done over the phone or by skype and is often more effective by those methods then in person.

Kathryn Szymczyk

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Brochures are Dead: How to Build Professional Credibility and Reputation Online

Brochures are Dead: How to Build Professional Credibility and Reputation Online

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Many of my clients ask me for assistance in updating their promotional materials.  This often includes reviewing an expensive and often outdated brochure and a website that does little more than reproduce the same information.  The intention is a valid one – to convey the credibility and professionalism of the firm. However, such forms of promotion leave potential clients with little information about what they really want to know, namely, your level of expertise and what it might be like to work with you.

Instead of hiding behind a brochure, why not invest your resources in creating an accessible and credible online personality for you and your firm?  In today’s world, where so much useful and current advice is at our clients’ fingertips, we must work harder to push our authority within our practice area and reach the audience we care about.

Here are some tips for doing just that:

1. You Need to Know Who You Are in Order to Promote It

Identify what differentiates you from your competitors (i.e. what you want to be known for) and then turn that into 3-5 key messages which should inform everything you write and present online.

2. Know Where Your Clients Are and What They Want to Hear

Identify your key target audience and write a profile for each identifiable group or category, including how they can be reached online.

3. Speak Directly To Your Key Audience

Ensure your website is organized in a way that speaks to your key target audience (e.g. by industry group) as opposed to being organized based on law school course names.

4. Be Current and Responsive

Provide current and useful content on your website and ensure your clients are given multiple methods for contacting your professionals directly for an immediate response.

5. Use Social Media

Social media is a great way to form more personal relationships with your target audiences and to raise your profile as an expert in a particular field.

6. Are you blogging yet?

What better way to build credibility and foster connection then broadcasting examples of your work and style? The content of an individual post can be short as long as it is useful. Even your latest opinion letter to a client can and should be recycled into a post.

Look out…

For future posts that will further explore these general tips.  In the meantime, see you all online!

For more suggestions and assistance on how to STEP UP your business development initiatives, whether it be online or otherwise, contact SC&C at info@sccignites.com or Kathryn Szymczyk, the Director of SC&C at kathryn@sccignites.com

We would love to hear from you

Do you have any additional suggestions? Does anyone want to argue in defense of the hard copy brochure? We would love to hear from you. Please reply below.

P.S. Pass it on

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About SC&C: Our Team of coaches, facilitators, and trainers work with lawyers and firms to build their capacity to bring in bigger and better business, leading to a more profitable and satisfying practice. Based in Canada, with ties around the world, we can help you where you are to build the international clientele that you want. Contact us at info@sccignites.com.