Four Steps to Originations: Creating A Successful Business Development Plan For Lawyers

I help lawyers to be the best business originators they can be. Based on my 48 years as a lawyer, I have devised an easy-to-understand four step process to maximize a lawyer’s business. This works well for lawyers at all stages, whether very senior partners or young associates, and whether at a large or small law firm or even in solo practice.


As a business development coach, here are the steps my clients and I follow:

1. We start by making a careful assessment of the lawyer’s strengths and weaknesses, and practice areas. Is the lawyer a great speaker? A great writer? An effective networker? Effective in small or one-on-one meetings? Adept at social media? What are the lawyer’s and the law firm’s areas of practice? Once we make this assessment, we can develop a marketing plan that capitalizes on the lawyer’s strengths and is consistent with their and their law firm’s practices.

2. We create a PLAN. Without a PLAN it is only chaos. The PLAN must remain flexible and not be engraved in concrete as we learn what works for the lawyer and what does not. The PLAN will address the following eight topics: (1) meetings with existing clients, (2) meetings with existing referral sources, (3) meetings with potential clients, (4) meetings with potential referral sources, (5) public speaking, (6) writing and publishing articles, (7) use of social media like Linkedin, and (8) taking advantage of ad hoc opportunities.

3. As a coach, I will work with the lawyers to help them stick to the plan by executing the tasks that it contains. I do this on a very granular level such as by role playing a scheduled meeting with a potential client or reviewing a proposal to be furnished to a prospective client.

4. After each interaction by the lawyer, we will jointly assess what was successful and what failed, and why. We explore what, if anything, could the lawyer have done differently? And, based on this information, we will identify additional business development opportunities to be pursued and how to maximize the likelihood of success.

The business development PLAN is always evolving based on lessons learned. I stand side-by-side with the lawyers through scheduled sessions to help them successfully execute their PLANS. I know from experience that this process works. For example, one current client raised his originations in about three years from $400,000 to $2.3 million.

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If you are interested in coaching from Marc, please contact him by phone or email.