A new ‘sales’ team?February 2022
Historically marketing for law firms has focussed on events. Being a relationship-based business its logical that lawyers want to spend as much face-to-face time with their clients as possible to build up knowledge of how individuals and businesses like to work, what they are focussed on and how their practices are looking to grow – these are all nuggets of information that lawyers relish.
However, notwithstanding Covid, the environment has been changing. The advent of social media, a more intense connection to the press, and a push to demonstrate how connected lawyers are to their markets, has seen an increase in pressure on lawyers to become less inward and more outward looking.
Marketing teams are constantly looking for Thought Leadership pieces to post, placements at speaking opportunities and a willingness to share their expertise and experience with their in-house teams. Lawyers are now having to learn how to ‘sell.’ This is not necessarily a natural state for a lawyer. PR and presentation training is now the norm for senior lawyers but, in my experience, it is not easy for them. By nature, a lawyer is analytical, focussed and less gregarious than they may now need to be. It’s tough but it’s the new way of marketing and they will need to adapt.
In this hot legal recruitment market, we are seeing firms looking for an ability to present and an openness to engage in this new ‘sales’ environment. The traditional interest on a CV for the ‘I was part of the debating team at University’ is being replaced with a desire for candidates who edited the student paper or ran the induction programmes for new students. Don’t get me wrong, the City is still awash with lawyers in restaurants and bars ‘pressing the flesh,’ but it’s a more sophisticated and rounded marketing role these days.