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If you want to feel like a toad, meet up with an image and style consultant on Casual Friday. This was how I felt when I met Devoreaux Walton for coffee recently.
Devoreaux had introduced herself after a presentation I gave on “Getting Past the ‘Ick Factor’ in Marketing,” and it was easy to see why she’s a style consultant. Perfectly dressed and coiffed, she exudes a poise and confidence that, were she not so warm and friendly, might cause resentment among the slightly less poised and coiffed (speaking hypothetically, of course).
I wanted to pick her brain about the intersection of professional style and business development. True, nobody’s hiring a lawyer solely because he or she is well-dressed. But there’s no denying that looking the part plays a role in a lawyer’s ability to make rain.
They can be challenging, time-consuming and an exercise in frustration. But many clients find them helpful as part of managing their relationships with outside counsel. RFPs help clients narrow the number of outside counsel used, control costs and outline key considerations of a relationship between the client and its law firm.
Ideally, you can manage all of those things without having to respond to a formal RFP. But in many companies, the procurement department or the legal operations team require their outside counsel to participate in the RFP process. So, should you find yourself with an RFP on your desk, these steps can lessen the challenges of preparing your response:
Big law firms have more resources – including money, staff, and lawyers – than boutiques, small firms and solos. But small firms have the ability to make quick decisions, pursue marketing initiatives that would give big firms intestinal distress, and generally be more agile than big firms.
Small law firms should use those assets to their advantage when creating marketing and business development initiatives, says Deborah Grabein, Director of Business Development at Andrews Kurth Kenyon. Deborah has spent her career building and rebuilding business development programs at some of the best known firms in the country.
In our last post, Deborah shared some BigLaw business development tips that can be used by any firm or lawyer, regardless of firm size. In this post, she shares some ideas to help small firms turn their perceived weakness into a business development strength.