Lawyers have a funny relationship with the word 'sales'. They like the business that comes in as a result of sales, but they're not too keen on doing the selling themselves. Conceptually, this poses a bit of a conundrum. The product that all law firms sell is their fee-earners' knowledge, but somehow for a lot of firms, the selling of this product falls under the remit of business development or marketing teams.
Fusion is needed. Business Development and Marketing teams need to empower their fee-earners to showcase their product, or rather their expertise, to their market. This starts with two things:
1. Giving the lawyers a means of demonstrating their knowledge to the people that will be buying it.
2. Effectively explaining to the lawyers why they should be doing this. If done correctly, they'll be engaging for their own benefit, not for the benefit of their colleagues in the marketing department.
Those who perform the services also have to sell them. As is the case with other “credence goods,” personal selling has historically been the most significant element in the marketing of legal services. Even with all the changes that the legal industry is facing right now, most lawyers are still getting a lot of their work through personal referrals from people in their relationship networks. I can’t look into a crystal ball and say whether or not that will change in any material way in the future, but at the moment, to have the best chance at attracting and retaining clients and work, in the traditional law practice setting, the lawyers who are performing the services also have to be involved in selling them.