Business Development Coach to Lawyers and others providing professional services
We have all had coaches in our lives. They are people that had an impact. In a caring sense it was likely your parents or grandparents, or that wise aunt. In your education, it was likely a particular teacher that encouraged you to do better. Early in your career you likely had someone take you under their wing. Later in your career someone may have developed into your mentor.
Being good at what you do doesn’t ensure success. Being good is a given. For a lawyer, accountant or other professional, as your personal coach I will work with you to help grow your practice with marketing and business development focused on client retention and winning new clients.
There are few coaches that solely focus on business development – helping you develop a practice of good quality clients. A good coach would have ‘been there, done that’ and act as a role model due to their experience. I am that coach.
I am one of the most experienced lawyer coach and coach to other professionals in Canada focused exclusively with business development.
With a business development coach certain outcomes will be:
- An approach that is strategic and focused
- A simple but effective objectives plan with key actions
- Having an accountability team (you and the coach) to keep your efforts aligned to your objectives plan
- Having someone who challenges your thinking
- Learning from the real-life business development experiences of the coach
- Someone ‘on call’ to provide guidance on opportunities.
Many of my clients initially ask: how can I be a Lawyer Coach when I am a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA)? The answer is simple. The business development principals, which I have honed throughout my career, are the same. In fact, over 90% of my business development coaching is with lawyers, so I am doing something they recognize and appreciate. In addition, for many years I was a litigation support and forensic specialist working extensively with lawyers.
My Approach to Coaching:
I do not take an ‘off-the-shelf’ or ‘cookie cutter’ approach. Nor does my coaching use a generic methodology. I don’t apply a package that is based on unuseable theory from coaching courses. It’s practical and based on my actual business development experience of winning new clients and keeping existing ones happy. Every Lawyer and other professional is unique, so is my coaching approach with each.
For clients in the Toronto area, I will generally do the coaching via video call with periodic in-person sessions. For clients in other areas of Canada and the United States, I will do the sessions via video call. All sessions are one hour.
My first coaching session is focused on getting to know one another. Also, during this session, I explore your experience with business development including likely skills, strengths and apprehensions (e.g. a fear of mingling at events; not liking public speaking).
As the coaching sessions move forward, I address matters needed to be most effective. Also, at the end of each sessions we agree practical and manageable actions to be accomplished before the next session.
Away Day facilitator for Lawyers and Accountants
I am an experienced Away Day Facilitator for small and mid-size law firms and accounting firms. I establish the agenda working with the firm’s leadership and in some cases conduct one-on-one meetings with others in the firm and possibly pre retreat questionnaires. The end result of this process is a highly focused away day.
I will use a combination of facilitated group discussions, breakout sessions and individual ‘in the moment’ exercises. With the retreat team there could be a realistic look at the firm or practice area strengths and weaknesses. Other content could include other areas such as strategy plans; communications; team collaboration; consideration of team structures; and client service standards. This realistic look is often combined with an assessment of competition and positioning in the marketplace. As appropriate the topic of ‘leadership succession’ may be included.
Having been a Partner in two different accounting firms during my career, I bring a unique prospective to away day facilitation – having managed clients; dealt with high level complex specialist cases; experience of working on committees and management boards; and held senior business development positions. I have successfully facilitated retreats for mid-size professional firms. This unique experience allows me to ‘cut through the fog and clutter’ to identify the real issues; challenge retreat participants; and put the participants and firms on an objectives-based action plan.
In many situations I have provided on-going support through coaching for certain individuals, including certain members of the leadership team, to encourage actions and advance objectives. I have also conducted small discussion-based seminars such as Lunch N’ Learns as a refresher of elements of the retreat outcomes. In addition, in many cases I became an on-going mentor to the firm’s managing partner.