By Lauren Osborne, TLD Law
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it's more important than ever to have firm and specific attorney business development goals, as well as ensuring accountability processes are kept in place for those goals to be met. One way to do this is through developing "SMART" (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant & Time-based) goals, along with gamification.
With attorneys working from home, this is a great opportunity to ignite their competitive nature by engaging them in a play-to-win culture, while keeping them connected. Firms are looking to marketing and business development teams to raise spirits and keep firms motivated, as well as to keep firms on track with their revenue goals.
In February 2020, at the National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms (NAMWOLF) Driving Diversity Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Jamie Cotera and Aleesha Kahn, consultants and co-founders of Compass Legal Marketing, presented "Making Your Business Development Game a Field of Dreams: Spring Training Tools to Take Back to Your Firm." In the presentation, they shared three tips for using SMART goals and gamification to engage teams and help them reach their business development goals:
Use SMART Goals
- Business development plans should be short, manageable and follow the SMART goals format.
- Lawyers love SMART goals because they are not looking at a long document that feels overwhelming — they can categorize, put things into lists and check them off when tasks are complete.
- An example of a SMART goal is: Join the Chamber of Commerce and attend four events over the next year, with the goal of meeting business owners.
Use Gamification — Make It a Game or Challenge
- This tool is best used when your team needs a little extra motivation.
- Game ideas include popular formats such as Family Feud, Jeopardy or Bingo, and could be as simple as setting up a leaderboard with a race to the top that the whole team can participate in. Whichever team member reaches 50 points first over a two week period wins a trophy, gift card or simply bragging rights. Assign points for different business development tasks, i.e. points for:
- meeting with a referral source (1 point)
- adding a new LinkedIn connection (1 point)
- check-in call to a client (2 points)
- online review (5 points)
- new client (5 points)
- Workplaces that use gamification are known to have less turnover and improved productivity.
Get Client Feedback
- Client feedback is important in today’s competitive market.
- The program will depend on the firm's goal, size, resources and budget.
- Client feedback can be done by phone, online or in person once stay-at-home orders are lifted.
- The legal industry has been slower to implement this than other industries, but there has been a big increase in requesting feedback at law firms as of late. This practice is often referred to as client feedback, client listening or client surveys.
- There are two types of client feedback:
- The lawyer working on the matter checks in frequently throughout the matter’s life.
- A client listening approach where specific questions are asked to gather information. Data is then taken back to the firm and used to improve overall service. This can be done by a managing partner of a firm, a marketing team member or a third party.
Keep in mind that while COVID-19 is still around, client feedback should be focused around how lawyers can help their clients through this difficult time. It is also important to consider who will implement these tools at your firm. Having a dedicated person to keep the whole team accountable is essential, whether it be a member of the marketing team, another staff member or an outside consultant.
Lauren Osborne is the Business Development Officer at TLD Law, located in Long Beach & Irvine, California. She also serves as the secretary of the LMA Southern California Local Steering Committee.