Is your firm’s growth potential being limited by a focus on smaller clients? Data suggests this is a common challenge for many midsize and even some large law firms. Lawyers are the driving force behind business development, and their ability to target and secure higher-value clients is pivotal to a firm’s success. Let’s explore proven strategies for empowering lawyers to attract high-value clients.

Common Challenges in Helping Lawyers Focus on High-Value Clients

Business development and talent development professionals often face hurdles in guiding lawyers toward higher-level clients. Some of these challenges include:

  • Lack of Effective BD Strategy: Many lawyers lack a clear and well-defined business development strategy. Therefore, they are often unable to identify and pursue ideal clients.
  • Resistance to Narrowing Focus: Lawyers often hesitate to specialize, fearing they might miss out on potential opportunities (FOMO). This can lead to pursuing a scattered mix of suboptimal leads.
  • Short-Term Orientation: Lawyers tend to focus on immediate results rather than adopting a long-term perspective on business development. This can lead to transactional approaches and impatience.
  • Reluctance and Mindset Issues: Many lawyers are uncomfortable with business development due to various reasons, including a lack of confidence or discomfort with self-promotion.
  • Misunderstanding of Rainmaking Styles: Lawyers often don’t recognize their natural rainmaking style, including their rainmaking strengths and limitations, or how to effectively connect with potential clients who have different buying styles.

Strategies for Empowering Lawyers to Attract High-Value Clients

A multifaceted approach is essential to successfully guiding lawyers toward higher-value clients. These proven strategies encompass strategy development, coaching, training, accountability, and a shift in mindset to empower lawyers and drive firm growth.

  1. Help Each Lawyer Develop a Solid BD Strategy:

  • Help Understand BD as a Framework: Help lawyers move away from viewing BD as a series of isolated tasks or occasional events. Instead, emphasize that BD is a holistic framework that integrates with their daily work and long-term goals. At LeadWise Group, we developed our proprietary framework that helps guide lawyers through the complexities of legal business development. Each of the elements of the framework is supported by processes, tools, and templates to take the guesswork out of BD. 

  • Provide Guidance: Asking lawyers to develop their annual BD plans without providing them with the necessary guidance is like asking them to sail across an ocean without a map or compass. Make sure that you have resources on hand that show lawyers how to define their BD strategy by considering factors such as their practice area, ideal clients, industry, company size, geographic locations, and specific legal needs. 
  • Embed Cross-collaboration: Fostering a culture of collaboration is key to enhancing business development efforts. Encourage lawyers to share their knowledge and experiences. One of the biggest obstacles to effective cross-collaboration in firms is the lawyers’ lack of understanding of their colleagues’ practice areas, ideal clients, and value propositions. Create opportunities for your lawyers to get to know each other and learn about each other’s practices. 
  1. Take the Coaching Approach:

  • Avoid Dictating: Simply telling your lawyers what to do is often not enough to motivate them to take action. Rather, your goal is to gain their buy-in. Focus on fostering a growth mindset and empowering them to take ownership of their BD efforts. That means helping them overcome any mindset issues like discomfort with self-promotion, scarcity mentality, FOMO, or imposter syndrome. 
  • Ask Open-Ended Questions: Encourage lawyers to reflect on their strengths, weaknesses, and goals. Help them identify opportunities for improvement and develop strategies that align with their individual practice areas and interests. 

At LeadWise, we offer a Train-the-Coach program for BD and marketing teams that want to learn how to coach lawyers on BD more effectively. Email us at to learn more. 

  • Provide Constructive, Actionable Feedback: Offer specific, actionable feedback that focuses on both successes and areas for growth. Help lawyers understand how their actions impact their BD results and encourage them to experiment with different approaches.
  1. Accountability Is Key:

  • Schedule Regular Check-Ins: Meet with lawyers monthly (or, at a minimum, quarterly) to discuss their progress, challenges, and upcoming plans. These meetings provide a confidential space for accountability, support, and strategic guidance.
  • Create Group Coaching Programs: If individual meetings are not feasible, consider creating facilitated group coaching programs (BD coaching pods or peer groups). These groups offer a supportive environment for lawyers to share ideas, learn from each other, and stay motivated. Plus, they serve as a cross-collaboration platform, allowing lawyers to get to learn more about each other. 

At LeadWise, our RainMasters Academy group coaching program is focused on helping lawyers develop their personalized BD strategy and approach and achieve concrete BD results. 

  • Track Progress and Celebrate Wins: Help lawyers set specific, measurable goals and track their progress over time. Because what gets measured gets done! Celebrate successes, big and small, to reinforce positive behaviors and build momentum.
  1. Offer Evergreen Online Training & Hands-on Workshops:

  • Use a Comprehensive Curriculum: Create a library of online training modules that cover essential BD topics, such as networking, client relationship management, effective self-promotion, and rainmaking conversation strategies that lead to actual business.

If you don’t have the internal capacity to create a robust online curriculum, it’s worth it for us to have a conversation. Our online RainMasters BD Curriculum includes over 40 video lessons, tools, templates, and action plans. Email us at to learn more about the Curriculum. 

  • Offer Interactive, Hands-on Workshops: Host regular workshops that provide hands-on practice and opportunities for collaboration. These workshops can focus on specific skills, such as how to effectively follow up with prospective clients, develop a clear ideal client profile, or create a cross-collaboration action plan. For more ideas, check out our list of LeadWise featured BD training programs
  1. Use the Right Success Metrics

  • Focus on Leading Instead of Lagging Indicators: Help lawyers understand that business development is a marathon, not a sprint. Encourage them to track and measure their BD activities and habits (leading indicators), not just the number of new clients they acquire (lagging indicators). Examples of leading indicators include BD nurture outreach, networking events attended, new contacts made, speaking engagements at industry events, thought leadership articles published, social media engagement, etc.
  • Set SMART Goals: Help lawyers set Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound (SMART) goals that align with their overall BD strategy. These goals can focus on increasing visibility, building relationships, or generating qualified leads.
  • Celebrate Consistent Effort: Recognize and reward lawyers for consistently executing their BD strategy, regardless of short-term results. This approach reinforces the importance of building a sustainable pipeline of business opportunities.

By implementing these strategies, your firm can be empowering lawyers to attract high-value clients by helping them shift their focus, target higher-value clients, and drive significant growth. 

Want to explore how LeadWise can support your lawyers in pursuing higher-value clients and achieving bigger BD results? Let’s talk! Email us at to schedule a conversation. 

Request your complimentary consultation today.