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It’s rewarding, helps the firm, and helps them—the trifecta of engagement and satisfaction. 26% of CMOs tell us spotting and nurturing future rainmakers is their strongest skill. Not only does this skill help fuel the stream of future rainmakers—CMOs find this one of the most gratifying aspects of their role.

Rising rainmakers relish their CMO’s counsel and regularly seek them out. They want coaching on client meetings, networking, converting their ideas on helping clients into action, and pitching new work. They also want meaningful counsel on RFPs and often want to abandon the standard approach.

These advice-seeking partners came of age when demand was well in excess of supply. You had to steal or find clients. They have never experienced the days when waiting for the phone to ring was a viable strategy. These attorneys are hungry, want to get it right, know they have to build their skills and strategies to develop clients—and, are smart enough to seek out help.

Don’t Wait for Them to Come to You

CMOs tell BTI they are on the lookout for their firms’ rising business development stars. You don’t have to wait for the up-and-comers to seek you out. You likely know who they are and can find them easily.

Start a conversation with the attorneys you already know. Budget time every week for attorney coaching and conversations. Set a goal of meeting at least one new up-and-comer a month. Try casual approaches in more informal settings. Like all individuals, different attorneys will respond to different approaches.

We also recommend setting up a separate time code for this value-rich activity. Tracking time enables you to quantify your investment and attach it to specific wins.

Enduring Benefits

The most obvious benefit is helping attorneys develop more business. But there is so much more to this picture. Your impacts include:

  • Bringing business development into the culture of the firm

  • Influencing peer attorneys to follow the lead of the BD-inclined attorneys

  • Creating future mentors for more junior attorneys

  • Adding more tangible benefit to the Marketing and BD function

  • Making yourself part of the business development dialogue in the firm

  • Creating a constituency of support for the Marketing and BD team

  • Giving you a stronger, clearer voice

CMOs are making a profound impact on their firms—and making friends for life. They find this time serves as an escape from the day-to-day firefighting, recharges the batteries—and stimulates new thinking and ideas they can use across the firm. Everyone benefits. There is no downside.

Maybe it’s time to add talent scout to the job description.