By Terrie S. Wheeler, MBC
What Should Happen?
The best marketing mentorship results do not always emanate from a planned, systematic formal marketing mentorship program. Rather, a marketing mentorship must be organically grown based upon mutual agreement that (1) the partner sincerely wants to help and support the new lawyer; and, (2) the associate and partner have a natural chemistry, mutual respect, and a desire to engage in a trusting mentor/mentee relationship. The best mentors can’t be assigned. Rather, they need to germinate from a partner’s genuine desire to serve as a role-model, and nurtured through an associate’s desire to value, engage in and leverage the relationship. The pairing has to be the right match at various levels including personality, strengths, goals for the relationship, and other common interests. While some assigned mentorships can prove valuable, for best results, the best matchmaking process will produce genuine relationships that will stand the test of time.
Associates: You are not off the Hook!
Mentorship is a two-way street. Don’t leave your future to chance. Look at the experienced partners in your firm and select someone you would like to emulate as you continue to build your practice. Talk to them – express your desire to be mentored by them. Explain your goals, drive and motivation to learn from them. Make a commitment to the partner you select. Honor their time commitments and busy schedules. Figure out how to make the relationship work and don’t give up if your mentor is extremely busy.
Partners: Basic Mentoring Tips
The good news is that serving as an associate’s marketing mentor simply requires you to ask your mentee to participate in activities you would be doing anyway. Ask your mentee to join you at marketing lunches, client meetings or other growth opportunities for the associate to learn from. Have them participate in proposal initiatives, beauty contests, industry events, and interviews with prospective clients. Discuss how you identify your best clients, build relationships, and keep your sales pipeline full of qualified prospective clients. Remember that associates are the future of your law firm; in fact, they are your retirement plan.
Partners, if you are not currently mentoring a high talent associate, consider doing so right away. Whether or not your firm has a formal mentoring program, giving back to the next generation of lawyers is the right thing to do. You have so much knowledge and expertise to offer them. It just has to be with the right associate.
Associates, if you are feeling that you have no real allies among the partners, seek out a marketing mentor. Partners are flattered when you approach them with the message of how much you respect them, want to learn from them, and hope to emulate the success they have had in marketing. It just has to be with the right partner.
Have more questions about marketing or mentorships? Schedule a call with me.