This article is written by Ramanuj Mukherjee, CEO, LawSikho.
I speak to a lot of people every day who are trying to decide how they want to take their legal career forward. But a conversation I had today was unique.
There was a lady on the other side. She said she has been practicing law for 2 years and wanted to learn corporate law.
As usual, I tried to figure out where she is in her career by asking her a few questions.
Where did she graduate from? Nondescript college in Mumbai.
What is her ambition? Does she want a job? In a law firm maybe?
She snapped at me. “I am 47. I am done with jobs”, she said. “I am going to build my practice. I have already been working at it for the last two years.”
Alright. Very interesting.
She must have heard the joy and excitement and surprise in my voice. She relaxed and laughed.
I was thinking in my head that she didn’t sound like she is nearing 50 at all. I hope I can retain this zeal to learn and develop myself when I am her age.
How do you plan on finding clients? Do you have a strategy?
“I will not have any problems in finding clients,” she said.
“I know a lot of people. I worked as an agent for a bank. I was in sales. I know thousands of people in Mumbai. People like me and trust me. I know how to sell my services. The problem is that I am getting work that I don’t know how to do!”
What sort of work are we talking about? What work have you been doing?
“The easiest to come by are family matters. I did a few criminal matters too. But I don’t like the environment of small criminal courts. I have come too far in life to deal with that.”
Makes sense. Tell me more about the work you are getting and not being able to do.
“I just need the right mentorship and guidance,” she said, “last week someone wanted me to draft a franchisee agreement and I couldn’t take it up.”
“I want to be able to draft shareholders agreements”.
She knew exactly what she wanted to learn. And what she is going to get out of that skill. I wish all our students came so well prepared to us. There was not much for me to do here. I tried to gauge her current level of knowledge and skills.
So tell me about what agreements you have already drafted and how did you learn to draft those?
“I know a very senior lawyer. He is a family friend. I drafted property related agreements for him. But now I want to learn corporate law.”
I think you should do the contract drafting course.
“Are you sure I should not do the entrepreneurship administration and business law course?”
I think you will find it easier to find work on contract drafting and build your initial level of clientele in 2019 as a foundation for building a great law firm in the years to come. We will teach you about 100 commercial contracts. This is the right course to start from. You can learn more next year through another course. But this is the best stepping stone for you right now.
She agreed. I am so excited about having her in the February batch. She will be such a valuable addition to the class and will make a big difference.
If a 47 year old lawyer, who did her law at the age of 45, can think of starting a law firm, why can’t you?
By the way, there is something important to notice here. The primary reason for her confidence was her ability to sell. She knows how to find clients and she will, as long as she knows how to deliver the work as well.
Please learn how to sell yourself. It is something that I earnestly try to inculcate in all our students. And readers. I am not sure how many understand the importance.
Learning to sell will really, really change your life.
Before I wrap up, let me tell you a story of a batchmate from law school who also worked with us briefly at iPleaders. I have not taken his permission so I will not identify him, but I can tell the story.
He was in the last 5 people from my batch. Horrible in academics. Absent from all extra-curricular activities. He spent most of the law school time getting drunk, having fun and getting into trouble.
He did save me from a tight corner or two a few times as well.
But we all always knew there was something special about him. He was no ordinary person.
Couple of years after graduation, we connected again in Delhi. He told me that he wants to learn to sell. I desperately needed more callers. So I brought him on board gladly. While he was around, he did a good job. Record sales happened in those months.
Then he left. He had learnt the basics of selling. Objective achieved.
Next year, he went to Oxford for doing his MBA. And I spoke to him a year back. He is working at a leading fintech company in a leadership role.
Do you know what he said?
“I still need to learn more selling. Now I think I should have stayed back for a few more months with you guys. I should not have left in a hurry.”
That’s what he said.
I am lucky, I get to do sales all the time. In the last 3 months, I have had the opportunity to learn how to sell to large corporations.
Selling is no trick. It is an opportunity to practice authenticity, bringing your best self on the table, creating value for your target customers, and making an impact on those who actually buy.
Selling is leadership.
Selling is service.
Selling is converting the sceptic into a champion.
Selling is helping people to put their money where their mouth is.
Selling is helping people to see through their own bullshit and helping them to take a bold step towards their destiny.
That’s why I am the proud chief salesman on LawSikho.
I am inviting you today to consider if you can really be a good lawyer or a good business leader without being good at sales.
Who do you need to sell to? How are you going to sell it? I want you to be as confident as the woman on the phone about your career. And sales is an important component of that.
In our premium courses, we make an effort to teach you how to sell yourself apart from all the law and skills that we teach. That’s why we make you write and publish an article every week and introduce you to networking exercises.
Here are the upcoming courses, in which you can enroll right away and start studying. Batches will formally start from Feb 1. Get a head start by beginning to read and watch videos early.
Executive Certificate Courses