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PROFESSIONAL EDUCATOR SEES NEED FOR ATTORNEYS TO LEARN TO SELL

     PROFESSIONAL EDUCATOR SEES NEED FOR ATTORNEYS TO LEARN TO SELL
    FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich., Nov. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Michael L. Derry, a 20-year veteran in the education and training of executives for Fortune 100 companies, as well as accountants, physicians and lawyers, thinks that attorneys will have to include "professional sales" in their expertise in order to survive the abundance of lawyers and a changing marketplace.
    "These are frightening times for attorneys," explained Derry, president of Management Development Corporation, in Farmington Hills. "There is an over-abundance of attorneys.  The corporate world is extremely cost-conscious nowadays, especially about outside services such as legal fees.  The road to partnership in a law firm used to be for the lawyer with the most technical knowledge of the law.  That has changed.  Partnerships are going to the attorneys who know how to get new business."
    "I find it refreshing that lawyers are looking for help," he said. "There was a time 'sales' was a dirty word in the legal profession.  But we're not talking about sales through late-night TV spots.  We're talking about professional sales.  There is a difference."
    According to Derry, traditionally new business for a firm was handled through the senior partners, usually older or more experienced attorneys in the firm.  These lawyers had established a "good old boy network" of referrals for business.
    "What used to be a 'seller's market' has turned into a 'buyer's market,'" he said.
    Derry noted that law schools are also examining the client/lawyer relationship.
    "Lawyer-bashing became fashionable, if you will, in the '80s," Derry said.  "There are schools like Case Western University in Cleveland who are actually doing focus groups with clients to learn more about the client/lawyer relationship.  More and more consumers are asking lawyers for RFPs, or Request For Proposals.  This is all new to attorneys who were traditionally order takers, not sellers of services."
    Derry cautioned lawyers to "shop around" for firms that can offer the right curriculum for a law firm to learn how to professionally sell themselves:
    -- Professional sales cannot be taught in a one-day-or-less type seminar with instant results.
    -- A good curriculum should become part of the law firm's culture.
    -- Senior and junior members of a law firm need to "philosophically buy into" the training.
    -- A good curriculum will achieve measurable results for the firm.
    -0-                 11/20/91
    /CONTACT:  Ron Hingst of PR Services, Inc., 313-393-1850, for Management Development Corporation/ CO:  Management Development Corporation ST:  Michigan IN: SU: JG-SM -- DE001 -- 5222 11/20/91 07:53 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 20, 1991
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