How Lawyers Can Automate Business Development Prospecting and Follow-Ups


Steve Glaveski

95 percent of converted leads are reached by the sixth follow up attempt, but 44 percent of people give up after just one attempt.

This is especially true in the legal sector, where business development for the most part is left to partners and managing associates to handle, most of whom learned from who came before them. As a result, the methods lawyers used to win business today are typically as informal and ad-hoc as they were in the 90s.

By taking the time to break this mould and adopt modern business development tools and techniques can give lawyers a serious competitive advantage over their peers.

But Lawyers Are "Crazy Busy"

I get it. Lawyers are busy folks. Six to twelve minute billing increments - still in play at most law firms - don’t help.

It can be so easy to forget to follow up with prospects after one or two attempts at reaching out, especially when there are dozens of them in your pipeline. And if you’re already doing well financially, sometimes the desperation just isn’t there.

But what if you could simply use technology to trigger and automate your follow-ups and send personalized messages to your prospects, based on their profile?

Let’s explore some of the different types of tools available to do just that.  


Of course, customer relationship management (CRM) platforms can help you keep track of leads, opportunities, conversations, and remind you to follow up with prospects.

But oftentimes, lawyers don’t want to learn how to use another software package like this. Not only that, but you’ve got to actually use it on a daily basis to extract value from it. While CRMs like Hubspot, Insightly, Pipedrive and others can add loads of value, most time poor lawyers are unlikely to use them effectively.

Hubspot CRM

Task Boards

Task, or kanban boards, offered by platforms such as Asana, Monday, and Trello, are a lighter weight tool to manage your prospects. You can simply create a ‘card’ or task for every prospect you create, add a due date for follow up, and a frequency of follow up (e.g. weekly).

Each day you’ll simply access a list of who you should follow-up with that day, and then it’s on you to decide whether you want to email, call or send them a LinkedIn message.

List of cards/tasks

Frequency of reminder for cards/tasks

Daily reminder

If you have a set of pre-written emails for follow-ups, you can speed up this process significantly.

If you have a set of pre-written emails for follow-ups, you can speed up this process significantly.

Email Sequences

Tools like MixMax and will send a sequence of emails on a predefined timeline to your prospects, depending on the prospect’s specific profile.

For example, if I’ve been monitoring market signals and I know that John Smith from Smith and Stanley is planning to do an IPO next year, we would simply import his first name and company name into our IPO email sequence.

We would then automatically send a series of emails to John over a period of weeks or months, until he replies or we turn off the sequence. These sequences would be tailored for organizations exploring IPOs and would include a combination of education on traps to avoid, case studies where your firm has helped other companies go public, and invitations to set up a call.

You can also use these tools to automate follow-ups whenever somebody has expressed interest in a service of yours, or you have had an initial conversation.

For example, at Collective Campus, we have a sequence in place whenever somebody downloads an ebook from our website. They will receive up to eight emails, if they don’t respond, with more information, education, and case studies on that ebook’s specific topic, all geared towards building rapport, social proof, and getting a follow-on conversation.


LinkedIn Sequences

Similarly, tools such as LinkedHelper mimic the above-mentioned sequences, but do so via LinkedIn.

Final Thoughts

By leveraging technology, lawyers can effectively augment their existing business development efforts, and grow head and shoulders above everybody else who is still defaulting to time intensive, informal and ad-hoc approaches, like rounds of golf and networking events.


Want to teach your lawyers how to fish? Visit for tailored training modules on business development for law firms. Want us to fish for you? Get in touch with me. 🎣

about the author

Steve Glaveski is the CEO and Co-Founder of Collective Campus which he established to help companies and their employees to create a more meaningful impact in the world in an age of rapid change and increasing uncertainty. Steve also founded Lemonade Stand - a children's entrepreneurship program, author of Wiley book, Employee to Entrepreneur: How to Earn Your Freedom and do Work That Matters, Harvard Business Review contributor, author of the Innovation Manager's Handbook vol 1 and 2, host of the Future Squared podcast, and keynote speaker. He previously founded HOTDESK, an office sharing platform and has worked for the likes of Westpac, Dun & Bradstreet, the Victorian Auditor General's Office, Ernst & Young, KPMG and Macquarie Bank. Follow him at @steveglaveski