Anyone who has been wading through training contract applications recently will have noticed that ‘marketing and business development’ are becoming popular buzzwords, in a similar way to ‘commercial awareness’. In a competitive legal market and fluctuating economy, it’s essential for trainees to become confident with marketing and business development during their training, learning more than just the legal ropes.
I asked Grace Williams, our marketing and business development manager, to explain exactly what it’s all about:
‘Marketing and business development work hand in hand, but the principles are quite different. For Michelmores, marketing focuses on the satisfaction of our clients, their needs, wants and requirements. Our aim as marketers is to maintain a professional and consistent image for the firm through our website, marketing collateral and public relations. Business development, however, is about seeking opportunities to form partnerships and strategic relationships with referral sources and target markets in order to obtain new clients.’
At Michelmores there are many opportunities to get involved, and trainees are actively encouraged to do so. During my training contract so far I have been invited to a range of events from drinks receptions and business breakfasts, a classic car event, and a conker competition with a local firm of accountants (to name a few)! These events are a great opportunity to get to know fellow professionals, build your networking skills, and understand a bit more about our clients and their businesses.
As a final note, I asked Grace why she thought it was important for trainees to get involved:
‘It’s so important for trainees to get involved in marketing and business development as early as possible. The benefits are two fold; it increases a trainee’s awareness of the business, how it operates, its strategy and the process to obtain new work and seek opportunities. Secondly, it allows them to begin building their own network which they will carry throughout their career.’
Marketing and business development is an essential part of your training contract. On qualification you will be expected to be ready to generate your own work and build your personal network. It is extremely valuable to start building on these skills from day one and there are plenty of opportunities do that at Michelmores.
If you have any other questions on being a trainee please comment below or tweet us @MMTrainees