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We're now five years into the New Normal that began with the Great Recession of 2008. There are many conflicting reports about what is at best an uneven recovery. One thing is certain: the business world is changing by the minute and issues are surfacing at warp speed. 

There's potentially good news for you in all of the turmoil. With the economy working its way through the credit crunch, mortgage debacles, and emerging concerns about inflation, there will be a lot of opportunity for law firms who adapt to and embrace this seismic evolution.

Are you keeping up with this frenzied pace? Regardless of how well read we are, we can't be expert in every facet of business. We have to pick our spots.

So, what approach is reasonable and a key to success—in both the short and long term? Identifying Door-Openers works. 

A Door-Opener is based on clients' emerging business challenges and opportunities. You identify them by monitoring your clients' industries, then test each Door-Opener's relative importance by discussing it with people in that industry. A well-chosen Door-Opener literally opens doors to a sustainable business conversation. It allows you to revive your contact list with a fresh new discussion topic, thereby repositioning yourself as part of that person's future.  As many lawyers who've employed it have proven to themselves, it can even serve as a credible foundation for you to contact complete strangers -- confidently and successfully.

For 20-odd years, sustained high levels of demand for legal service allowed lawyers the luxury of being reactive generalists. Now, though, things are very different; this is no time to try to be all things to all businesses. Instead, focus on a selected industry segment that's ripe for help. 

How do you go about identifying such a ripe sector? A friend who's a consultant to law firms, who previously spent a number of years at Goldman Sachs, simplifies it this way: "Target industries and companies that must make decisions of real consequence. Lawyers, particularly senior lawyers, are in the decision-support business." 

If you want to be welcome in the discussion about the future, you have to contribute something to it. The foundation is making yourself relevant by associating yourself with the issues that those with authority to select counsel must care about.

Mike

Take the first step toward making yourself relevant to your clients' future, as well as your clients of the future. In 30 minutes, you can learn how to make the power of the Door-Opener work for you.