Before composing any marketing communication, eliminate the "Why did he send me this" question by establishing a clear goal for that specific message, and that specific recipient. Ask yourself what specific response you're trying to elicit from that reader.
Throughout the Summer, we see lots of highlights of individual baseball stars performing amazing feats on the field. But as we begin the playoffs, we're reminded that the best team wins the championship, and that means getting contributions from everyone on the team.
Let's examine the team that supports your clients. What value does each teammate bring to your business development efforts?
Why do some lawyers take full advantage of business development learning and training opportunities, while others pooh-pooh them or delude themselves that it’s not important to improve their knowledge and skills? Why do those who admit that better BD skills are important nonetheless procrastinate forever, promising themselves that they’ll get to it when they have more time?
It’s rare that a single person makes a buying decision. There are almost always multiple people with a role in making it. However, groups of people don’t know how to make decisions. It’s not an intuitive skill, and everyone struggles with it. In fact, “no decision” is always your biggest competitor. Here's how to defeat no-decision.
Summer is over. It's time to get back in Prime Time business mode. Ten weeks from today, Wednesday, November 23, the end-of-year clock starts ticking as people traverse the US to be with family and friends for the Thanksgiving holiday. That means that you have less than three months to take meaningful steps to reach your annual revenue goal.
Law firms are paying more attention to, and investing more money in, business development, but many lawyers still aren't sure why all this is happening and why they should do things differently. The answer: The legal service market has undergone a basic and permanent economic shift from a demand market to a supply market.
Some lawyers declare this openly. Far more say it implicitly through their avoidance behaviors. Most relegate business development to the last item on their list, to be dealt with when everything else is done and they have some extra time. I've been coaching lawyers for 25 years and I've yet to see one who had extra time.
When you’re on an oil platform that’s burning, you have no choice but to jump. Salespeople use the expression to describe a problem whose consequences are so serious that even the most reluctant or risk-averse buyer must act. You can’t persuade someone that their platform is burning; you have to expose one that’s hidden. The key is not to try to persuade.
Every three months you go through your paper and electronic "pockets." You'll find notes, phone numbers, etc. Ask yourself, "If this was the most important thing in the world right now, what would I be doing about it?" This question forces you to assign an action verb to the item, which is how you'll get something done.
Punctuality is a basic social contract. It’s a visible demonstration that you do what you say you’ll do. Or that you don’t. An appointment is a promise to answer your phone or appear at a meeting on a specific date, at a specific time. Not 10 minutes late. Or five. Or even two. At the appointed time. Here's how to guarantee it.
For many lawyers, their professional day is measured by how much they get done. As a result, they speed through the day and slow down their improvement rate. Instead of squeezing your days for maximum productivity, do the opposite. Create slack in your day so you have "empty space" for learning, creativity, and doing things at a higher quality.
Tom Peters has persuaded me that it’s important to escape the linear thinking for which lawyers seem hard-wired, and which makes it hard for them to absorb seemingly unrelated information and synthesize fresh ideas from it. Perhaps this is what people mean by thinking outside the box. You can’t think outside the box if everything you’re exposed to is inside a single box.
The legal marketing and sales literature is inundated with a single word: “relationships.” We’re urged to deepen, strengthen, or expand them. Whichever, it’s always about relationships, whether with suspects, prospects, clients, or former- or dormant clients. Whoever they are, whatever their circumstances, we need to have a better relationship with them. Not. Here's a contrarian view.
For lawyers who don't generate their own clients, billable hours have no bearing on your own financial- or professional security. (If you doubt that, try to change firms with "billable hours" as the asset you're selling.) Relying on billable hours provided by others keeps you in a precarious position. Here's what it will take to earn your independence.
Being "involved" communicates absolutely nothing. Yet, lawyers' bios are rife with such empty verbs. Your bio may be the first substantive exposure many legal service buyers have to you (aside from whatever the source of a referral said about you). Don't waste the opportunity to make the impression you intend.