As I am a business coach, this post is focused on your business relationships. However, you could easily take these tips and apply them to your personal relationships as well.
Before you take the time away from your practice and go to the expense of attending that new conference, look at your contact list. Who should you be investing more time with? Current clients? Past clients? Friends from Law School? Other colleagues and connections?
I’m not saying don’t go to that conference or sponsor that event, or take that add out. But focus on your current relationships before you take on anything new this year. No matter where you are in your career, you have relationships. Sure, if you are relatively junior, you may have less, but you have them.
I see far too often where lawyers want to push the ‘easy button’. They think simply throwing money at their marketing and business development efforts will produce results. It makes them feel good like they are doing ‘something’. News flash-there is no easy way, no easy button-thanks Staples! Building your practice or firm takes time-your time! My suggestion is to focus 80% of all of your business-building efforts this year on strengthening the relationships you already have.
Pick up the phone. Send an email. Go for coffee, lunch, a drink (or juice), lunch or dinner. Take your best client(s) to a special event. Connect, re-connect and keep connecting!
Many of my clients struggle with this question when thinking about where to put their time or money to grow the firm. Whether you are in solo-practice or heading a large international firm, my answer remains the same.
A ‘cost’ is something that does not directly impact your growth or generate higher revenues. Your office space is a cost. Your office furniture is a cost. Paper and supplies are another cost. Sure these are all necessary in running your firm. But they don’t directly impact your ability to grow. They are simply the cost of doing business.
An ‘investment’ is something where you put time or money in, and you get it and much more back. Marketing when done effectively is an investment. Talent development is an investment. These two areas provide opportunity to grow the business, attract more clients, and increase revenues.
What is a law firm without talent, experience, expertise? Empty office space! If you don’t have the right talented people, how do you get clients; keep clients, or serve clients? When counting the ‘beans’, don’t forget to take a look at the impact that money has on the real growth of your firm. It’s not that difficult to measure. Are you getting a return or not?
At the core of business development or growing your practice or firm is relationships.
Relationships with current clients.
Relationships with past clients.
Relationships with your referral sources.
And relationships you build along the way as you meet new people
Here is a simple QUESTION you should be ASKING YOURSELF BEFORE YOU ENGAGE IN ANY BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT ACTION:
“Is this action going to enhance a current relationship and move it forward, or is this action going to get me in front of new quality people with whom I should build a relationship with? If the answer is no-don’t do it! If the answer is yes-do it, and find ways to do more of it.”
I happen to be a big fan of keeping things simple. That’s a really good question to always ask yourself before investing any time or money into marketing and business development to grow your practice or firm.
Are you as targeted and strategic as you could be with your marketing efforts? Are you getting the results you need from your efforts? I offer a complimentary 30-minute laser coaching session. This is not a sales pitch. This time will be spent looking at what you are currently doing and how you could improve your results.
Connect to set up your coaching session here.
Why is it so many professionals have a tough time delegating?
When done properly, delegating allows you to take your business to the next level. There is only one of you. Whether you are out on your own or working in a firm, you can only grow so much before you reach your capacity. The trouble is most people wait too long before they start to think about delegating, then it becomes even more stressful as they don’t have the time to properly get their team up to speed.
I see this all the time where the lawyer gets to a point where it seems more efficient to do the work yourself rather than teach a junior how to do it. It becomes a vicious cycle that you can never break out of.
Try this! When you are at about 60% of your capacity, start looking for help. That way, by the time you find the right person, or people, you will still have time to teach them, groom them, ensure they are following your strict adherence to client service.
The other thing that will help you remain in control is to ensure you have the systems and processes in place to replicate your approaches. Then it’s simply a matter of finding the right people and teaching them, providing regular feedback, and perhaps most importantly making sure your people know they can come to you for help at any time.
How do you know your marketing efforts are paying off? Do you track your results?
Are you confident you are investing your time and money in the most effective ways to grow your practice or firm? Are you getting the maximum return on your investment of time or money?
Take the uncertainty out of your approach. Take my complimentary marketing audit to help you analyze your efforts. My clients have told me repeatedly how valuable this exercise has been for them to clarify what works and what doesn’t.
Simply contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you the audit. Fill it out and send it back to me and we can schedule a 30-minute consultation to discuss your answers. This is a crucial 1st step to growing your practice or firm.
#lawyercoach #businesscoach #growyourpractice #getmoreclients #legalmarketing