May I Speak to You?
Thanksgiving is only a week away so today I want to thank you for reading the information I’ve been sending you.
As a way of demonstrating my gratitude, I’m going to do something I’ve never done before.
As you probably know, I spend a good deal of time giving talks to audiences of lawyers all over the United States.
Typically, the organizer of the event pays me to speak and pays my travel expenses.
During the first half of 2014, I’m offering you the opportunity to invite me to speak to your group of lawyers without investing a dime.
You read that correctly.
I will conduct an education session for your group of lawyers, bar association or large law firm, at no expense to you.
I am partnering with a sponsor who will cover my fee, my travel and all the materials included with my education session.
You simply need to get the lawyers in the room and turn the lights on.
This is going to be a full-blown education session. There will be no fluff. Everyone who attends will be working during our time together.
But the attendees will not be required to pay me anything.
I have six openings for these talks.
And they must take place between January 2, 2014 and July 31, 2014.
If you have a group of lawyers (bar association, convention or large law firm) and you are interested in booking me for this unique opportunity, call me right now. 888.444.5150
This message is going out to 100,000 plus lawyers so you need to act now.
Call 888.444.5150 and you and I will set an appointment to discuss this opportunity.
If you’d like some idea as to the curriculum, you can listen to the two podcasts below.
The Ten Disciplines of Law Firm Leadership
Click here to download: The Ten Disciplines of Law Firm Leadership
How to Get Clients as a Lawyer
Click here to download: How to Get Clients as a Lawyer
Remember, this is limited to six dates during the first half of 2014.
Call today. 888.444.5150
Five Steps That Improve Your Quality of Life
This past week I was in three different law offices. Each of them run by a successful lawyer who is making more money than he/she ever thought possible.
Want to know the reason I was there?
I was invited in to each of these firms because the owners were living chaotic lives, disconnected from their families, and putting a strain on their health.
They had the “make a great living” part of my mission down, but they were failing to “live a great life.”
Whenever I see this problem I know it is more difficult to address than a lack of new clients.
You see, if a lawyer has a client attraction problem, he will be motivated to take action. Hunger has a way of focusing your attention.
But the successful lawyer who is running to court in five different jurisdictions each week and doing client intake and negotiating deals and attending networking events and writing articles and working up cases is actually afraid to make any changes.
Because this formula has helped him become successful.
So he thinks.
That depends upon your definition of success.
If you make more money than you ever imagined possible yet spend the first 15 years of your child’s life missing out on every event and celebration and then die of a massive heart attack at your desk, were you successful?
Yeah. I know.
You don’t miss ALL the events. Just a few here and there.
And you are never going to have a heart attack. You just have a slight blood pressure issue and some mild aches and pains to go along with your nightly routine of an Ambien and a glass of Johnnie Walker.
But you’re successful.
Let’s say at some point, you wanted to make a couple of changes and you invited me in to visit with you. Here are five things I’d recommend:
Identify Your Strengths
Most law firm leaders don’t know what they do exceptionally well and what they struggle to complete adequately. They plug away at things for so long that they believe they can do everything.
In reality, each of us is wired with a predisposition toward certain activities. Some of us are great public speakers. Others are fantastic with numbers or computers. Still others know how to focus like a laser beam on the details of a project. The list goes on…
Identifying your areas of strength will help set the stage for the formation of a “plan of attack” for your leadership in your law firm.
I will sit down with you and do a thorough analysis of your strengths.
We next discuss three specific goals.
- Your exit strategy
- Your three year milestone
- You daily outcome
This is a different type of goal setting. By figuring out what the end will look like, we have a complete picture. (If you are an executive in a big firm, we figure out what your legacy will be.)
The end goal can change over the years. Life has a funny way of dropping things in our lap that can alter our plan. Nevertheless we always have a horizon we are racing toward.
The three year milestone is a set of outcomes you will have achieved that will help you identify whether or not you are on course.
Your daily outcome is the one thing you need to do today to help you get closer to your goals. It can be as simple an activity as making a telephone call.
Linking daily activity to long term goals is essential to success.
List and Assign All the Activities in Your Law Firm
This may take a week or so. But everything from calendaring new matters to preparing marketing material to working up cases must be listed.
Once this list is done, it’s your job to assign each task to a person in your firm.
You should only work on things in your area of strength.
For example: if you are bad with numbers but great at writing, hire a bookkeeper and focus on marketing.
Hold Everyone in Your Firm Accountable for Outcomes
At least once each week you should have a 10 minute meeting with each of the members of your team. Discuss what they will accomplish in the next five days and what they have accomplished in the last five days. Coach, counsel, and reward them them as needed. This includes reviewing your own productivity.
Compensate People Generously with Time and Money Based Upon Outcomes
Your compensation plan should be based upon achieving outcomes. When people do well, reward them. My experience has shown that providing people with days off can be as effective (in some cases more effective) than paying them extra money. A healthy mix of both is usually the recipe for long term success.
Ultimately, this five step leadership process will help you improve your quality of life. If you hire the right people and implement the plan as outlined above, you need to only be involved in the areas where you excel. That means you enjoy your day-to-day work and your people enjoy what they do.
If your systems are in place and your outcomes are clearly defined, the firm will be able to operate without your direct involvement for significant periods of time.
Even if you want to work more hours because you enjoy what you do, you will cut down on the stress you feel because your systems will prevent every little thing from becoming a crisis.
Give this some thought and, if you’d like to invite me in to help you with this type of initiative, we can have this up and running in less than 90 days. Simply give me a call to schedule it: 888.444.5150
Last week I shared some information with you in each of these areas. I know how busy you are and I know how hard you work so I figured I’d take a minute and provide you with a summary of the five most impactful articles I shared last week.
These are the articles you voted most important (via social media):
This is a video guide to making a new friend.
In business our “friends” help us by referring business to us.
If you’ve ever felt awkward when meeting someone new, this video will help you break the ice.
Want more detail on getting people to like you do business with you? This article can help. In this article, I write out, in detail, the things you can do to build a relationship with a new prospective client or referral source. Follow the guidelines as I’ve laid them out and you will be well on your way to sourcing your next big client.
Too many professionals, especially lawyers, don’t know what to do once they have attracted a great client. This audio program will help you deepen your relationship with your clients and maximize the lifetime value they can deliver to you.
The two most important qualities any attorney can possess are empathy and understanding. When you meet someone new, if you immediately launch into a lengthy diatribe about your background and experience, you immediately lose the trust of that person.
This short article is a quick reminder of why people like you.
Did you get my free CD? I’ve offered it to you several times. Make sure you get a copy. We only have a couple left. Click this link: Million Dollar Lawyer Secrets and I’ll send you one. It only takes a couple of days and I even cover the shipping.
Go through these articles and pick and choose the things you want to implement. Remember the ideas are great but they are nothing without your action.
It’s Time to Eat Your Vegetables
It’s so hard to get people to do anything.
Get your kids to clean their room.
Ask your spouse to take your pet to the vet.
Make your dad take the car to the shop for an oil change.
Some things are just burned into our behavior and hardwired into our brains. Generating movement in areas beaten into us, is incredibly difficult.
Resistance is the standard.
But each week I keep trying.
The week that past, I worked hard to get you to eat your vegetables. I want you to do something that will be good for you.
See if you can figure it out from the narrative I have crafted with these articles below.
My offer for a powerful CD that will help you build your law firm around your lifestyle. Even if you are in a big law firm, this CD will help you discover how you can make a great living and live a great life ®. Visit this page today to get your copy: Million Dollar Lawyer Secrets. I cover all of the costs, including shipping. I am making this investment in you because I want you to make an investment in your future.
I’m not calling anyone names in this article. DUNCE is an acronym designed to help you understand the elements of great legal marketing. You many not realize it, but all powerful legal marketing plans have these five components.
Listen to this audio program today and take action.
Talk is cheap.
Actions speak louder than words.
These expressions have been around for as long as anyone can remember. They become commonplace because they are true.
People judge you based upon the expectation you set and the action you take. This week I drive this point home in this article.
Sometimes, action is the only thing that separates winners from losers.
If you were wondering how you can change the nasty habit of complacency you’ve gotten into, this video is for you.
There was a brand slogan not long ago that advised you to “just do it.”
Here’s how that happens in real life.
This is your last opportunity to get involved in this program in 2013. If you want to work exclusively with me in a one-on-one setting to get ready to make 2014 the best year you’ve ever had, click the link above.
In this six week exclusive relationship I will personally walk you through the 10 disciplines of law firm leadership.
This will be such a competitive advantage for you that you don’t have to pay the bulk of the fee if you are not thrilled.
See for yourself: Law Firm Leadership Action
If you do nothing else today related to your business strategy, read one of these articles.
Why Clients Ignore You
I make my living helping lawyers make a great living and live a great life ®.
I’ve worked with many lawyers and provided them with lots of advice over the years.
Before working with lawyers I worked with executives at large companies.
I provided them with advice on some of the most pressing matters facing their companies.
I take into account the facts at hand and all the variables. The client and I have discussions about the implications of their decision and we always discuss the investment (financial, emotional, physical) required and we assess the potential return on that investment.
After those discussions, I process the information through the lens of my skills, knowledge and experience and make a recommendation to the client.
That’s the reason they hire me.
I provide them with an objective point of view and deep knowledge of business strategy, marketing and leadership.
In these areas: Business Strategy, Marketing, Leadership, when presented with all the facts and an honest view of the client’s capabilities, I am seldom mistaken.
Just like the litigator who recommends his client settle cases where the odds of a favorable outcome at trial are stacked against his client, I am often presented with “choices of bad” scenarios.
In those cases I help the client improve his condition and I recommend a course of action designed to mitigate his exposure.
I have stacks of letters from respected members of the business and legal community to support my claim of significant prowess in my field.
So when I write to you each week and make recommendations on things that cost little to no money, and you fail to implement them, it frustrates me.
Here are four reasons why you may not want to do the things I recommend (and by proxy the reasons people may not want to do the things you recommend):
This is the most frustrating one for me.
Here’s an example:
I met with a guy two weeks ago who has no plan for growing his law firm. He relies on the kindness of other lawyers who refer him business. He has cobbled together a generalist law practice and he takes on whatever walks in the door. He wants more focus and he wants to command a fee premium.
When we met I explained how we would work together and what he could expect (as far as our activity). He thought my ideas were spot-on. When we discussed the fee, he said he could not afford me. (My fees are posted on the Private Client Page of my website). One new client for this attorney would pay my fee for an entire year yet he said his current cash flow would not support working with me.
Upon returning to my office I looked this gentleman up on Facebook. There was a photo of him standing next to his brand new BMW (minimum car payment $400 per month) and another photo of him holding a $3,000 racing bicycle with another man (his trainer - minimum cost for personal training - $200 per month).
My point: When people say that have no money, it means they have no money for you. This guy did not prioritize his work with me so he had “no money.”
When people say they have no money, they simply do not see the value you provide and they place other things ahead of your services.
I get this a lot.
People want to hire someone to build them a website because it is easier for them to write a check and walk away than it is to learn how to develop a business strategy and then lead the members of their team on the execution of that strategy.
That’s fine - in the short term.
In the long run, you need to build a business that is sustainable in any economic climate. Your website may work great now but if you don’t have at least nine other ways to develop client relationships, you’ll be sunk when Google makes a change.
If you cannot find the time to be a law firm leader, you should go work at a big firm.
Leadership is not about working case files and billing hours. It is about developing systems and hiring people to deliver results for clients regardless of whether or not you ever interact with them.
No systems means no business. If you have no time to implement this now, you will be in even worse shape one year, three years, five years down the road.
As you read this, I’m just a guy on your computer or smartphone who wrote this article.
You may have read some of the 800+ articles I have at RainmakerLawyer.com or you may have watched some of my 230+ videos on YouTube or you may have listened to one of the 60+ podcasts I have recorded to date. But none of those things have allowed you to trust me enough to invite me into your office or to get you to pick up the phone and call me.
My retort to this unspoken rejection is simple:
Talk to someone who has worked with me. In fact, talk to 10 or 20 people with whom I have worked.
I am a straight shooter and I sometimes make people uncomfortable but I welcome your call to a current or past client. You can find a list of them on my website or I can send you a list.
I saved this one for last. You may be one of those people who thinks there is nothing new for me to show you. I see this from time to time, particularly among internet cowboys and lawyers who advertise on TV.
You go to a seminar delivered by a current lawyer who is claiming to be a marketing expert and you get briefed monthly by a Findlaw or Lexisnexis salesperson and you think that qualifies you as a legal marketing master.
If this is you, then I really can’t help you. My kind of marketing is based upon relationships.
Television is terrific but it is only one aspect of what you should be doing. I love the internet but it is one form of media in a sea of hundreds of message delivery systems.
Your knowledge of business strategy and marketing is equal to my knowledge of the law. Even though I watch Law and Order, I can’t draw up a contract or take a deposition. Don’t think because you went to a seminar you know anything about building or running a business. What you don’t know will eventually bite you in the ass.
There are two points to my rant:
1). All of these things apply to the way your clients treat you. Sure I wrote this to motivate you to take action, but if you read through this again you’ll notice your clients have acted the same way you are acting right now.
2). You have an opportunity to make a great decision with zero risk. I introduced my “almost free” coaching program last week. You read about it but did not act.
I can accommodate two more people for this one-on-one six week program working directly with me.
Follow the link below to enroll.
I’m not sure what else I can do. This is your chance to get the new year off to a great start.
But then again maybe you’ve got enough clients and enough free time…
Six Questions for Lawyers Who Hate Marketing
People who initiate and develop relationships make great money. Those people are marketing pros. Like it or not, in one form or another, relationship development is marketing.
It is no different in a law firm.
People who understand marketing make more money than anyone else.
After all, what is marketing?
It is the initiation and development of relationships.
How do you do that?
By introducing and demonstrating the value you provide to a prospective client or referral source.
Many lawyers don’t believe they need marketing. They don’t think they need to sell their services. If you are one of these lawyers – the kind that believes you don’t need marketing you can “just be a good lawyer and clients will find you” – I have a few questions.
Here they are:
- How will clients know about your expertise? Clients will never know how good you are if they don’t know who you are. Let’s say you are a good lawyer. No. Scratch that. Let’s say you’re a great lawyer. How are people supposed to find you? Yeah, I know. You have a reputation among the clients you represented. And you have a reputation among the people who referred clients to you. But those people don’t need someone with your skill, knowledge and talent all that frequently. How will people who do need you, find you? Presenting your valuable services to clients and potential clients is marketing.
- How will people who used your services remember you (and how good you are)? Yes, you made an impression on them. Yes, you helped them out of a jam or with a tough deal. But memory fades. People need to be reminded in order to keep you top of mind. Keeping in touch with referral sources and past clients is marketing.
- How will you justify the fee you charge? You have years of experience but there is always someone just as experienced, or more experienced, offering their services at a lower rate. There are other people practicing law who price themselves more attractively and offer a competitive value proposition. Developing and presenting your value proposition is marketing.
- When a prospective client meets with you, how will you explain what makes you different from everyone else who does what you do? You may be different. You may be better. You may offer a better return on investment than anyone else. Explaining that difference is marketing.
- How will you make money as a lawyer? Million-dollar lawyers who say they don’t market are liars. There is no way to be a successful lawyer without marketing your services. Even the lawyers I know who work at big firms and have had big case after big case thrown into their lap had to market themselves internally. Yeah. They sold themselves to their partners (and they have to continue to sell themselves). Marketing takes place internally and externally.
- How will you exert any control over your future? Given the above facts, if you continue to choose not to invest your time and your effort on marketing, how will you control your future? You won’t. Someone else will control your destiny.
The six questions above are not conjecture. They are legitimate questions you need to ask yourself if you don’t believe in law firm marketing.
Typically, these are not questions I need to ask a lawyer.
Why? Because people who don’t believe in law firm marketing don’t call me.
On the off chance I get someone in front of me who needs help in these areas and they don’t believe in law firm marketing, the conversation is a short one.
You work in a business. That business requires you to find clients and convince them to work with you. The sooner you reconcile that with your ego, the better.
I know you didn’t go to law school to be a salesman and, quite frankly, that is just too bad. The guys who went to sales school will almost always make more than most lawyers.
Here is some additional required reading:
Good lawyers don’t hate marketing. They hate bad marketing. If you want to learn how marketing is done and see how it is done well, read this article.
There are three things you need to do with your law firm marketing. You must make yourself more visible. You must enhance your credibility. You must differentiate yourself from everyone else who does what you do. This article helps with the differentiation.
This article outlines how attorneys can get help with law firm marketing in a cost effective way. If you want to make the money you deserve and get home, on time, for dinner every night, you need to read this.