Inside The Mind Of The Rainmaker Lawyer
If you are wondering how to get clients as a lawyer you need to take a trip inside the mind of the Rainmaker.
A Rainmaker Lawyer knows there are few problems that cannot be remedied by more revenue.
A Rainmaker Lawyer focuses on starting new relationships and deepening existing ones.
The Rainmaker Lawyer is immune from criticism. His ego makes him bulletproof.
The Rainmaker Lawyer knows his ethics must be beyond reproach because his peers (with lesser business development skills) will, out of jealousy, critique him for every little misstep.
The Rainmaker Lawyer respects and admires the skills of his legal team. He knows he is nothing without their support.
A Rainmaker Lawyer works hard behind the scenes to learn what his clients want but more important, he learns what his clients need. Then he works hard at helping the client want what they need.
Time is not a friend to the Rainmaker Lawyer. He knows that speed makes all the difference when working with clients. He thinks fast, he talks fast but he takes action even faster.
When the going gets tough, the Rainmaker Lawyer always comes through. His instinct for making a deal and his relationship development skills magically seem to come together at the perfect time for the client and the Rainmaker’s firm.
Everyone wants to be the successful trial lawyer who wins the big case. Everyone wants to be M&A expert who closed the big deal. Nobody goes to school with the ambition of opening doors and closing deals but the lawyer with that skill is indispensable.
So if you are wondering how to get clients as a lawyer, you need to start inside the mind of the man who puts food on the table for all the others.
Lawyers: Where Is Your Passion?
Yesterday I met with a lawyer who was absolutely miserable. He was well off but he was in the process of getting divorced from his fourth wife. He was obese, stressed out, and generally irascible.
His staff was constantly on pins and needles because of his volatility.
He called me because he wanted the great life he thought he deserved. Apparently, money could not buy it for him.
As I sat across from him, I leaned back in my chair and asked him the one question that would define his big problem. I said:
“Do you still look forward to coming into work every day?”
His eyes filled up and his face turned red. He couldn’t speak but I had my answer.
If you became a lawyer solely to make money you are going to be disappointed.
I don’t care if you’ve been practicing one year, five years or twenty five years, focusing on money is a path to a miserable life.
When you focus solely on making money, you neglect the most powerful motivating factors for selecting the law as a profession…your passion.
If you are not passionate about what you do or your clients or helping people, you may make great money but your life will be disappointing.
Take a few minutes today and think back to why you became a lawyer.
If that fire is not still burning as hot in you today as it was back then, you may want to take a good hard look at your career options.
Sometimes the noble choice is to move on.
Marketing When You Don’t Feel Like Marketing
The bulk of my time is spent handling strategic issues with attorneys and law firms. If you throw in an occasional marketing problem or business management concern, you would probably capture 90% of my work.
Occasionally, the problem is not a business problem but an issue with the attorney him/herself.
I’m not talking about a serious psychological issue (there are some of those) but a general funk or malaise.
You know what I mean. You wake up in the morning and you just don’t feel like doing anything.
You’ve got some meetings. You have clients coming in. And you have a few projects to do but you just don’t want to do them.
What usually happens in these instances?
You force yourself to go to the meetings. You force yourself to sit down with the clients. The thing that slips through the cracks is the marketing.
This starts with a little rationalization. You say to yourself: “Marketing for attorneys is not real work.”
Or you say: “I went to school to be a lawyer not a salesman.”
So you skip the marketing just for that day.
Then the day becomes a week and the week becomes a month and so on…
Eventually you wake up one morning six months later and you have no clients and not prospects on the horizon.
That, hunger, and a mailbox full of bills, finally motivates you to take action.
You get back into your marketing routine again.
Does this sound familiar?
Here’s how you can avoid that trap:
Do something every day in an attempt to attract new clients. Something big or something small. It doesn’t matter.
Keep a log of your actions.
When you are in a funk, look back at the log and determine which clients came to your law firm as a result of your marketing efforts.
Marketing for attorneys is about consistency and intensity of effort and so is success, in every business.
Push yourself, especially when you don’t feel like it.
Armatures only give 100% effort when they feel good. Professionals give 100% effort even when they feel like crap.
Are you a professional?
Marketing for Attorneys with David Lorenzo: Nothing New Here
About a year ago I received a call from an event planner who was working with a group of personal injury lawyers. This group was looking for a speaker for their summer event in the Caribbean.
The event planner interviewed me for an hour and then asked for some references. I sent him 28 testimonial letters, a copy of my two books, six months of printed newsletters, a CD with an interview I did on the radio, and an index of the 208 videos I had on line at the time. He also had access to over 600 articles I have written on this website.
Included in this packet of information on my work marketing for attorneys was my business card.
I offered to speak with the head of the personal injury lawyers’ association after he reviewed the material I sent.
About two weeks later I received a call from the event planner. He said the organization president reviewed my material and said: “There’s nothing new here.”
And that was it. I was removed from consideration because, in all the material I sent, nothing impressed the personal injury attorney who headed up this group.
Fast forward nine months.
I am invited to speak to a small group of successful litigators. I send every member of this group the same information I sent to the personal injury attorney. I give the speech I would have given to the personal injury group. It was packed with lots of information on marketing for attorneys.
They went nuts for it. They loved it.
In fact, many of the people in the group of litigators put the information I shared into practice and they made more money as a result.
Same information, different people.
One person (personal injury group leader) was closed minded and determined there was nothing he or his group could learn and another group of people found a couple of golden nuggets, put them into practice and prospered as a result.
How often are you the first guy?
How often do you prejudge the people, information, or ideas that enter your life?
All of us do this at some time or another. We fail to find the one thing that can make all the difference in our work or our lives.
I often listen to educational audio programs while driving. Sometimes I listen to a program for the 50th time and I hear something I never picked up before. It’s amazing. Fifty times and I find something new.
We must look at every opportunity from that perspective.
Say to yourself:
“What can I find in this situation that will give me a slight edge?”
The alternative is to be the guy who says:
“There’s nothing new here.”
That phrase tends to become a self-fulfilling prophecy especially when it comes to your bank account.
How to Develop Rejection Armor
We are all salespeople. Every day we work hard to convince others to see our point of view. We persuade people to do what we want them to do. We ask people to accept us.
When they say “NO” it hurts.
The pain of rejection will often prevent us from selling again.
Think back to when you were in high school or college. Every time you asked someone out on a date and they said “no” it made it more difficult for you to ask the next person. Many people actually develop a fear of having that conversation – so they avoid it.
The same thing happens to you now.
You sit across from a client and, for whatever reason; the client decides not to retain you. This leads to that same feeling of rejection you had when you were rejected by your prospective date.
That makes it more and more difficult to sit in front of the next client. It makes you question your skill and it shakes your confidence.
And many people go through their entire career feeling this way. But you no longer have to.
Here is the way to make yourself immune to rejection from anyone in any situation.
Invite the client to say “no”.
One of the things that harms the human psyche is the loss of control we feel when people reject us. By inviting the client to say “no” you maintain control.
Here is a script you can use when you sit down with the client:
“Mr. Smith, we are going to have a conversation about your situation. I want to learn about you and your issue and you will probably want to ask me some questions. At the end of the conversation we will both decide if we want to work together. If you don’t want to work with me, you should let me know. If I don’t want to work with you or I can’t help you, I will let you know. Are you comfortable with that?”
You say this right at the beginning of the conversation.
You will be amazed at the effect it has on you. You are effectively playing a “trick” on your mind. If the prospective client says “no” you will not feel as bad. The reason is because you invited that response. (Of course, if the client says “yes” you’ll feel better because you will make more money.)
An added benefit of this strategy is the psychological effect it has on the client. You see, when the client is given permission to say “no” they immediately feel less threatened. This means they are more receptive to your ideas and suggestions. As a result, you may actually close more deals.
Give this a try today. Invite someone (in your business or personal life) to say “no” in a persuasive situation.
You’ll be amazed at the results.
Law Firm Marketing Means Building Relationships
How are you?
That three word question, when asked with genuine concern, can be a powerful way to start or continue to build a relationship with a client.
Unfortunately, most of us ask that question and (subconsciously) hope we don’t get a lengthy answer.
Let’s face it, we’ve all had the experience of asking that question of someone at exactly the time when: their dog ran away, their kid failed a math test, they just finished a colonoscopy or they found something unusual on their spouse’s computer.
When you get those responses you immediately think: “That’s too much information!” And for most people, listening to those lengthy diatribes is frustrating and boring.
Today I’m going to share a secret with you. It’s not a get rich quick secret. It’s not a marketing guru secret. And it’s not a secret that only I possess. Many people know this secret but they fail to apply it.
Listening to the answer to that three word question is the secret to building your law firm.
You read that correctly.
Focusing on the lives of your clients, and having conversations with them about their lives, is the secret to building a successful law firm.
How can this be?
Isn’t there some sort of new technology that will help you attract clients? Isn’t there some kind of contraption that starts with the letter “i” that will help you increase your book of business?
Law firm marketing is not about technology. It’s not about the latest fad web service. It’s about building relationships. Building a relationship starts with listening.
When you focus your marketing on building relationships it affects everything you do.
Is your website a static brochure that speaks only about your accomplishments, qualifications and credentials? Or does it offer solutions to, and education about, the most common problems your clients are facing?
How about replacing that ad in the daily business paper with an offer to get a free report? And in that report you address the very issue that is keeping your clients up at night?
How about starting a speech with a story that intrigues and captivates the audience because it engages them emotionally?
Your marketing must be set in the world of your client.
You must enter the conversation they are having around the kitchen table.
This is not something that comes naturally to lawyers. But it is something you can learn. If you need help or you are confused about where to start, give me a call.
In the meantime, you can send me and email and answer this question:
How are you?
Is Law Firm Marketing Part of Your Belief System?
“I don’t need marketing. Marketing is for sleazy lawyers who are constantly chasing a buck. I am a professional. As long as I do a good job, clients will find me.”
This quote is from a lawyer I went to lunch with last week. He has been practicing for over 20 years. He made a big deal of telling me that I should “reach out to a broader group of people” because “no self-respecting lawyer would hire a consultant to teach him about business strategy or marketing.”
About 10 minutes after he imparted his words of wisdom on me he went to pick up the lunch tab. I offered to split it. He refused. When the waiter returned and announced that his credit card had been declined, I ended up taking care of it.
You may think his comments about law firm marketing have nothing to do with his credit card issue. Maybe the bank made a mistake. Maybe the magnetic strip on the card was worn out.
Or maybe this guy was just totally full of crap.
I see that often – lawyers who believe that marketing is unprofessional or something they should avoid because of some false stigma associated with it.
These beliefs have limited this particular lawyer during his entire career. He is a terrific lawyer. One of the best in his practice area. But he never got the big, high profile cases. Never commanded big fees. And he is now “of counsel” to two separate firms because he cannot develop enough business to land a full time position or to maintain his own solo practice.
But he believes that focusing on marketing and business strategy would somehow cheapen his practice. And for this guy, that is an unshakable belief. It is part of his DNA.
I do not work with people like that. They see no value in what I do. We do not share the same belief system.
I improve the lives of lawyers. Business strategy and marketing are the tools I use to do that. I teach lawyers to use these tools. My clients make more money and have more fun while practicing law.
My belief system is different than the belief system of many lawyers.
Here are my unshakable beliefs:
I believe your law firm should support your lifestyle. If you like being home for dinner every night, you should develop the kind of practice that will allow you to do that. If you want to work with a select few clients, and charge high fees, your law firm should offer you that opportunity. Your ability to create this kind of law firm is directly related to your ability to attract clients. Client attraction involves business strategy and marketing.
I believe money follows value. If you have a reputation for providing outstanding service and you have a reputation as being an excellent lawyer and you have a reputation of giving people straight answers, you will command high fees. You get that reputation by doing excellent work and by making sure EVERYONE knows you do excellent work. That happens when you tell your story to others. That’s marketing.
I believe a lawyer grows his/her practice one relationship at a time. Those relationships must begin somewhere. Since lawyer solicitation is forbidden in most jurisdictions in the United States, clients must find you before they can enter into a relationship with you. The finding you part of being a lawyer is called marketing. The relationship development part of being a lawyer is also called marketing.
I believe that lawyers who follow the crowd make an average living and live an average life. If you follow the advice of the old guard and you just be a good lawyer and wait for the business to come rolling in, you will make an average living. And that’s fine for most people.
But if you want to be in the top one to two percent of the legal profession…if you want to attract matters that really turn you on…if you want to be home for dinner every night and …if you want to control your own destiny, you will embrace business strategy and marketing.
Most people will read this message and ignore it. Most people find it easier to adopt the beliefs of others instead of thinking for themselves. Most people never achieve the greatness they dreamed about when they started their career.
Do you want to be like most people? Or do you have some unshakable beliefs of your own?
Legal Marketing: Keep Your Pride Out of It
One of the benefits of getting older is learning from experience. I guess they call it the wisdom that comes from old age. Even though I am far from old, I have always embraced the knowledge I have acquired as a result of making mistakes.
The more I think about it, the more I realize that the temporary pain of making an embarrassing mistake is exactly what I needed in order to sear the learning into my mind.
It’s like getting a vaccination. You inject a dose of the disease into the bloodstream so that you can prevent a full blown outbreak. A little stupidity, if caught early on, can help prevent a lot of stupidity later in life.
Unfortunately there is one type of mistake that is painful even in the smallest dose.
About fifteen years ago I started a new job with significant responsibility. The job was packed with pressure and it required technical knowledge as well as people skills. Having managed people before, I was more concerned about acquiring the technical knowledge necessary to become proficient.
The people who worked for me were excellent at the technical aspects of the business. And they were willing to teach me what I needed to learn. But I refused. I wanted to learn these skills for myself. I was afraid that if the employees taught me, their boss, about the technical aspects of the job, they would not respect me.
Boy was I wrong.
I struggled to learn the technical aspects of the role from manuals and videos. I made numerous mistakes in front of the employees as I tried to bluff my way though each day. I damaged my reputation within the ranks of my people until finally, after a long painful period of time, I asked for help.
I could have shortened the learning curve. But something got in my way. That something is the one thing that holds many people back.
What was this powerful force that prevented me from acting in my own best interest?
My pride manifested itself in the fear of embarrassment associated with asking for help.
My own foolish pride kept me from growing as a leader and as a businessperson.
Now that I am older and have seen pride hold me back a few times in my career I know to ignore that feeling and ask for help when I need it.
That’s the message I have for you today. Ask for help and shorten the learning curve when you do not know what you are doing.
Think about it:
You didn’t wake up one day, decide to start practicing law, read some books and saunter down to the courthouse.
You went to law school. You learned the rules of procedure. You acquired the skills necessary to be a professional.
Yet when it comes to client attraction you try to figure it out on your own.
All of a sudden, when it comes to the lifeblood of your law practice —attracting great clients—you have decided to “wing it”.
Most lawyers are afraid to ask for help with business strategy or marketing. They feel they will look foolish if they reach out to an expert and learn from his experience.
Only 2% of the attorney population makes seven figures per year. Know why?
Because they do not know how to run their law firm like a business.
Job number 1 in every business is to attract and retain clients.
Don’t make the same mistake I made.
Swallow your pride and reach out to me today to learn how your investment of a little time and money can provide a huge return during the rest of your career.
Attracting clients doesn’t have to be difficult. Call me and find out why 888.692.5531.
Legal Marketing and Your Motivation
One of the most common complaints I receive about legal marketing is the complaint about a lack of motivation. A lawyer will say something like: “I just can’t write an article once a week. I’m not motivated enough to sit down, think of a topic and write.”
This is not unusual. In fact, nobody is motivated to do anything. The key is to push through that lack of motivation and get the task done.
One of the key components to my own personal marketing is writing. I write something every day. A little secret I will reveal here for the first time is that I almost never feel like sitting down to write. But once I do sit down and start typing the words just flow.
This is true for any activity. Most of us will never feel like going to a networking event. We’ll never feel like preparing a speech. We’ll never feel like doing the preparation for an educational seminar.
But it must be done.
If you wait for motivation you will go broke.
Make a list of things to do and plow through them, one by one. Do not let your legal marketing suffer from a lack of motivation.
Attract More Clients as a Lawyer: Say Thank You
There are two types of people in the world.
The first type of person goes through life looking at the lives of others with jealousy, animosity and resentment. They view the world as a place that highlights what they lack and they view themselves as victims.
The second type of person goes through life with gratitude. They are thankful for what they have. They believe they are blessed by their ability to earn a living and they are grateful for everything and everyone that comes into their lives.
Which of these people do you think attracts more clients as a lawyer?
It should come as no shock that people who fall into the second category are happier than people who fall into the first category. And while it seems natural that happiness and gratitude are linked together, generally, we do not recognize the correlation of these two emotions within our own lives.
A while ago I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Martin Seligman. Dr. Seligman is affectionately known as “The Father of Positive Psychology”. His work has proven that people who express their gratitude are happier, healthier and live longer lives. They are also more fun to be around and more attractive. It seems that focusing on what is going RIGHT is better for us than focusing on what is going WRONG.
It is in that spirit, the spirit of self interest, that I want you to get a pen, sit down and make a list. The list should consist of all the things in your life for which you are thankful. Your list should contain at least seven items. You can write a new list each day or you can review the same list over and over again. Read through your list at least three times each day: When you wake up, when you eat lunch and immediately before you go to sleep. Share your list with your spouse or significant other.
The more you express your gratitude, the happier you will be. The happier you are the more attractive you become. People like to be around happy people. If you want to attract more clients, be grateful for the clients you already have.
Below are seven things I am thankful for today:
Family: My wife and I have a beautiful two year old son and we are expecting a daughter in 2011. Their love and support help make me the person I am and for that, I am truly grateful.
Friends: Friends who stick with you through good times and bad are truly a treasure. I am blessed with more than my share and I am proud to say I need every one of them.
Clients: The people I speak with weekly, monthly or a few times a year who have invested in me and have helped me put food on our table. I thank you all for your faith, trust and support.
Contractors: Rainmaker Lawyer Consulting does not have an army of employees. We have a network of over 40 contractors who make things happen. This includes everyone from the accountant to the web designer. Without them our company would not exist.
Keyboard, Mouse and Computer: My whole business starts and ends with words on a page. If I did not have these tools it would be difficult for me to make a living.
My Unwashed Honda Pilot: It gets me where I am going. I do not believe in spending a year of college tuition on a car. And I do not believe in spending money at the car wash when I live in a place that has rainfall six days per week. What does this say about me? I think it says I am about what’s inside and not about the wrapping.
You: I am thankful you have joined me on this journey to build a better law firm. I hope that some days I make you laugh, some days I make you angry and most days I make you think.
Take some time right now and list the seven things you are thankful for. They can be small things or big things. The point is to express your gratitude. You will be amazed at how it improves your attitude and that, in turn, will improve your ability to attract more clients as a lawyer.