Why Clients Ignore You

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How Lawyers Make Great DecisionsI’m frustrated.

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):

No Money

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.

No Time

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.

No Trust

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.

Fine.

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.

No Need

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.

Six Week Almost Free Coaching Program for Lawyers

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 Week Almost Free Coaching Program for Lawyers