Let’s be honest most lawyers want the business development process to be more like a sprint to the winners circle. But the reality is that the winners circle is reserved for the slow and steady. THAT is not what you wanted to hear I’m sure!

The fact of the matter is that CONSISTENCY is a silver bullet. Yes, a slow silver bullet! You see, many are looking for the right tool… SEO, Google Ads, social media, blogs, You Tube channel, article, networking, etc, etc, etc! But these are simply tools, just like your phone is a tool. But your phone, itself, isn’t going to get you clients. It is what you do to leverage all these tools. How regularly do you focus on the strategy you have put into place? (Oh, you don’t have a strategy? We’ll get to that later.)

Here are three things to keep in mind to achieve consistency…

First… Focus – make your activity a habit. Do something every single day!

Second… Be Present – if you are truly present, whether it’s a meeting with a client or a conversation with a stranger, you will see possibilities. Possibilities that you can only see when you are truly listening and present to the person across the table or on the phone.

Third… Learn to say NO – Not to others but to yourself. Today we are bombarded by people telling is the newest and greatest ideas to win new clients and you would like to try them all… but you don’t have the time or the money to invest in them all. Pick one to three, then say no to the rest. Put them on a list to think about for next year’s strategic plan.

So you say you don’t have a strategic plan… create one! It’s July 8th, what do you want to accomplish by the end of the year? What things would need to happen for you to feel great about how your personal life is in harmony with your work when 2015 rolls around? It need not be more than a few sentences to help you focus your efforts and be consistent. We are halfway through the year… don’t let 2014 get by you!

If you’d like to discuss this subject further, I’m here! Shoot me an email today.

How did you find your last real estate agent? I bet it was via a referral. Take a lesson.

Some of the greatest marketers I know are realtors. And when it comes to referrals? They’re masters. In fact, most established real estate agents work solely off referrals from past clients. Sure, the businesses may be a bit different, but the basic principles apply to everyone. Here are a few links to some great articles by and for realtors. Open your mind and see how they apply to your own referral business… you may be surprised!


Black Pearls:
6 Prospecting Tip to Help Grow Your Business 7 Ways to Generate Leads and Build Your Business8 Ways Real Estate Agents Can Generate Referrals for Free

 

For the past two weeks we’ve explored the idea of trust and how to build that trust with clients, potential clients and colleagues. So once it’s there what comes next? You guessed it: referrals. But getting referrals isn’t as easy as doing a good job. You have to let people know that you want them… and what type of referrals you want. Here are five tips for getting started:

1. Don’t be shy. The only way to get more work is to ask for it.

2. Understand what you want. People can easily send you work if they have a clear idea of what kind of work you’re looking for.

3. Focus on the right people. If you have a referral source who has sent you 1 case and another who has sent you 20, it becomes clear where to place more of your efforts.

4. Make use of family and friends. They know you best and won’t be afraid to throw your name out.

5. Have a plan. Know how you’re going to follow up with a referral source and create a system for everything from initial contact to a follow-up and thank you gift.
 

You don’t have to build a referral base through a Bar Association only. Look around your everyday life and make networking fit in.

This week we asked: Where have your best referrals come from?

1) Professional Organizations (Bar Associations, ect…) – 19%

2) Personal Causes – 26%

3) Community Organizations/ Schools – 13%

4) Neither – 42%

My Thoughts:

Interestingly enough over half of you said that your best referrals came from personal causes or organizations and schools.

At a recent seminar I conducted the conversation turned to this exact topic and almost all of the attorneys in attendance were in agreement that some of the best networking they are able to do is in their own personal life. While the Bar Association is a fantastic place to build referrals, it needs to be supplemented with some other organizations. A few ideas…

1. Schools—Whether its your child’s school or your own alumni association, it’s a great (and relaxed) place to connect with others and share business. Just be aware of the environment and focus more on developing friendly relationships than pushing for referrals.

2. Charitable Causes—Having a cause that means something to you beyond being simply a networking fulfillment will make all the difference in both your comfort level and attitude. Look around the organizations you belong to that mean the most to you and make sure that the people you interact with on a regular basis know what you do and why you’re good at it.

3. Hobbies—Take inventory of your out-of-office activities. Play for a basketball or softball team? Belong to a runner’s club? Poker? Bridge? Tennis? All great places to network. Don’t discount opportunities just because they show up outside your professional bubble.

The key here (in case you hadn’t noticed) is developing personal relationships. We all know that. The problem is remembering it. You don’t have to make a play for new business or referrals, but keeping that IN MIND as your relationships develop can help you see opportunity where you may not have before.

Black Pearl: Need a refresher on networking and building relationships? I highly recommend Mark Maraia’s “Relationships Are Everything! Growing Your Business One Relationship at a Time.”
 

I often find myself counseling clients who have trouble committing to organizations. In fact, if I had a dollar for every client who joined the local Bar Association and then called it a day I would be…well, I’d be a wealthy consultant. One of my main goals in working with a new client is to sit down and understand how we can make networking and building a referral base a natural part of their life. Part of that is looking at the organizations that fit into their daily life and seeing where they can benefit and create opportunity. Check back on Thursday for some examples.

Question of the Week: Where have your best referrals come from…professional or personal membership?
 


Where have your best referrals come from?online surveys

Your friends and family can be an incredible source of referrals… as long as they know just what it is that you do.

This week we asked: What percentage of your friends and family truly know what you do?

1. Less than 25% – 35%

2. 25-50% – 40%

3. 51-75% – 17%

4. 76-100% – 8%

My Thoughts: What a wake-up call! Only 25% of you say more than 51% of your friends and family can clearly articulate what you do, why you’re good at it and what type of business you’re looking for. Not good. If they can’t pass on your points of differentiation, they can’t help you bring in business. And they certainly can’t bring in the kind of business you really want.

Here’s my advice… Make sure those closest to you really understand your marketing and business development needs. Take the time to explain the kinds of business you’re looking for and why you’re a match for it. Chances are they’ll be more than interested to hear and will go out of their way to think of people they can introduce you to. You’ll be surprised how many of them have connections you never knew existed…and they’ll be thrilled to help out.

Marrero Bozorgi’s Susan Bozorgi has a similar outlook:

Realize that your friends are the cornerstone to your marketing plan; ask for their help and resources. Maintaining friendships is one of the most important things you can do to grow your business.”

Black Pearl: Uncomfortable approaching friends or clients for referrals? Here’s a good piece by Donna Erickson of Erickson Marketing on Missed Opportunities. Enjoy!

Many realtors (who happen to be masters of marketing!) I know have a name for the people around them…their “sphere of influence.” These are the people—the family, friends, former clients and close acquaintances—whom they count on to help them bring in business. And you can bet EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM knows exactly what that realtor does, where they sell their homes and how they do it differently. That’s the key! It’s great to have a support system, but they can’t be of use unless they truly understand your business. So look around and take an inventory.

Question of the week: How many of your friends and family truly understand and can articulate what exactly it is that you do… and what kind of business you’re looking for?  


What percentage of your friends and family truly know what you do?Market Research