|Posted on January 24, 2016 at 1:30 PM||comments (2)|
At the beginning of a new year three things generally happen. People make resolutions to do things differently, many have a plan for what they want to try to accomplish in the coming year, and predictions are made for what the year will bring. Some of the predictions for law firms and their marketing and business development include the death of SEO, more engagement with social media, and a more intense focus on earned media. See what other predictions the experts have for the coming year.
|Posted on October 13, 2015 at 8:05 AM||comments (0)|
Everyone CAN do it differently
The debate about rainmakers being born not made may never be completely resolved. But if you look carefully within your firm or practice group, you may find that everyone has the ability to generate business. It may just be in different ways. You likely have the young associates, the "I'm too busy" lawyers, the community facing partners, the practice group chair or managing partner, and the attorneys who are already well on their way to being great rainmakers. You just need to identify roles for all these individuals and get everyone rowing in the same direction.
|Posted on October 8, 2015 at 2:20 PM||comments (0)|
And it's not about his hair
Let's all admit the hair-do would not get high marks in any opinion poll. But, Donald Trump manages to "get it done." Sometimes not in the most politically correct or tactful way. But consider his process and how he manages himself and his day. He doesn't waste time surfing the net or reading emails. His assistants are responsible for that and he has clearly delegated these tasks to them and trusts that they will take care of these things for him. He knows how to say "no." Anything that isn't advancing his priorities goes on the "decline" list. He is not distracted or over-extended. He stays on point and pushes his agenda ahead. His days are not taken up with things that other people can do for him. He probably isn't trying to develop his own web content, or making sure that the right flowers have been chosen for his next fundraiser. He's working on the things he needs to focus on, the big picture, and leaving these tasks to others. You don't have to vote for him, or even like him, to learn a thing or two from The Donald. Of course, there are a few things you would not want to try....such as the hair.
|Posted on September 14, 2015 at 2:45 PM||comments (1)|
Take a moment and think about conversations you remember well. Or people who immediately made you feel like they were very competent and capable from the moment you first spoke with them. Chances are these people told you a story about something that made sense to you. They gave you an example of something that they recently encountered and made it easy for you to visualize the problem and how they solved it. They were convincing.
If you keep this in mind when talking to prospects and clients you will probably be more successful.
Use visuals and analogies
Everyone says they are responsive, client-focused, efficient, cost-effective and reliable. Take the time to help the prospect or client understand what this means. What sounds better if you are a client?
Our lawyers are very responsive and reliable. We always keep the client in mind.
One of the things that is very helpful for us as we begin to work with you is to attend your new hire orientation, at no charge to you of course. This helps us fully understand your company and makes us part of your team. And if you can start to send us the dates and times of your earnings calls, we’d like to start participating. By doing this we feel we are better prepared to give you our best possible advice because we will understand you better.
Being responsive means different things to different people. Which is better?
We are very responsive and will get back to you as soon as we have something to report.
Our service guidelines are that you will hear from us within the same business day regarding any email or voice mail. Once we start to work with you, we will give you a list of individuals you can call so if you have an urgent situation and cannot reach me for whatever reason, there will be someone else available to help you.
You can say you have a team approach and that you always deliver on time or ahead of schedule, but showing it is always better. What will instill confidence in you?
Here is a spreadsheet with all the things we are going to do and who will be doing them. We have also put an estimate of the time it will take us to do these things.
We’ve mapped out a flow diagram of the process involved with the work you would like us to do. All of the boxes that are green are things that we will be doing for you and the date it will be accomplished. The orange boxes are decision points where you will need to be involved. Once you make the decision we can move forward with the rest of the process. We have also indicated who on our end will be working on each step so you will know exactly who is involved at each point along the way.
By doing this, you also are setting the expectations for the client. That way everyone is clear on how much time steps will take and what, if anything, can be streamlined or eliminated if the end date needs to change.
You don’t want to be viewed as just another law firm with the assumption that law firms are all alike. So, set yourself apart by telling and showing how you are different.
|Posted on August 28, 2015 at 11:20 AM||comments (0)|
But didn't get hired
You knew you were the best firm for the job, but you didn't get the work. What happened? Key reasons for missing out include limited visibility with the targeted decision-maker, presentations that are more about selling services than listening and problem solving, nothing useful online or on social media about your firm or services, not being creative or insightful with the initial advice you gave, or giving no advice at all. Sometimes you need to give before you can receive.
|Posted on August 20, 2015 at 3:20 PM||comments (0)|
People who can help you succeed
Dissecting how you get work, whether from existing client referrals or referral sources, can be an exhausting process. The key is focus. Apparently, there are only 15 people who can make you successful or contribute to your demise. And they fall into three categories: current clients, prospects who look like current clients, and referral sources. So, forget the list of 200 companies that you found in a business publication recently. Work on the relationships that matter.
|Posted on August 14, 2015 at 10:45 AM||comments (0)|
I am a thought leader
You don't have to have original thoughts to be a thought leader. In fact, I recently heard a person proclaim that his belief is that there are no longer "original thoughts" just repurposed content. Maybe both of these statements are a little extreme but there is something to be said for helping your clients find the information that is reliable and right for them. You can add value to your relationship and enhance the reputation of your firm by identifying good content for your clients and sharing it. Whether that is through a blog, e-newsletter, social media or simply an email with a good attachment, it will make you a thought leader in no time at all.
|Posted on August 7, 2015 at 3:50 PM||comments (0)|
Business Development training and individual attorney coaching can be a sizable investment for law firms. It's important for law firm leaders to articulate and clarify the benefits of training and coaching. There are two kinds of benefits to business development training: 1.The economic benefits which can be tracked and are often expressed as Return on Investment (ROI) and, 2. The cultural benefits which are more difficult to monitor and report but are nonetheless equally compelling benefits. Eric Dewey of Group Dewey Consulting has advice for building the case in your firm, the types of situations in which training and coaching can help and some interesting numbers about the profitability of collaboration.
|Posted on August 5, 2015 at 9:35 AM||comments (0)|
No matter what size firm you are, your website is your window to the world. Like it or not, a firm’s website has become the way your prospects and probably current clients evaluate and validate their choice to hire you to help them with their legal problems. You don’t need to break the bank to have a decent website that looks good, says what you do, is easy to navigate and allows people who visit the site to find what they need. There are a few things that you should consider as you evaluate your website and whether or not there is a need to make changes.
At a minimum you should have responsive design. For those who aren’t familiar with this term, what it means is that on the desktop, tablet, or mobile device your site will work and look good. The design is “responsive” to the devices. If you want to be really on top of it, have a mobile design that puts information that mobile users typically want front and center. Things like directions and phone numbers available by a simple click on the mobile device.
If you still have a “narrow site” which means it is 1,024 pixels wide, it is time to change. If you have this type of site it will look very narrow on today’s wider and larger monitors. It makes you look outdated.
Stay away from images like scales of justice, law books, gavels, and courthouses. There are lots of images out there that are much more interesting and will help you establish your firm brand. Using these trite images makes all law firm websites look alike. It is a competitive world out there: set yourself apart.
Copy heavy content
Get rid of all the long sentences and content heavy pages that sound like they were written by committees of attorneys. A recent study by Social Times identified that most people want content of 300 words or less. What you’ve read so far, if you are still with me, is over 300 words. So keep it short, make your points and let it go.
Attorney email addresses
Put the email addresses of your attorneys on the site. Nothing is more annoying than having to fill out a “Contact Us” form just to email one or your attorneys. It is always startling to me that law firms will deter prospective clients from contacting them by throwing up a form someone needs to complete. And sometimes these are firms who claim to be responsive! How responsive is it when you can’t even make direct contact with the lawyer? If I am a prospect and have to complete a form, I’m moving on. If I am a client and trying to find my attorney’s email on your website, I’m irritated.
High school year book photos may be best used in high school yearbooks. The trend away from this style and one that is more contemporary and relaxed started long ago. If you still have the traditional “sit down in front of this gray background and smile” type photos of your attorneys changing them for a more contemporary look will be an inexpensive and easy update.
Do you have statements that really are more meaningless than useful? For example, do you say you are client-focused? What law firm is not? Do you say you are results-oriented? Who isn’t? These things are a given for a professional service firm. Use some creativity and come up with some words that truly describe your firm and set you apart from your competition.
Have a look at your site and see if you can identify any of these mistakes. If so, it really is not a big investment to fix them. It will help you present the image you want to your prospective clients and current clients.
|Posted on August 3, 2015 at 9:15 AM||comments (0)|
Surviving the new normal
Trying to keep up with all the changes in the legal profession along with all the things your clients want, or think they want, can be like trying to nail Jell-o to the wall. The key is to focus on the things your client really values, use technology to make things convenient for both of you, and delegate the things you don't need to do yourself to someone else. Determine what you need to be doing now so that your practice continues to thrive in the future. This requires knowing your client's expectations and limitations along with your own.