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Coaching Module #7 example

Seven Steps to Mining New Business

Many of my lawyer-coaching clients want to know how they can get new files and business from their existing clients. If your law firm simply sends out newsletters or holiday greetings to clients, don’t expect that this alone will expand your work flow or get you a larger share of the pie.

This module explains just one of many strategic marketing endeavors to mine new business, and at the same time, to strengthen the professional relationship that you have with your client.

Step 1 - Select Target Clients
Think of three active clients, ones that you have never met face-to-face, or just a few times. Are they clients who possibly have a more work or files that can be assigned to you? Is there work that can be moved away from another firm?

Step 2 - Justify a Meeting
Ask: “Do I have a current file that would justify even a brief meeting with this client?" Invariably, the answer is "yes". Offer to meet the client at his or her office. If the client is out of town, and there is a potential for a volume of work, have an excuse to “drop by” for a visit when you are in their area. You want to be top of mind and "face-time" with the client is a valuable investment.

Step 3 -Meet the Decision Maker
If your client contact is not the decision maker concerning work assignment, then you need to try to arrange an additional meeting or introduction with the person who has the authority to send you more work.

Step 4 - Don’t Bill the Time
Because the client has been used to dealing with you over the phone, by email or by fax, and may not wish to pay for your travel or extra time for a meeting, then advise the client that you will not be billing them for the office visit.

Step 5 - Build the Relationship
Use the office visit to develop rapport and to build your lawyer and client relationship. You may discover that you share common interests or went to the same college. Simply focus in the first 20 minutes to get to know your client as an individual. Leave business aside at the start. Connect, connect and connect.

Step 6 - Don’t Sell
You are not there to sell yourself or your firm. Rather, simply take an interest in the client’s operations. Request a tour and be curious by asking a lot of questions about your contact's role and the business. It's counterproductive if the client has the impression that you are there for the sole purpose of “getting new business” or marketing your legal services. Use the visit as an opportunity to find out more about the client’s challenges and their specific needs and concerns. Ask open-ended questions. These may present clues about where the client needs further support.

Step 7 - Get Feedback
Further justify the meeting by telling the client that you would welcome feedback on the delivery of your legal services. A friendly way of asking might be: “Is there anything you would like more of, or less of, from our firm?”

Conclusion

I can’t tell you how many times, after a cordial client visit, that the client says: “Oh, by the way, there are a couple of files I will be sending over to you.” All you need to do is smile and say “Thanks, I appreciate the work.”

 

Coaching Module #12 examplee

"What would your dream practice look like?"         

Imagine that you walk into your office three years from today. You sit down and look at the files neatly arranged on the corner of your desk. Then you gaze around your newly organized and decorated surroundings. What do you see? What is different? How has it changed? How do you feel?

As you open up the blue file folder and stare down at the paperwork in the file, what type of case are you working on? Do you feel motivated, excited and eager to get started? What is it about this work that makes you feel challenged and revved up to get started?

Imagine the client you are working with? Who are they? What type of relationship do you have? Think about how it feels to take their call or send them a report or your legal account at the end of the month.

Consider packing up at the end of a long, productive day to head home or to the gym or out for an enjoyable dinner. Picture yourself having worked the entire day on that one ideal file for that one ideal client. How would your “after work” experience differ from the one you have now?

You can have the dream practice. All you have to do is vision what you want. I often ask my lawyer coaching clients to tell me what percentage of their current case load represents the type of work they really love to do. Often, I'm told something like “80/20.”  Surprisingly, the 80 percent represents boring or rote work.

I then ask, “How would you feel if you switched it around, so that 80 percent of your work was stimulating and enjoyable and just 20 percent was routine?”

The most common response is “wow!”

Then I ask: “So what do you need to do to make that happen?” Usually, I sense a real shift in my client’s energy level and a rising excitement.

“You mean that’s possible?”

“Absolutely,” I respond.

It won’t happen by osmosis. If you just drift along in your law practice, then the likelihood of developing that dream practice will take a lot longer than it needs to.

When you start to vision and dream about the kind of files and clients you really want, then the way you relate to the world begins to change. Your focus and energy shifts. You begin to attract into your practice exactly what you want. Your intention will become your reality. I promise. I’ve helped make it happen over and over.

Where do you begin? Start by writing a short mission statement that describes your dream practice – and do it now!

It might read something like this:         

“My dream practice is just representing senior corporate executives who are negotiating employment contracts or who are suing for significant unpaid termination rights, including unexercised stock options or profit sharing. To service this client effectively, my dream office and support staff will be…..”         

Now cut that paragraph out and tape it below your computer or next to a favorite picture on your desk, somewhere where you will see it everyday.

Make a commitment now to bring this vision into reality. You can have it all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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