What are You Giving Away?

It is a simple fact of life that humans like to reciprocate.  When someone gives you something for free, the natural instinct is to return the favor.  This morning, I went to my local tailor/dry cleaner to get a pair of shorts repaired.  The hem needed to be resewn and it wasn’t a big job (in fact in only took 2 minutes).  When I first walked into the shop, the owner must have been downstairs because no one was behind the counter.  I waited a minute or two and then walked out to do a few more chores.  I briefly considered going into another shop around the corner, but I have always liked this dry cleaner and I prefer to do business with them.

When I returned, the shopkeeper took the shorts, fixed the hem, and quickly announced “no charge”.  I asked 3 times “are you sure?”  But the shopkeeper insisted that it was okay.  While I am not a big user of dry cleaners or tailoring services (like most of us, I haven’t worn business attire in a very long time), I will surely be returning to this shop the next time I have sewing or dry cleaning.  Through a small, simple act of generosity, the shopkeeper

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“Mindlessness” is the Key to Marketing Success

If you want to grow your law practice, having a good strategy is important. Figuring out who are your ideal clients and what are the ideal matters you want to work on is an important first step in building a marketing plan.  Creating a niche practice area is an important way to ensure that you have differentiated yourself from the competition. Mapping out who are your key referral sources and how you can build relationships with these referral sources is essential. The process of coming up with a marketing plan is anything but mindless. A scattershot approach that lacks focus is far less likely to be effective.

But once you have a strategy and you move to implementation, it is important to shift gears. Successful execution requires consistency.  Short bursts of activity followed by long breaks where you just focus on billable work, is not a good way to keep your name top of mind with your network.  Since it is hard to predict when your clients, prospective clients, and referral sources will hear about a legal problem that you might be able to solve, slow and steady wins the race.

Shear willpower is unlikely to ensure that you will have the consistency you need to remain visible.  Given the time pressures on most

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Business Development in 2021 with the Law Firm Success Group [on the C2C podcast]

 

The New Year is finally here and without getting into it, let’s just say that many of us are happy to welcome 2021.  A new year brings hope, a chance for a new beginning, and if you are in private practice, a great opportunity to ramp up your marketing and business development. In the latest episode of the C2C Podcast, I speak with Alay Yajnik, award-winning business coach and founder of Law Firm Success Group. Alay’s firm helps law firms owners across the country make more money, get better clients, and take more vacations.  I’ve already appeared as a guest on his podcast  the Lawyer Business Advantage.  Alay and I discuss

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Finding Your Niche-My Interview on the Lawyer Business Advantage Podcast

I was recently a guest on Alay Yanjnik’s Lawyer Business Advantage Podcast.  Like me, Alay is an experienced attorney coach and an active member of the ProVisors business network.  We spoke about business development for lawyers, the importance of developing a niche, some of the career related coaching that I do and a number of other related

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Getting to Know (Like and Trust) You

Earlier this year, I participated in a speed networking exercise through my business networking group ProVisors. The mantra at ProVisors is Know Like Trust Refer.  This exercise was one of the many ways we have invested time in ProVisors meetings in trying to learn more about each other so we can get to know each other on a professional and personal level.

The goal, of course, is to get to know each other in a way that makes us feel comfortable giving referrals. While most of us seek out competent professionals when someone we know have a need that we cannot fulfill, in truth, it is much easier to identify someone we like and who we trust.

Since by definition, a competent professional has a skill set that we lack, often our decision to make a referral is not based on our professional assessment of that individual’s skill.  Do we really know that someone is a good CPA if the Internal

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How to Build a Life Sciences Practice in a New City [on the C2C podcast]

How do you move to a new city and build a law practice?  Do what Dave Dykeman has done over the last 20 years.  Dave is Co-Managing Partner of the Boston Office of Greenberg Traurig where he also Co-Chairs the firm’s Global Life Sciences & Medical Technology Group.  In the latest episode of the Counsel to Counsel Podcast, Dave and I talk about building a niche IP practice in medical devices and other technologies.  He describes how his  early marketing efforts yielded great results over time.

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Building A Book of Business During COVI9-19 and Beyond [Zoom cast]

AALAM’s Law Firm and Solo and Small Firm Committees is offering this program to provide insights into how to build a book of business in the age of social distancing. This Zoom cast will feature a marketing coach and a legal recruiter, who will offer fresh perspectives on business and career development. Learn the ins and outs of business development and tips on effective marketing from seasoned panelists, Stephen Seckler of Seckler Legal Recruiting and Coaching and Marc Zwetchkenbaum of Marc Z Legal Staffing. The panel will be moderated by AALAM’s own Jason Chan.  

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Getting the Most From Networking Meetings and Troikas [podcast]

In the latest episode of the Counsel to Counsel podcast, I speak with Steve Fretzin, a premier business coach, trainer, and speaker on business development.  Steve focuses on the legal industry but comes with experience in other industries as well.  Steve and I discuss the importance of networking in building a professional services practice, how you can get more out of your networking meetings, and how to do this in a time of social distancing.

The ability to generate work has never been more important for lawyers and other professionals. We are in a recession right now and adapting to the demands of the marketplace is critical.  But knowing what services your clients want is only a starting point.  A good business plan requires a healthy mix of marketing (or reputation building activities) and business development (or relationship building activities).  For lawyers and other professionals, it is the second leg, the relationship building, that is more challenging to master.

Attorneys come out of law school knowing something about a broad cross section of legal subjects.  Law school graduates enter the workforce knowing how and do legal research and write briefs.  While clinics and internships help aspiring lawyers to start

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What a Deadly Virus Teaches Us About Business Development

Since the start of the year, we’ve learned a lot from COVID-19 about how disease spreads.  While it is hard to see beyond the toll  that the pandemic is taking on our health and on our economy, I’ve been looking for the silver linings and the lessons we can learn.  In the future, I’ll look back nostalgically on this time and remember the months I was able to have dinners with my three adult children who are all living with us.

I’ve also realized that the coronavirus has something to teach us about business development and the importance of building a network.  In the case of the coronavirus, building that network is clearly a bad thing.  In the case of business development, building a network is essential for success.

While COVID-19 spreads from individual to individual, we know that it can spread more quickly when groups of people come together; and it can spread exponentially faster when large groups of people are congregated indoors and near each other.

So how is this relevant to business development and business relationship building? The short answer is that it is better to know more people than fewer people.  Your referrals will grow more quickly if you know more people and if you deepen your relationship with those people. 

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Building Business Relationships in a Time of Social Distancing–webinar transcript

I recently presented a Webinar at The Boston Bar Association:  Building Business Relationships in a Time of Social Distancing.  I now have a transcript of my remarks which you can read here.  If you would like a copy of my slides or the resources that were circulated after the webinar, please email me.

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