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Don’t want growth? Keep thinking about it

August 15, 2017

Filed under: Marketing,Money,Practice Growth,Practice Management — admin @ 12:03 pm

I don’t procrastinate, ever. I just think about stuff for a very, very, VERY long time. I don’t actually act on anything.  I’ve found thinking about things to be very beneficial and recommend this strategy to small law firm owners and solo practitioners as a way of protecting their egos.

Let’s pretend I have a new marketing idea. All I am willing to do is think, “For this to be perfect outcome, what would have to happen?”

For the outcome to be ideal, which is what I want, the best thing to do is to think about it, strategize it, plan it and then think about it some more.  All the permutations and obstacles to my new idea fill my mind. And then, I spend time thinking about those.

Here are the key benefits of the “think about it” strategy:

  1. You can never be wrong. If you don’t take action, then you can always be right.
  2. You can keep your opinion, assumptions, and beliefs. Of course, action and actually testing an idea out is where the rubber meets the road – and that’s where all learning occurs – but by continuing to think about it, you could always just adjust your plan.
  3. I don’t have to learn anything (See No. 2). I mean, why bother? Learning requires risk and can be very frustrating. Acting is too ambitious.
  4. You don’t have to be accountable. This is a big one. If you keep thinking about it and don’t take any action, then no one can hammer you because you took action.
  5. You don’t risk energy or money. Sure, you waste some time thinking things over, but it’s totally worth it, right?

The truest thing I can say about the results of the “think about it” method is that nothing ever changes. Life stays the same. Your complaints of today will be your complaints of tomorrow. You know them well. They are like old friends. Your weight stays the same. Your fitness stays the same. And, so do your income and results.  There is no growth.

I think Abraham Maslow had it wrong. He said, “You will either step forward into growth, or you will step backward into safety.”

I love it. Safety is where it is at, right?

If you don’t want to grow your practice, then use the “think about it” strategy to avoid any form of risk, loss of money, embarrassment, or failure.

And, go one step further: Take no action from this blog. Instead, think about growth for a long, long time. It is a lot safer.

[In case you read this post and you’re not sure if I’m being serious, just think about it.]

Lawyers: How to Get Referrals from Existing Clients

May 5, 2017

Filed under: Client Issues,Marketing,Practice Growth,Referral Sources — Tags: — admin @ 5:24 pm

When you think of your clients, do a few favorites come to mind? Do you know why they’re your favorites? Did they come from referrals? Have you taken time to write down the characteristics of these A+ clients to create a client profile?

If so, that’s the first step to creating your Clients-Referring-Clients strategy. If not, it’s time you did. But that’s just the beginning.

A Strategic Mindset is a Must

Having a strategic mindset around how you are going to get referrals from existing clients is a necessity to ensure that your client base grows at a steady or speedy rate. Most lawyers don’t have any type of strategy to gain these types of referrals, but you can by following the steps outlined in this one hour recorded webinar I led for ElderLawAnswers called Getting Referrals from Existing Clients.

How to Improve Your Success Rate

ReferralsIn this webinar recording, you’ll learn the steps it takes to up your client-referring-clients success rate.

Here are four reasons why you might not be getting many client referrals yet…

  • You might not be paying attention to where your business comes from
  • You just haven’t learned how to create this type of strategy yet
  • You don’t want to ask for the business or turn clients off by being too sales-y
  • You feel that clients will come naturally and that you don’t need to make an entire strategy to attract them

If that’s you, don’t fret, that’s how most attorneys think. But you’re no typical lawyer if you’re looking for ways to enhance your practice.

Steps to Get More Referrals

Here’s the short list of to-dos to get you started, but if you want to really up your strategy, then watch the full webinar for tips on building out each of these steps to create a strategic plan that is sure to bring in more business.

Step #1: Create a client profile that describes your A+ client

Step #2: Devise a “Thank You for Your Referral” system

Step #3: Practice TOMA (Top of Mind Awareness), so your clients don’t forget you

Step #4: Hold client-only events

Step #5: Practice the art of asking and get your team to do the same

Step #6: Meet your client’s referral network

Step #7: Plan your firm’s community activity engagement efforts

Mistakes to Eliminate

Part of putting together this strategic plan is to also eliminate the mistakes you’re currently making that may interfere with your progress. Here are just a few to be aware of:

  • Avoid using a virtual answering service. Hiring the right receptionist who will build good relationships with your clients is essential.
  • Stop attracting B and C-rated clients and learn how to attract A+ clients
  • Don’t be too sales-y when asking for referrals

If you know what your clients want most and what your law firm does best, then you’ll have the winning combination to create satisfied clients who will bring in A+ referrals.

Learn more on the on-demand webinar now.

Attorneys: Do you want to grow or sell your law firm?

April 18, 2017

Filed under: Money,Practice Growth,Selling a Law Firm,Succession Planning — admin @ 12:03 pm

Being a great attorney alone won’t significantly grow your practice’s revenue. And, studying to become the most certified lawyer in your market won’t add value to your practice if you’re hoping to eventually sell it.

However, what does grow revenue and what will position your firm for a profitable sale is creating a strategic business plan at one or both of the two Atticus workshops offered this summer in Orlando.

Double Your Revenue How to Build Your Law Firm for SaleAtticus has taught the Double Your Revenue™ workshop for over a decade to great results. Graduates have doubled and occasionally tripled revenue. At a minimum, some increased by 40%. But no one did it by thinking about it. They took action. You will create your own strategic plan to double your revenue without increasing your stress or overhead.

And, Atticus’ Florida Bar CLE-accredited How to Build Your Law Firm for Sale workshop shows you what it takes to transform your practice into a profitable business and what buyers are really looking for. Determine your practice’s actual value today and create a profitability plan to increase the firm’s worth for a future sale date.

You can find out more about each workshop by clicking on their names above. If you’re ready to register, click here.

Registration for each workshop is $995 for the first attorney and $795 for each additional attorney or staff member from your firm.

Enroll in both workshops and Atticus will deduct $300 off the first attorney’s registration cost, and then you pay only $1,690 to attend both Double Your Revenue ™ and How to Build Your Law Firm for Sale™.

Commit to spending two days away from your office to work strategically ON your practice rather than working blindly IN it. Attend these workshops and implement Atticus’ tools and strategies to make an incredible difference in your life, your team, and your profitability.

An attorney’s fear of asking for money

March 13, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 12:56 pm

Nothing seems to turn attorneys into quivering lumps of goo faster than asking a prospect for a retainer check.

I don’t care if their area of practice is family law, estate planning, commercial litigation, elder law, etc. If you have a contingency fee practice, then you have likely been confronted by this fear. To look a prospect in the eye and discuss your fees can be terrifying.

If this is true for you, and your goal is to increase your profitability, then this may be the most important business skill you work on this quarter.

Why is it so hard? What about it requires so much work?

While there are multiple tactics we can discuss that can address this fear, in this post let’s focus on “The Ask.”

If you are not crystal clear how you will ask someone for payment, then you are going to bumble through the conversation. While you think it should be obvious to a prospect that you will ask for payment or discuss fees, most of the time this is not obvious to them. When you start talking about hourly rates and retainers, many prospects will display a confused expression.

What do most attorneys do when they see that expression? They immediately start discounting fees and their retainer in their head (which only makes matters worse).

What should you do? It may sound obvious, or perhaps a little silly to some of you, but I think you need to practice “The Ask.”

Think back through all the times that that asking for payment went well, and all the times it went bad, and consider what you did right and wrong. Then, practice asking. Then practice asking again.

If you want to increase your law firm’s profitability, one of the best and simplest strategies is learning how to ask for money. Practice, practice, and practice some more until your ask becomes easy.

Lawyers: 2 Simple Lists Can Result in Big Wins for 2017

November 9, 2016

Filed under: Client Issues,Enjoying Life,Lawyer Coaching,Marketing,Money,Practice Growth,Practice Management,Stress Management — admin @ 4:16 pm

The holidays are nearly here, and for many lawyers that means using this time to sit back and reflect on their successes or failures of the last year. Some of you will armchair quarterback yourselves over what you should or should not have done.

Stop it. Looking back in regret will not fix those issues. Just because a calendar year is nearing its close does not mean it’s okay to navel-gaze instead of looking for opportunities to improve. You risk falling behind.

Now is the best time for lawyers to set personal and financial goals for 2017. I encourage my coaching clients to write two simple lists to help them make progress in both life and business for the coming year.

Setting Simple Goals

The first list is your top 10 personal and financial goals for the year – as simply stated as possible. This list might include paying more attention to your children, exercising more, increasing your business’ marketing efforts, or paying off old debt by following a new budget plan.

One goal you might consider is hiring an accountability and strategy coach!

Of course, you don’t have to finish this list in one day and laminate it! Some people get writer’s block if they are on deadline. Instead, draft it out, set it aside for a day or two and come back to it to make revisions or additions.

Repetition and Reminders

Once you’ve set these goals, make three copies: one for your desk at work, one taped near the bathroom mirror at home, and one miniaturized in size to carry in a wallet or purse. This might seem silly to some, but reading one’s goals regularly can really help ensure commitment to achieving them. It’s a practice in self-accountability.

Share these goals with your key assistant or another attorney you trust, if you are comfortable doing so. That way, you’re saying you want to be held accountable to meeting these goals because you want this person to check on your progress.

The Little Things

The second list is all about the little things you have been tolerating over the last year. Take 15 minutes and sprint out a list of these annoyances. Don’t worry about prioritizing it, just put pen to paper.

Maybe you’ve been so busy wrestling with issues at home that you’ve come to accept working in a messy work space or office? Or, you’re missing a button on your favorite jacket, and are reminded of it each time you put it on to take the dog on a walk. It might be a garage door that needs fixing or a checking account that needs reconciling.

Perhaps you sacrificed having a dental issue treated because of unexpected business expenses? Or maybe the list will contain names of problematic clients you’ve tolerated instead of letting go.

Once you begin writing these things down, it becomes clear just how many annoyances you’ve been putting up with in daily life that need addressing. Regardless of its content, this list of tolerations will certainly grow if it is not addressed.

You don’t need to take an oath to eliminate each of these issues within the next year, but you will have a much better chance of addressing most of them if you just start by writing them down.

As always, I hope this article has helped you and your practice. If you have a specific practice management issue or concern you’d like to share, please contact me.

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