When you look to attract top performing attorneys, especially those with a portable book, you need to answer only one question: Why? Why would it be worth it for them to disrupt their lives, add stress to it, and possibly lose some of their clients? There has to be a compelling reason why someone would go to your firm. And you can start analyzing it by looking at what is DIFFERENT about your firm. Differentiation is the beginning of all sales. Yes, sales. You are selling your advantages and the hope of a better future to someone else. You have to look at what is different about your firm and how that will benefit your prospect on a personal and emotional level.
Archive for October 2009
When you give direction, whether it’s to a subordinate associate or a paralegal, remember that they have a choice in their response and in the quality of work they choose to perform. If we could rate that choice and their enthusiasm of work effort on a scale of 1 to 10, with ten being most enthusiastic, what can you do to ensure that their response is at the higher end of the spectrum?
Here are a few ideas:
1. Give them reasons why it will benefit the client.
2. Give them reasons as to how it will benefit them on a personal or professional level.
3. Always say the word ‘because’ at the end of your direction when doing this.
4. Ask them, ‘What can I do to help you do your job better?’
5. If they ask you for clarification, don’t tell. Ask. If you tell them what to do then you are a boss. If they come up with their own solutions, then you are a leader. Say this: “That’s a good question. What do you think you should do to solve that problem?” Keep asking them questions to lead them in the right direction. When they get the solution, it’s theirs and they own it.
From my experience in conducting business development training to professional services firms, prospective clients aren’t as much concerned with the pedigree of a professional services provider as much as they are concerned with how that person or firm can solve their problem. The educational and experience background might help to improve the value or perceived value, but the primary concern with the client prospect is how the resolution of that problem impacts them on a personal and emotional level. How you sift through and uncover these needs is based on the Socratic method of obaining buying commitments from prospects. Ask the right questions, and then show how your experience, education, process, and knowledge can solve that problem and get very clear on explaining the personal benefit to the prospect.
When you are admitted to the hospital, the first procedure performed is a check of your vital signs. Your pulse, blood pressure, and temperature all are indicators of problems that might exist below the surface.
A key vital sign of the morale of your firm is the trust factor. What is the general mood among your colleagues with respect to trust? Have you ever seen a trust violated in your office among staff and peers?
Read this compelling article by legal strategy consultant Patrick McKenna.
Social Media can be a time dump. It can also be a scalable way to communicate with a mass volume of people all at once. And it’s based on permission marketing. For many sales people and recruiters, I recommend using ‘interruption marketing’ as a way to open up doors with people. For example, most of the candidates that our firm wants to present to our clients aren’t looking to make a move, so the odds are high that they won’t be ‘following’ a recruiter. What’s the point? For that reason in some industries, it can be a waste of time. For my recruiter training practice I coined this phrase for Twitter: Time Wasted In Trying To Escape Rejection.
But if you have a group of people who want to hear what you have to say, perhaps a client prospect that heard you speak at an industry conference on legal issues, then I would recommend that you encourage them to connect with you through social media. The more they receive content from you, then the more they feel connected with you. And when the time is right and they have a need, then THEY will call YOU. Consider social media to be just one facet of your portfolio of rainmaking tools.
Here’s a recent post from Law.com on how lawyers can benefit from social media.