Client Development, The Top Ten reasons you don’t grow

On 25.06.10, In Legal Marketing, by Daniel Callahan

Client Development, Building a business is a priority for all members of a law firm.  As the founding or senior partner of the firm your leadership in the area of client development must stand tall.  If you are the only partner or attorney your future lies in the balance of your efforts.  Through the years we have witnessed many enthusiastic attorneys hang a shingle to become no more than a self-employed attorney.  Here are ten potential challenges you may have if you are not growing:

  1. You know you are a good attorney. You believe that your work speaks for itself and if you garner a solid Martindale-Hubbel AV peer review rating, build a good reputation and simply wait for the phone to ring, you will build a substantial law firm.
  2. You fail to plan.  In any failing business people don’t plan to fail they simply fail to plan. With no marketing plan you “puttz” and waste time on random activities that will not build your business.
  3. You do not take decisive action. You make excuses that you are too busy with clients and court. Successful attorneys are busy attorneys they understand that they must make time for client development.
  4. Your closing sales skills are limited. You have not created your firms “potential” client presentation.
  5. You lack focus and time management. You waste time on things that an administrator or assistant can complete.
  6. You do not research your potential clients industry prior to meeting with them. You are too focused on you and your firm rather than on your potential clients’ industry.
  7. You failed to implement a Branding campaign. You are more interested in your reputation for the wrong reasons so your writing, speaking, and activity in the bar or community is wasted.
  8. You fail to move out of your comfort zone. You are content with being busy as opposed to building a business.
  9. Your leadership skills are suspect at best. You do not build a cohesive team you attempt to do it all by yourself.
  10. You fail to provide exemplary service. You have promised your clientele the world in access, communication and results and you are mediocre at best.  You simply stay small because you think small.

There is a huge difference between building a business and being self-employed.  A business consists of a team of interactive & overlapping parts.  It is a system that works and allows the business owner freedom.  An attorney may have assistants, administrative help and quite possibly partners however if they utilize a flawed system the result is nothing more than self-employment.