Successful lawyers have many contacts willing to introduce them to prospects or others who can help them. Too many of these introductions are squandered because the lawyer being offered the introduction doesn’t manage the proffer properly. The result is a pleasant but vacuous meeting with no logical basis for continuity, where nothing gets accomplished, all at the cost of creating two new debts.
What are the debts? When you offer to introduce me to Jack (below), I owe you. When Jack meets with me primarily at your behest, you owe Jack. We’ve created two debts. If I do this the right way, Jack will thank you for introducing me, and he’ll owe you. I have to do this before ever speaking to Jack.
When a referral source offers to arrange a meeting with someone she knows well, thank her for the offer, and ask how she thinks you can help that person. Ask your source why she believes the referred contact will welcome the meeting and benefit from the meeting itself — not from the great work you’ll eventually do for them. The answer identifies the problem that the prospect will acknowledge having. It may prove to be the agenda for your meeting, but it’s definitely the foundation of any worthwhile introduction.
To illustrate, let’s say that our client, Janice Brown, wants to introduce us to a friend and colleague. Here’s how that exchange might proceed … READ THE REST
Friday 5+ Tech Tips
What steps can you take to better manage your time so you’re truly more productive and less overwhelmed? For this month’s Friday 5+ Tech Tips, we asked the practice management experts for their best time management tip: a teensy tweak or trick that has made a difference — or their best advice for overhauling an entire process, if that’s what it takes. Heidi Alexander, Carole Levitt, Nora Regis, Lee Rosen, Catherine Reach and Mark Rosch help you clear the decks! …READ THE REST
Easy as 1-2-3
What lawyer doesn’t like getting good referrals? The potential client’s matter fits your practice, and he’s heard good things about you from the person who sent him over.
You can build a steady stream of referral business — maybe not enough to abandon ads or stop worrying about your website, but enough to sustain and grow your practice. You’ll have to invest thought, time and energy into developing and implementing a plan, and it won’t happen overnight, but it is worth the effort.
The first step in your plan is figuring out who is likely to send potential clients to you … READ THE REST
Easy as 1-2-3
Of all the Microsoft Office applications in law offices, Outlook is hands-down the most frequently used. After all, who doesn’t need to handle email every day? But lurking in the shadows of your email routine are dangerous Outlook features that could jeopardize your law practice. Here are four that trip up even seasoned Outlook users. You’ll want to be wary of those last two, lest you accidentally breach attorney-client privilege. … READ THE REST
Easy as 1-2-3
Lawyers often need to use persuasive skills in their work — convincing a judge or jury with an argument, persuading another party in a contract negotiation, convincing a client to pursue a realistic path. Yet when it comes to marketing, many resort to indistinguishable promises or generalizations. They say they are “accessible,” “responsive,” “experienced” or, my personal favorite, “provide quality services in a cost-effective manner.” You can do many things to make your marketing messages more believable, whether in your bio, a proposal or a pitch for business. Here are four ideas to consider … READ THE REST
Easy as 1-2-3
I still remember my first day in torts class. Old man river, my respectable professor, called on me to analyze an opinion from some archaic case. “Ms. (unfortunately easy-to-pronounce maiden name), is this paragraph law or dicta?”
My response went something like: “Uuuuuhhhhh … that paragraph is … ummmmmmm … dicta?
“No wait, law. Errrr … maybe.”
Meanwhile, in my head I’m screaming, “WTF, dude? This wasn’t in the assigned material!” … READ THE REST