Play to Win
The marketing director of a New York law firm told me about a meeting with the general counsel of a Fortune 50 company. His department had produced an advance briefing document for the lawyers, with details about the company and the people who would be involved. The marketing director participated in the interview and told me of his embarrassment when the first question asked by one of the partners was, “So, what were your revenues last year?”
This was embarrassing and frustrating because: (1) They already knew the company’s revenue — it was in the briefing materials; and (2) the answer was irrelevant. It was several billion dollars. What was the purpose of the question?
Having productive meetings with prospects involves a lot more than showing up and following up. Much of your success will hinge on the preparation you do before you get there. Here are some thoughts on researching your targets. READ THE REST
Enough — Or Too Much?
“How much capital should I have in my firm?” It’s a question I hear frequently from lawyers and business owners. It seems like a simple question, but the answer is rarely simple.
The level of capital you need depends on your practice, and how quickly you can convert your services or inventory into cash. A grocery store, for example, generates cash every day the doors are open — but a law firm might not get paid for 60 days or longer after delivering a service. So the capital requirements for these businesses will be considerably different.
You can figure out a number that works best for your practice by analyzing your working capital ratio and doing a little bit of math. READ THE REST
The Friday Five
If you’re using one of the Ribbon versions of Microsoft Outlook, you’ve probably overlooked one feature right on the Home tab: Quick Steps. Quick Steps are like macros — they string together several actions and make them all accessible with one click. The pre-installed Quick Steps only hint at the feature’s time-saving potential. Here are five ways to deploy Quick Steps today to manage your email better. READ THE REST
Law Practice Skills
The joke goes that some lawyers lack both competence and confidence; call them newbies. Some lawyers have competence, but lack confidence. Some lawyers are competent and have the confidence to let others know about it. A fourth group can project confidence on any subject a potential client asks about regardless of their level of expertise — they’re called senior partners.
Building a successful practice depends on both competence and confidence. … READ THE REST
Digital Dictation Tips
In “Getting Things Done,” productivity guru David Allen says dictation is one way to get what’s in your head out, and make it useable. I agree. Dictation can help get more stuff done with less effort. Especially when it’s not just “documents” that you dictate. If you can intelligently formulate a request and speak it, you can delegate it — and get it off your to-do list.
You can speak much faster than you can write or type. Besides, even if you type fast (with more than four fingers), do you want to be the only person involved in creating all the documents, spreadsheets, reports, letters, stipulations and other documents required to run your practice every day? … READ THE REST
Nothing But The Ruth!
I did a speaking tour this spring that I called “The Undeniable Tour.” It involved a two-week road trip from San Diego to Seattle with five speaking engagements along the way at law schools and bar associations. The tour also provided the opportunity for one-on-one networking. I was able to keep my speaking fee low by obtaining four amazing sponsors to offset the costs. And I kept my expenses low by staying in hostels instead of hotels most nights.
Attorney at Work (one of my tour sponsors) asked me to recap my adventure and share some of the lessons I learned. … READ THE REST