Client Service: How did you Make a Client Happy TODAY?

As I was thinking about client service this morning, I wondered to myself whether there was anything left to discuss that hasn't already been said. Of course, there's an old adage that roughly says something about there being no new ideas, just new people discussing them, but even here at Zen, we've already talked about things like: 

And more. 

So instead, I started to think about issuing a challenge - to ask yourselves

How did I make a client happy today?"

Of course, there's the obvious answer that doing their legal work, solving a problem, addressing a challenge, getting a big win, etc. all would make a client happy. 

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Client Service: What would make you leave?

This morning, Nancy Myrland wrote an excellent blog post on one of the most important questions you should be asking your clients, both new clients and long-term clients: 

What can I do to keep you as a client for the long haul?"

Nancy must be reading my mind again, because I have "client service" down as the subject to focus on for today's post.  Her post got me thinking about the counter-question to this one, which is "What would make you leave?" 

Clearly, finding out the reasons that a client would stay with you and your firm long term is essential - you want to be doing the things that make your clients happy, and what better way to find out what those are than to ask them? 

But I'd argue that almost as important is finding out what might make a client leave

 

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Client Service: The Power of "I'm Sorry"

Last week, when we talked about thinking like a marketer, I shared the following statistic from Blue Kite Marketing

People use hundreds of products and services every day. About 95 percent of those interactions go completely unnoticed. Another three percent of those experiences are ones that you are complaining about."

What that tells us is that people will share bad experiences and great experiences, but the "good" experiences just get forgotten.  Creating excellent experiences for your clients are obviously the goal here, but just as important is avoiding the bad ones that will stick with people and motivate them to market on your behalf...in a negative way. 

There are two little words that can diffuse an unfortunate situation, and they are just not used enough these days: 

I'm sorry."

 

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Client Service: There are no Stupid Questions

This afternoon, I was thinking back to my very first "official" job, as kennel help at a pet store in northern New Jersey. It was hard work, and long hours, but playing with puppies was a pretty great benefit of working there. It also taught me a lot, and one lesson I remember being crystal clear - don't be afraid to ask questions. 

The story is that after working there for a little while, the store's owners let me assist with other kinds of work at the store, including running the register. This was not too complicated, but a job that involved a lot of trust (we were dealing with pretty big sums of money, for one thing). Most of the charges were paid either by credit card or cash. But there was one afternoon when a woman wanted to pay for her puppy and his associated gear with a check. 

Thanks to my fourth grade teacher who had done a unit where we all got "checkbooks" and had to learn to use them to make payments, my 16-year-old self was pretty comfortable with what a check looked like, and which fields needed to be filled in. But there was one extra thing I was required to get from this woman in order to process the check. 

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What the Target Data Breach Aftermath Teaches Us About Crisis Communications

Like many people, I shop regularly at Target. It's one of my favorite stores. So when I first heard news of the data breach they'd experienced, my heart sank. I am a Target Red cardholder, and had used my card to shop there three times during the time period identified. 

And then I learned about the full scope of the attack - that it affected shoppers who used ANY credit card at Target during that time, and involved more than just information about their card numbers. I saw many people panic, and agreed that if I had used my debit or another card there, I would have been canceling it immediately. 

From the breaking of the news story right up through the letter I received as a cardholder this week, Target has done a number of things - some good and some questionable - that affect their reputation. While law firms have different concerns and vulnerabilities than a consumer store like Target, mistakes, oversights, and crises can and do occur and we can learn from Target's handling of the data breach. 

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Good Client Service: How Well Are You Listening?

The week before last, I was on the road in Chicago. Funnily enough, I checked in to the Amalfi Hotel in January, and because they changed names, checked out of the Kinzie Hotel in February. 

One thing that didn't change was their high level of service though, and I want to share a story with you to illustrate how easy it is to genuinely please a client, and not only make them loyal to you, but make them an advocate for your brand at the same time. 

We were checking out of the hotel on Saturday afternoon. I'd arranged for a late checkout, and was traveling to the airport with two of my friends and colleagues. One of them was delayed a few minutes, so two of us were sitting in the lobby of the hotel with our bags, waiting for her.

The doorman came over and asked whether we needed transportation to the airport. We said that we would, but that since we were waiting for someone else, we'd grab a taxi when she arrived. 

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Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: The 3 Little Words Never to Say to a Client

On this cold, snowy Wednesday, we're bringing you another excellent recommendation from expert Jaimie Field! This recommendation first appeared back in 2011, but like most of Jaimie's recommendations, it's timeless! 

If you're in the northeast of the US, stay safe out there! 

***

When a client sends you an email or calls you on the phone with a question to which you do not know the answer, what is your typical response?

If it’s those three little words: “I Don’t Know”, you’ve committed a major faux pas with your clients.

Your answer should always be: “I don’t have the answer to that right this second, but I will find it for you. Let me get back to you shortly.”

This is because they are relying on you to be their advisor. They called you because they trust and like you; they know that you will help them find the answer to their questions. If you don’t know the answer, take a moment and find it for them. If you cannot find it, there is someone in your network of people (you are building your network of people – right?) who does know the answer.

This is when you either:

a) Call your contact who does know the answer and ask them to contact your client personally (a referral), or

b) You could call your contact and get the answer for your client and then call your client to provide them with the answer.

Your client will appreciate the fact that you found this answer for them and this will endear you to your clients. Happy clients give referrals.

While you will not know the answer to every question you are asked, you can try to find the answer. If, in the end, you still cannot find the answer, let the client know what you have tried to do to try obtain this answer. They will still appreciate that you have gone above and beyond for them.

Rainmaking Recommendations are sent the first and third Wednesdays of the month. They are bite size tips that when implemented will cause you to make rain. To learn more about Rainmaking, Goal Setting and Achieving the Life you want as an Attorney please contact Jaimie B. Field, Esq.

Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: You Cannot Do it All

Today, I'm bringing you another great post from Jaimie Field, Esq who advises us that we can't do it all when it comes to rainmaking tactics. 

***

There are so many marketing and rainmaking tactics which you could use to build a book of business:

  • Networking
  • Social Media
  • Creating Referral Systems
  • Entertaining for Business
  • Joining Referral Networks
  • Writing Articles & Blog Posts
  • Presenting Seminars & Public Speaking
  • • Email & Email Newsletters

And this is only a short list. (Stay tuned to the Enlightened Rainmaking Blog for more information on each of those tactics above, plus more, and how to use for business development.)

But you cannot do it all. What happens to most attorneys is that they hear about a specific rainmaking and marketing tactic and try it out. Maybe you went to a seminar or webinar where the host said this is fool-proof. When it fails to produce immediate results, you drop it like it was covered in poo and say: It doesn’t work.

Each one of the above tactics does work for both Marketing and Rainmaking purposes. However, expecting success on the first outing is like expecting to drop 100 lbs in one month. It’s unrealistic (and unhealthy).

My suggestion is for you to pick no more than 2 to 4 tactics and use them consistently. Which ones?

Which ones will you do on a constant and reliable basis? Which ones are you more likely to do the steps that are necessary to be successful with that strategy? Which ones will reach your target market most effectively?

Instead of trying each tactic by throwing it on the wall and seeing what sticks, find a strategy or two you enjoy and then use it on a regular basis. In addition to attracting more clients, you will find that you are less stressed about your Rainmaking activities. Two very big pluses.

PLEASE FORWARD THIS INFORMATION TO A COLLEAGUE WHO YOU THINK WOULD BENEFIT; IT MUST BE FORWARDED IT IN ITS ENTIRETY.
ALL INFORMATION IS THE COPYRIGHT OF MARKETING FIELD, LLC © 2013

Rainmaking Recommendations are sent the first and third Wednesdays of the month. They are bite size tips that when implemented will cause you to make rain. To learn more about Rainmaking, Goal Setting and Achieving the Life you want as an Attorney please contact Jaimie B. Field, Esq. If you have missed any of the previous Rainmaking Recommendations you can find them at www.jaimiefield.com The Enlightened Rainmaker Blog.

 

Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: Planning Your Time

Jaimie Field, Esq brings us another valuable rainmaking recommendation on the theme of time today. For those of us who have finished (or are finishing) our marketing and business development plans for next year, it's a good reminder of why we're doing them. And if you think you don't need one, make sure to read ahead - you'll soon change your mind! 

***

To continue with the theme of time...

The countdown to the New Year has begun. And this is when article after article and blog post after
blog post begin to appear about writing your marketing and rainmaking plans, how to set goals, etc. I am a big proponent of planning because as Benjamin Franklin once said:

“Those who fail to plan, plan to fail”

However, this is about time: the truth is more time is wasted by not having a plan than taking the time to develop one.

Let me explain: without goals and a plan for what you would like to accomplish and how you would like to achieve these goals, you have a tendency to be at the mercy of others and what they want – your clients, your associates and partners. And they will suck up your time, leaving you no opportunity to do what you need to do to control your career – that is, no time to do what you need to do to become a rainmaker.

Jim Rohn once wrote: “If you don't design your own life plan, chances are you'll fall into someone else's plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”

Further, without a plan, you have a tendency to drift from one project to another. This creates a lack of productivity. This is why you feel so exhausted at the end of the day but feel like you accomplished nothing.

Finally, without planning, you will find other tasks that suck up your time that are ineffective for reaching your goals – think social media, office gossip, and long random acts of “lunch”.

While I do advocate a yearly Rainmaking Plan, you will effectively manage your time if you plan for the month, the week or even today.

Planning is simple (but not easy): Take a moment to decide what you want to accomplish in the New Year – that is, your goal. Determine each little step you would need to accomplish this goal. Then, start planning when you are going to complete each little step, thus, managing your time.

Take control of your plan and plan your time – you will find less time wasted and more time being productive.

PLEASE FORWARD THIS INFORMATION TO A COLLEAGUE WHO YOU THINK WOULD BENEFIT; IT MUST BE FORWARDED IT IN ITS ENTIRETY. ALL INFORMATION IS THE COPYRIGHT OF MARKETING FIELD, LLC © 2013

Rainmaking Recommendations are sent the first and third Wednesdays of the month. They are bite size tips that
when implemented will cause you to make rain. To learn more about Rainmaking, Goal Setting and Achieving
the Life you want as an Attorney please contact Jaimie B. Field, Esq. If you have missed any of the previous
Rainmaking Recommendations you can find them at www.jaimiefield.com The Enlightened Rainmaker Blog.

 

Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: The Mathematics of Time for Rainmaking

On this lovely Wednesday morning, we bring you another rainmaking recommendation from expert, Jaimie Field, Esq

***

Over the next few Rainmaking Recommendations and blogs on JaimieField.com, we will be talking about time – your time and your clients’ time.   These posts will be about client service & productivity management, rainmaking and legal marketing. 

However, all will deal with a theme of time.

One of the biggest excuses I hear about why attorneys are not performing Rainmaking Activities is because they “don’t have the time.”

Just a quick mathematics lesson in time management for attorneys:

We are going to start with a few assumptions:

  1. That you are required to bill 2000 hours per year, and 
  2. That you like to sleep.

That means you have to average 40 hours a week for 50 weeks of billable time (I’m giving you two weeks of vacation a year – am I nice or what?) or 160 hours per month.

So let’s talk about just one month of time (and we aren’t even going to discuss working weekends):

On average, there are 20 business days per month. 

20 business days x 24 hours per day = 480 hours total hours.

480 hours – 160 hours (8 hours of sleep per night for 20 nights) = 320 hours left

320 hours – 160 hours of billable time per month = 160 hours left

Even if you work out 1 hour per day for those 20 working days you have 140 hours remaining per month.  Those 140 hours per month (and remember, this is only during the working week, this does not include weekends) equals 7 hours per business day to use any way you want.

Even if you take time to be with your family, your friends, pursue hobbies, etc., those 7 hours per day are yours.  Yes, I know you have to eat meals, but why not take an hour or so of those 7 hours to meet with a referral source for lunch?  Take 15 minutes to pick up a phone and call an old client to reconnect.  Send an email. Take an hour to write a blog post or use social media for business development. 

I am not asking you to spend the entire 7 hours per day on Rainmaking - I want you to have a life.  In fact, I am not requiring you to do anything per day – but how about taking a few hours of the 35 hours per week you have left to do something related to business development?  

If you want to build your book of business, you have to spend some of those hours connecting with, meeting with and creating relationships with other people – and that takes time. 

Please forward this information to a colleague who you think would benefit; It must be forwarded it in its entirety. All information is the copyright of Marketing Field, LLC © 2013

Rainmaking Recommendations are sent the first and third Wednesdays of the month.  They are bite size tips that when implemented will cause you to make rain. To learn more about Rainmaking, Goal Setting and Achieving the Life you want as an Attorney please contact Jaimie B. Field, Esq.  If you have missed any of the previous Rainmaking Recommendations you can find them at www.jaimiefield.com The Enlightened Rainmaker Blog.

Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: This IS all about you

Today, we bring you another great recommendation from rainmaking expert, Jaimie Field, Esq

***

As the year begins to wind down, you will see blog post after blog post about how to create a goal plan, marketing plan, rainmaking plan. I have written about it myself many times over the year (see
here, here, here, and here).

There are hundreds (and I do mean hundreds) of tactics you can use to grow your book of business. However, the most important aspect of your plan has to be you. You have to take your personality into account when you are creating your rainmaking plan.

If public speaking scares the bejeezus out of you, don’t do it. You will not be effective. In fact, you may even sabotage your efforts as people will perceive you as being nervous and unable to handle pressure. If you hate writing, don’t blog. If going to networking events is abhorrent to you, then don’t go.

What you should do is explore every rainmaking tactic out there and see what fits your personality and is most effective for you. I do suggest you get out of your comfort zone – network one-on-one, take a public speaking course or join toastmasters, write an article or white page. You may just find that you are really good at these rainmaking strategies and have just let fear stop you.

Rainmaking is a skill that can be taught. You have to be open to trying different ideas which may just bring you new clients.

But most importantly, be you.

PLEASE FORWARD THIS INFORMATION TO A COLLEAGUE WHO YOU THINK WOULD BENEFIT; IT MUST BE FORWARDED IT IN ITS ENTIRETY. ALL INFORMATION IS THE COPYRIGHT OF MARKETING FIELD, LLC © 2013

Rainmaking Recommendations are sent the first and third Wednesdays of the month. They are bite size tips that when implemented will cause you to make rain. To learn more about Rainmaking, Goal Setting and Achieving the Life you want as an Attorney please contact Jaimie B. Field, Esq. If you have missed any of the previous Rainmaking Recommendations you can find them at www.jaimiefield.com The Enlightened Rainmaker Blog.

 

Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: What to Expect When They're Expecting

It's the first Wednesday of the month (how is it already November?) and that means it's time for a rainmaking recommendation from expert Jaimie Field, Esq!

***

Great client service is about the client.

I know, how trite. But so true!

However, you need to understand that each client is truly different from each other. There will be some clients who will want to talk to you every hour on the hour. There will be others who don’t want to hear from you unless you have something to say. There are some who will want to nickel and dime you for every bill and others who will not even look at the total when they send the check.

Exceptional client service is really only three steps:

  1. Find out what each client is expecting,
  2. Determine how you are going to manage those expectations, and then
  3. Meet and, more importantly, exceed those expectations.

From the very first phone call, at the very first meeting, you need to suss out what your client wants from you as their attorney.

When you are discussing being retained you can find out what your clients’ expectations with regards to their interactions with you - how much information do they need and how often. You need to explain billing procedures and how you charge for your time. You need to agree on strategies for their legal issues.

Once you have determined their needs, it’s time to manage those expectations. We all know clients who will want to be unreasonable, the trick is to discuss with them what you can and cannot do with regard to their expectations. Determining what works with you both will help you continue to provide exceptional service to these clients.

Finally, exceed those expectations as often as possible.

What’s the payoff? Clients who are treated the way they require will become fans. Fans will become promoters. Promoters provide referrals.

Blog Posts you may have missed since the last Rainmaking Recommendation:

PLEASE FORWARD THIS INFORMATION TO A COLLEAGUE WHO YOU THINK WOULD BENEFIT; IT MUST BE FORWARDED IT IN ITS ENTIRETY. ALL INFORMATION IS THE COPYRIGHT OF MARKETING FIELD, LLC © 2013

Rainmaking Recommendations are sent the first and third Wednesdays of the month. They are bite size tips that when implemented will cause you to make rain. To learn more about Rainmaking, Goal Setting and Achieving the Life you want as an Attorney please contact Jaimie B. Field, Esq. If you have missed any of the previous Rainmaking Recommendations you can find them at www.jaimiefield.com The Enlightened Rainmaker Blog.

 

Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: Pick a Niche to Scratch Their (Legal) Itch (Part 1)

Today, I'm bringing you another excellent rainmaking recommendation from expert, Jaimie Field, Esq., which is perfect timing, since I'm in Mainz, Germany at the moment for the ILN's 2013 European Regional Meeting. 

***

 

Rainmaking Recommendation # 86: Pick A Niche to Scratch Their (Legal) Itch (Part 1)

You cannot be all things to all people.

 

I’m sure you have heard the phrase:  “Jack of all trades, master of none.” This applies to the legal industry as well.  The day of the general practitioner is dead.  The law has become much too complicated to try to keep up with all of the changes in all of the practice areas. 

 

For the next few Rainmaking Recommendations, I will be providing the why, what, how and when of creating your legal niche starting today with the “Why” pick a niche.

  

When you narrow your focus to a specific niche – and the next recommendation will explain what a niche truly is – a number of positive results can take place:

 

  1. You actually widen your visibility within that group:  when you niche your practice into a specific practice area or specific industry or affinity group, you are fishing in a smaller pond than trying to be all things to all people.  

  2. It is cost effective:  It allows you to focus your resources (think money), time and energy on a specific group or industry.

  3. It levels the playing field:  whether you are a partner in a large law firm or a solo practitioner, once you become known in that niche as someone who has knowledge and can be helpful with the niche’s problems, the size of your firm will not matter.

  4. You can position yourself as an expert:   You can become knowledgeable about the legal issues that affect that niche.

Think about it this way: if you were experiencing heart problems, would you want to go to a doctor who is a general practitioner or would you call a cardiologist?

 

All information is the copyright of Marketing Field, LLC © 2013

 

Rainmaking Recommendations are sent the first and third Wednesdays of the month.  They are bite size tips that when implemented will cause you to make rain. To learn more about Rainmaking, Goal Setting and Achieving the Life you want as an Attorney please contact Jaimie B. Field, Esq.  If you have missed any of the previous Rainmaking Recommendations you can find them at www.jaimiefield.com The Enlightened Rainmaker Blog.

 

Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: Stop Networking with People You Know at the Networking Event

On this first Wednesday in September, we have an excellent rainmaking recommendation from expert Jaimie Field - ILN members, as we jump into our own networking season with our European and Americas Regional Meetings upcoming, pay particular note!

***

It’s Networking Season again.

Did you ever notice how many invites for various networking events you receive for September and October? People are ramping up for business after a taking the summer off.

When you enter a networking event, what’s the first thing you do? If you are like most people, you go directly to people you already know. (More often than not if it is a legal association event you are probably standing in a group with members of your own firm.)

Why?

The point of a networking event is to meet new people. When you go to a networking event and hang around with people you already know you are performing a “Random Act of Networking” and just wasting your time.

Meet new people. Obtain their business card. Create a new relationship which could lead to new business or referrals.

As for the people you already know at the event – say hello, make plans to speak in the future to continue to grow that relationship, and then move on to meet new people.

PLEASE FORWARD THIS INFORMATION TO A COLLEAGUE WHO YOU THINK WOULD BENEFIT; IT MUST BE FORWARDED IT IN ITS ENTIRETY. ALL INFORMATION IS THE COPYRIGHT OF MARKETING FIELD, LLC © 2013

Rainmaking Recommendations are sent the first and third Wednesdays of the month. They are bite size tips that when implemented will cause you to make rain. To learn more about Rainmaking, Goal Setting and Achieving the Life you want as an Attorney please contact Jaimie B. Field, Esq. If you have missed any of the previous Rainmaking Recommendations you can find them at www.jaimiefield.com The Enlightened Rainmaker Blog.

Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: Why You?

On this hot, hot Wednesday here in the northeast, we have a rainmaking recommendation from expert Jaimie Field - let's hope it brings some actual rain and relief from the weather! 

***

You may have heard of something called a USP. This is the “Unique Selling Proposition” and in marketing this means the reasons presented by someone as to why their product or service is different or better than another. It answers the question: Why you?

You are an attorney. Sorry to say, you are also one in more than 1,285,000 in the United States who is currently practicing law.

So, why you?

If you cannot answer this question, you will have problems positioning yourself in a market place that is rife with people who do the same thing as you. Or do they?

  • What do you do differently for your clients?
  • What solutions can you offer your clients that other attorneys cannot?
  • How can you distinguish yourself in a sea of attorneys?

You need to take the time to analyze why your clients come to you, rather than another attorney. Ask your clients, ask your colleagues, ask yourself. Then find a way to describe this in a few words or sentences that you can use to position yourself in an industry in which many people think a lawyer is just a lawyer is just a lawyer.

Find what distinguishes you so that when a prospective client or a potential referral source asks: “Why you?” you have answer.

PLEASE FORWARD THIS INFORMATION TO A COLLEAGUE WHO YOU THINK WOULD BENEFIT; IT MUST BE FORWARDED IT IN ITS ENTIRETY. ALL INFORMATION IS THE COPYRIGHT OF MARKETING FIELD, LLC © 2013

Rainmaking Recommendations are sent the first and third Wednesdays of the month. They are bite size tips that when implemented will cause you to make rain. To learn more about Rainmaking, Goal Setting and Achieving the Life you want as an Attorney please contact Jaimie B. Field, Esq. If you have missed any of the previous Rainmaking Recommendations you can find them at www.jaimiefield.com The Enlightened Rainmaker Blog.

 

Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: Halfway There or Halfway Over?

Tomorrow is the Fourth of July holiday here in the States, and it's hard to believe that the first part of this year is over already! In that vein, Jaimie Field has a great recommendation for us today. 

***

We’ve reached the halfway point of the year. If you are like most, you have probably had plans and goals that you wanted to achieve this year. Maybe you even called them New Year’s Resolutions.

So, have you achieved those goals?

Did you abandon your plans for achievement a few days into the year or have you continued to pursue your goals?

The thing about Rainmaking is that it is not a “one and done” effort. It is continuous activities that allow your name, your personality and what you know to become familiar to others so that you people can feel comfortable creating relationships with you. Whether it’s networking or using social media, writing blog posts or presenting seminars, Rainmaking must be a constant effort on your part.

I’m going to tell you a little secret: Rainmaking is simple. But it’s not easy.

Rainmaking requires constant effort on your part and the only person who can make you the Rainmaker you want to be is you.

PS: If you have already achieved your goals that’s wonderful! Now, set more goals and go after those!

PLEASE FORWARD THIS INFORMATION TO A COLLEAGUE WHO YOU THINK WOULD BENEFIT; IT MUST BE FORWARDED IT IN ITS ENTIRETY. ALL INFORMATION IS THE COPYRIGHT OF MARKETING FIELD, LLC © 2013

Rainmaking Recommendations are sent the first and third Wednesdays of the month. They are bite size tips that when implemented will cause you to make rain. To learn more about Rainmaking, Goal Setting and Achieving the Life you want as an Attorney please contact Jaimie B. Field, Esq. If you have missed any of the previous Rainmaking Recommendations you can find them at www.jaimiefield.com The Enlightened Rainmaker Blog.

What Kind of Client Experience Are You Creating at Your Firm?

On Monday, I presented a short recap about the Zappos session at LMA's Annual Conference to my local LMA city group.  So they've definitely been on my mind this week, particularly after a customer service experience I had with another company. 

We've talked before about how bad client service experiences can have a negative impact - and a lot of that is common sense. But what about lukewarm client experiences? 

To illustrate, I want to compare Zappos with the experience that I had with Groupon yesterday.  Zappos mantra is customer happiness - they don't just want a satisfied customer, they want an ecstatic customer.  Ecstatic customers will go out and tell their brand story in a happy and positive way, so Zappos is not only creating repeat customers, but helping to facilitate new clients. 

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Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: Building Visibility v. Building Relationships

It's a beautiful Wednesday morning here in New Jersey, and today, we're bringing you another wonderful rainmaking recommendation from expert Jaimie Field

***

I had an interesting conversation with an attorney who doesn’t believe that blogs, answering legal questions online ala AVVO, websites, social media or online marketing at all brings clients to the door. Instead, he believes in networking: meeting people everywhere and telling them what he does for a living and creating real life relationships with people who can refer him business.

Now, he has been practicing law for a while and learned that being out and about, networking with referral sources, current and potential clients, does create a book of business – something that I have been teaching for years. And he is very successful at what he does – he also has a great personality.

He is absolutely correct (and will get a big head when he recognizes himself in this recommendation); meeting people in real life will create a book a book of business as people get to know you, your services and your personality – remember, people do business with people they know like and trust.

However, online marketing is one way that people can get to know about you. Blogs, articles, websites, social media, are tools to let people know about you, your knowledge and services. Statistics say that 3 in 4 people will go directly to the internet to look you up even after they have gotten a direct referral from a friend or colleague. You want to be as visible as possible when
they do.

Unfortunate, but true - visibility is currently more important than ability.

You need to understand that both create visibility – one is just more “old school” than the other.

But, visibility alone without relationships will not bring in the quantity or quality of business that you are seeking. In fact it’s not about building visibility v. building relationships, it’s about doing both.

There is nothing wrong with either tactic. In fact, you should be doing everything in your power to make yourself, your services and your personality visible to people in everything you do – both on and offline.

Create a Rainmaking Plan that allows you do to both.

PLEASE FORWARD THIS INFORMATION TO A COLLEAGUE WHO YOU THINK WOULD BENEFIT; IT MUST BE FORWARDED IT IN ITS ENTIRETY. ALL INFORMATION IS THE COPYRIGHT OF MARKETING FIELD, LLC © 2013

Rainmaking Recommendations are sent the first and third Wednesdays of the month. They are bite size tips that when implemented will cause you to make rain. To learn more about Rainmaking, Goal Setting and Achieving the Life you want as an Attorney please contact Jaimie B. Field, Esq. If you have missed any of the previous Rainmaking Recommendations you can find them at www.jaimiefield.com The Enlightened Rainmaker Blog.

Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: Random Acts of Golf

Today, we bring you another great recommendation from rainmaking expert, Jaimie Field

***

Let me start by saying, I am not a golfer. I don’t particularly have the patience for the short game, but I do like going to a driving range and beating the _____ (fill in the blank) out of a ball. However, on a daily basis I get invited to play golf for outings, fundraisers and by potential clients.

While I don’t play, and have found other avenues to spend a lot of time with potential clients and referrals sources (which will be written about on jaimiefield.com), golf can be an amazing way to do business. You have 3-5 hours of unfettered time with people who can become referral sources or prospective clients.

Notice I say “prospective clients.” This is because golf should not be considered the place where deals are made – sometimes they are, but more often than not, it’s about spending time with 3 other people in your foursome and getting to know more about them both personally and professionally.

In law, where creating relationships matters for obtaining referrals, golf can be an extremely effective networking tool – even more so than going to networking events where you are meeting many people in one event and going from one person to another.

Those 3 to 5 hours will allow you to create relationships. One of the major advantages of all of the time you spend on a golf course is getting to know the people in your foursome. Remember, “people do business with people they know, like and trust.” You don’t have to pitch them while on the golf course – you have to use this time to start creating the relationship which will lead to more business.

So I say, if you are a golfer – go play! Bring one or two people who you don’t know well but with whom you would like to do business. It’s a great way to get out of the office too!

P.S. That niche you would like to become well known in probably is having some sort of golf outing this summer. Why not get set up in a foursome where you can learn all about that niche? You have hours to ask a lot of questions about how to break into that niche.

PLEASE FORWARD THIS INFORMATION TO A COLLEAGUE WHO YOU THINK WOULD BENEFIT; IT MUST BE FORWARDED IT IN ITS ENTIRETY. ALL INFORMATION IS THE COPYRIGHT OF MARKETING FIELD, LLC © 2013

Rainmaking Recommendations are sent the first and third Wednesdays of the month. They are bite size tips that when implemented will cause you to make rain. To learn more about Rainmaking, Goal Setting and Achieving the Life you want as an Attorney please contact Jaimie B. Field, Esq. If you have missed any of the previous Rainmaking Recommendations you can find them at www.jaimiefield.com The Enlightened Rainmaker Blog.

 

Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: They Think I'm a Pest

Tonight, we kicked off the ILN's 25th Anniversary Annual Meeting with our welcome reception and dinner! We've been busily preparing for the conference, so today, I've got a great rainmaking recommendation from expert, Jaimie Field!

***

The part of Rainmaking that I try to pound into my client’s heads is “follow up, follow up, follow up.”

But how many times should you try to get in touch with someone before you become a pest?

There is no magic number. While some may say 3 times, others say 6 times and some say more. But if you think about what you do for a living, being an attorney, you need to realize that many people may not need your service at the exact moment you meet them.

Rainmaking = Relationships

It is your job, as a rainmaker, to keep your name and services (and the services of your firm) top of mind at all times so that when a potential client, current client or even a potential referral, has a need your name comes up first in their heads.

For example: if you are a real estate attorney, a person you meet may not be buying a house or leasing a business space at that time. However, when they do (and statistics prove that at some time they will), you want to be the one they call. However, if you aren’t the first person they think of, they will go to someone else.

There are so many ways to keep in touch without bombarding them with “sales calls” or non-stop emails about your work.

  • Send emails with information that is germane to their businesses or lives – it may have absolutely nothing to do with what you do. It’s about what’s of interest to them.
  • Call to find out how they are doing – just a friendly “what’s going on with you” call
  • Send newsletters about your work
  • ·Invite them to a seminar or event – even if you are not the one giving the event or presenting at the event, it
  • should be of interest to them. You can go with them and continue to build that relationship.
  • · Take them to a fun event – does your potential client like golf? Invite them to a golf outing that benefits another
  • group or charity.

What other ways can you think of to keep in touch without “selling” your services?

Rainmaking, as I reiterate over and over again, is about creating relationships. Each time you “touch” a client, in many different ways, you have the opportunity to create and deepen a relationship.

Please forward this information to a colleague who you think would benefit; It must be forwarded it in its entirety. All information is the copyright of Marketing Field, LLC © 2013

Rainmaking Recommendations are sent the first and third Wednesdays of the month. They are bite size tips that when implemented will cause you to make rain. To learn more about Rainmaking, Goal Setting and Achieving the Life you want as an Attorney please contact Jaimie B. Field, Esq. If you have missed any of the previous Rainmaking Recommendations you can find them at www.jaimiefield.com The Enlightened Rainmaker Blog. 

Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: Manners Matter

Jaimie Field is back on this cloudy Monday afternoon with another rainmaking recommendation which may seem like common sense to most of us, but she's absolutely right in pointing it out - manners matter. 

***

Lately, I have noticed a horrific lack of manners (even more so than usual):

  • Not saying “excuse me” when you have to interrupt someone;
  • Not saying: “thank you” for being helped;
  • Not apologizing for making a mistake or offending someone inadvertently;
  • Looking at your smart phone at inappropriate times (like when you have a client or colleague sitting in front of you);
  • Eating like a slob/pig or reaching across a table;
  • Taking phone calls when someone is in your office or worse using phones in inappropriate locations (like when you are with a cashier or in a restaurant or in the bathroom);
  • Being at a networking event and barging into a group without introducing yourself or asking to be introduced;
  • Walking through a door without holding for the person behind you (it doesn’t matter whether you are a man or a woman);
  • The lack of the word “Please”;
  • Interrupting someone who is talking and
  • Rudeness;

And so many more examples.

We have become a society which expects to get and get quickly without the traditional niceties with which some of us, or our parents, or our grandparents, have grown up. However, manners matter.

Remember, people do business with people they know, like and trust and one of the ways to get people to like us to have common courtesy.

Excellent manners can only help you to have better relationships with people you know, and help to create relationships with those you will meet.

PLEASE FORWARD THIS INFORMATION TO A COLLEAGUE WHO YOU THINK WOULD BENEFIT; IT MUST BE FORWARDED IT IN ITS ENTIRETY. ALL INFORMATION IS THE COPYRIGHT OF MARKETING FIELD, LLC © 2013

Rainmaking Recommendations are sent the first and third Wednesdays of the month. They are bite size tips that when implemented will cause you to make rain. To learn more about Rainmaking, Goal Setting and Achieving the Life you want as an Attorney please contact Jaimie B. Field, Esq. If you have missed any of the previous Rainmaking Recommendations you can find them at www.jaimiefield.com The Enlightened Rainmaker Blog.

 

Identify, Don't Compare - Lessons from Zappos for the Legal Industry

A lesson I learned several years ago that has been invaluable to me is that of "identify, don't compare." When you compare, you're looking to match your situation exactly to that of someone else's - and when we do that, we're always going to come up different (and that can paralyze us).

But when we identify, we're looking for those elements that run through a situation that are the same as ours - and this gives us the inspiration to keep moving forward, instead of giving up because we think we'll never be the same. That lesson comes in handy when I'm sitting in a session like the Zappos one from the LMA Annual Conference.  Although it's easy to try to compare Zappos to legal marketing and come up lacking because they're a consumer-driven business, when I identify instead, I find many parallels which allow me to take the lessons that Graham was sharing with us and apply them to my own situation.

Continue Reading...

Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: One Small Step

With a hectic day all around me today as we put the final touches on next month's 25th Anniversary conference, I'm glad to have some excellent advice from rainmaking expert, Jaimie Field, to fall back on for a blog post. Jaimie talks about how taking one small step in your rainmaking efforts still brings you closer to your goals. 

***

In order to get into the habit of Rainmaking on a regular basis, I have been asking my clients to send me an email at the end of each week to let me know what Rainmaking activities they have performed during the week. They are to write down, each day, the step they have taken to move their Rainmaking forward. Even if they did nothing, they are to note that too.

Recently, a new client sent me her list. Each day she noted what she did – from sending an email to an old client to reconnect, to writing a blog post, to answering a question on AVVO, to calling a potential referral source to meet for lunch. She did something every single day. At the end of the list, she wrote that she felt like these were only small things she was doing and apologized for that.

During our coaching call, the next week, I reminded her that Rainmaking, like creating any relationship, is not about the big grand gesture, but that each small step brings you closer to achieving your goals. Each small step you take – like publishing your blog post – will get you known, each networking event you go to and follow up with those you meet we begin to get you more well known, and each time you present a seminar your name gets out there.

In addition, I reminded her that if each of these activities took her 15 minutes per day, at the end of the week she has more than 1.25 hours of rainmaking each week and more than 5 hours per month. That’s more than most attorneys will take the time to do.

As you have always heard me say – people do business with people they know, like and trust. Each step brings you closer to that goal.

PLEASE FORWARD THIS INFORMATION TO A COLLEAGUE WHO YOU THINK WOULD BENEFIT; IT MUST BE FORWARDED IT IN ITS ENTIRETY. ALL INFORMATION IS THE COPYRIGHT OF MARKETING FIELD, LLC © 2013

Rainmaking Recommendations are sent the first and third Wednesdays of the month. They are bite size tips that when implemented will cause you to make rain. To learn more about Rainmaking, Goal Setting and Achieving  the Life you want as an Attorney please contact Jaimie B. Field, Esq. If you have missed any of the previous Rainmaking Recommendations you can find them at www.jaimiefield.com The Enlightened Rainmaker Blog.

 

Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: Spring Renewal

As we start to see signs of spring (hopefully!), Jaimie Field challenges us to think about our rainmaking efforts and goals. In fact, on Monday, I took some time to review my marketing and business development plan for 2013, to make sure I was on track with my goals for the year, and set forth a plan for the next quarter.  How are you doing on your plan? 

***

One-quarter of this year is already gone.

For most of us in the world, spring is on its way (although on the East Coast of the United States, it seems like this won’t happen). What usually happens in spring? The flowers begin to bloom, the trees get their leaves back, and the world seems to come alive again.

What about your Rainmaking efforts?

Have they hibernated during the winter? Did you hunker down and not get out to network or meet with prospects, referral sources?

Did you neglect to service your blog? (I admit to not doing this myself – but please keep an eye on it for some new posts.)

Did you come up with every excuse in the book not to achieve the goals you set at the beginning of the year (did you even set goals at the beginning of the year?).

Maybe you can think of spring as a time of new growth. You can look at this time, when the weather becomes better, to renew your commitment to achieving your rainmaking goals.

So pull out the Rainmaking Plan that you began in January (or commit to creating one that you will start to implement now) and start to put into action all of the activities you know will grow your book of business.

PLEASE FORWARD THIS INFORMATION TO A COLLEAGUE WHO YOU THINK WOULD BENEFIT; IT MUST BE FORWARDED IT IN ITS ENTIRETY. ALL INFORMATION IS THE COPYRIGHT OF MARKETING FIELD, LLC © 2013

Rainmaking Recommendations are sent the first and third Wednesdays of the month. They are bite size tips that when implemented will cause you to make rain. To learn more about Rainmaking, Goal Setting and Achieving  the Life you want as an Attorney please contact Jaimie B. Field, Esq. If you have missed any of the previous Rainmaking Recommendations you can find them at www.jaimiefield.com The Enlightened Rainmaker Blog.

Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: Predict your Own Future

The ILN is celebrating it's 25th Anniversary this year, so I've been busy putting the final touches on our upcoming annual meeting in London, which is where it all began! So I'm grateful for today's blog post from Jaimie Field, who has a great recommendation for you!

***

I can predict your future (even if you cannot):

If you are doing the same thing today that you were doing yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that, you will get what you have always gotten.

There is an oft used definition of “insanity”: Doing the same thing but expecting different results.

So how will you change your future? What will your practice look like in 6 months? A Year? Five?

If you cannot picture what you will be doing in your practice in the future, how can you know what steps to take to get there?

Part of Rainmaking success is about determining what you want for your life and making moves to head towards what you envision. Often, we spend our time either doing what others want us to do, or not knowing what we want to do. This leads to wasted hours of “random acts of marketing “and the spending of massive quantities of money with no return on investment.

Isn’t it time you determined what you want your practice to look like in future (both near and far)?

By determining what you want your practice to look like in the future, you can then decide what marketing and rainmaking tactics may work best to get there. Then take the steps to just do it (forgive the Nike commercial).

And if you need help figuring out what specific step to take send me an email.

PLEASE FORWARD THIS INFORMATION TO A COLLEAGUE WHO YOU THINK WOULD BENEFIT; IT MUST BE FORWARDED IT IN ITS ENTIRETY. ALL INFORMATION IS THE COPYRIGHT OF MARKETING FIELD, LLC © 2013

Rainmaking Recommendations are sent the first and third Wednesdays of the month. They are bite size tips that when implemented will cause you to make rain. To learn more about Rainmaking, Goal Setting and Achieving the Life you want as an Attorney please contact Jaimie B. Field, Esq. If you have missed any of the previous Rainmaking Recommendations you can find them at www.jaimiefield.com The Enlightened Rainmaker Blog.

 

Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: It's Not What You Know

I've been traveling on an 11-day trip around the world, currently in the Philippines for our 2013 Asia Pacific Regional Meeting. So I'm glad to be able to share Jaimie Field's recommendation this week while I'm on the road! 

***

It’s not what you know.

It’s not who you know.

It’s about who knows what you know.

How are you making sure that the public knows about what you know?

You have to proactively tell the public what you know. Not by shouting from the rooftops but by intelligently, systematically and consistently showing others how you can solve their legal problems.

There are so many marketing tactics which you can use to showcase your knowledge. For example:

  • Networking
  • Social Media
  • Blogging
  • Public Relations
  • Seminars
  • Social Events hosted by your firm
  • Writing Articles

And this is only a partial list of how you can showcase your knowledge and expertise as an attorney.

But if all you are doing is grinding out work from behind a computer, you are an anonymous figure and no one will really know what you do. (In fact, others may take credit for your work.)

So carve out some time from your week, EVERY WEEK, to do something that will get your name and your knowledge out in the public eye.

Please forward this information to a colleague who you think would benefit; It must be forwarded it in its entirety. All information is the copyright of Marketing Field, LLC © 2013

Rainmaking Recommendations are sent the first and third Wednesdays of the month. They are bite size tips that when implemented will cause you to make rain. To learn more about Rainmaking, Goal Setting and Achieving the Life you want as an Attorney please contact Jaimie B. Field, Esq. If you have missed any of the previous Rainmaking Recommendations you can find them at www.jaimiefield.com The Enlightened Rainmaker Blog.

 

Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: Go the Extra Mile

This morning, I'm bringing you another great recommendation from rainmaking expert, Jaimie Field, Esq!

***

There truly is a difference between “doing your job” and “going the extra mile”. It is this difference that will skyrocket your rainmaking efforts as people begin to talk about the fact that you are no ordinary attorney.

How do you “go the extra mile”?

It’s not that difficult. It is truly the little things that count. For example you can:

  • Return a call or email within 24 hours (or have your assistant return the call and schedule time to speak with them);
     
  • Find out, prior to a meeting, what they like to eat or drink and make sure it is available to them at the time they come to visit;
     
  • Listen to them carefully for moments you can help them with something that has nothing to do with practicing law. For example, if their back is bothering them, refer them to a chiropractor. If a birthday is coming up, recommend a great restaurant. If they need a contractor to renovate their home, refer a reputable one.
  • Admit when something goes wrong and make sure to find a way to rectify it. Too often we try to sweep mistakes under a rug as we don’t want to be perceived as infallible as attorneys.
  • Don’t make promises you cannot or will not keep. You cannot win every case, and you don’t know the outcome. You can only rely on past experience.
  • Be genuinely thankful for the opportunity to work with them.

With almost 1.5 million attorneys practicing in the U.S. there are few things you need to remember:

  1. The number one reason people leave their attorney is “attorney indifference.” They can, and will, go elsewhere if they don’t feel like you are taking care of them;
  2. While statistics vary considerably, more people will talk about a bad experience than a good one.  And this is exponentially multiplied when you factor in the internet as a way to spread the news.  This can be a great way to make sure clients never come to your office again; and
  3. When you go that extra mile and you now have the ability to legitimately ask your clients for referrals.

How are you going to “go the extra mile?”


PLEASE FORWARD THIS INFORMATION TO A COLLEAGUE WHO YOU THINK WOULD BENEFIT; IT MUST BE FORWARDED IT IN ITS ENTIRETY.
ALL INFORMATION IS THE COPYRIGHT OF MARKETING FIELD, LLC © 2013

Rainmaking Recommendations are sent the first and third Wednesdays of the month. They are bite size tips that
when implemented will cause you to make rain. To learn more about Rainmaking, Goal Setting and Achieving
the Life you want as an Attorney please contact Jaimie B. Field, Esq. If you have missed any of the previous
Rainmaking Recommendations you can find them at www.jaimiefield.com The Enlightened Rainmaker Blog.

 

Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: Birthday Wishes

Jaimie Field brings us another excellent rainmaking recommendation today, following her birthday on Monday (and yes, I was one of the five people who called her!). 

***

Monday, February 4th was my birthday. I’m not saying this to get more birthday wishes.

In fact, I received:

  • 183 wishes on Facebook - to which I responded individually to each person with a thank you,
  • 5 birthday phone calls - 4 of them from my family members,
  • 3 physical birthday cards (I remember when I used to get dozens) – one from my parents, one from a company I frequent with a discount to use, and one from a rainmaking coaching client with whom I work
  • And one birthday text.

However, the one that made the most impact was the physical card I received from my client.   Someone who didn’t have to remember my birthday made it a point in her schedule to send me a card which made me smile; just receiving it in the mail made me happy.

It’s not that difficult to make an impact on your clients which can lead to more good will. Since you don’t have to remember their important days, just doing this will make them feel good. Good will leads to referrals.

And now there are companies out there who will do all of the work for you. You literally create a calendar of birthdays and anniversaries. They will give you choices of cards to send, allow you a space to write a personal greeting, and even send an email a few days in advance to remind you when to send out the cards. Then they send the physical cards out to your list.

Take the time to send a birthday card or an anniversary card. If you work with corporate clients, find out the month they started their business and send out a card on that anniversary. You will be surprised at the response you will get both in terms of their gratitude and in terms of referrals.

PLEASE FORWARD THIS INFORMATION TO A COLLEAGUE WHO YOU THINK WOULD BENEFIT; IT MUST BE FORWARDED IT IN ITS ENTIRETY. ALL INFORMATION IS THE COPYRIGHT OF MARKETING FIELD, LLC © 2013

Rainmaking Recommendations are sent the first and third Wednesdays of the month. They are bite size tips that when implemented will cause you to make rain. To learn more about Rainmaking, Goal Setting and Achieving  the Life you want as an Attorney please contact Jaimie B. Field, Esq. If you have missed any of the previous Rainmaking Recommendations you can find them at www.jaimiefield.com The Enlightened Rainmaker Blog.
 

 

Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: For the Price of A Cup of Coffee

Time for another great recommendation from rainmaking expert & coach, Jaimie Field!

***

Rainmaking does not have to cost a lot of money.

Many attorneys are spending tens of thousands of dollars on websites, SEO tactics, listing services which promise 30 clients in 30 days, buying books on Rainmaking that they don’t actually implement (or worse – don’t read), and this is just a short list. In fact, think about all of the money you spent in 2012 to get new clients. You need to figure out what is actually worth spending money upon.

However, there are a ton of low cost and no cost Rainmaking Tactics which you can implement in your practice. But the key is to actually use them – consistently and constantly.

Here are a quick 5:

  • Create a monthly newsletter;
  • Have a memorable business card;
  • Blog;
  • Offer to speak at a seminar;
  • Use Social Media to meet potential clients;

And finally,

For the price of a cup of coffee, you can meet with a referral source at a diner and connect with them.

PLEASE FORWARD THIS INFORMATION TO A COLLEAGUE WHO YOU THINK WOULD BENEFIT; IT MUST BE FORWARDED IT IN ITS ENTIRETY.
ALL INFORMATION IS THE COPYRIGHT OF MARKETING FIELD, LLC © 2013

Rainmaking Recommendations are sent the first and third Wednesdays of the month. They are bite size tips that when implemented will cause you to make rain. To learn more about Rainmaking, Goal Setting and Achieving the Life you want as an Attorney please contact Jaimie B. Field, Esq. If you have missed any of the previous Rainmaking Recommendations you can find them at www.jaimiefield.com The Enlightened Rainmaker Blog.

If you have received this email from a colleague or friend and want to receive Rainmaking Recommendations to your email, sign up at www.marketingfield.com

DID YOU KNOW YOU CAN SCHEDULE AN IN-HOUSE, CUSTOMIZED RAINMAKING TRAINING WORKSHOP FOR YOUR LAW FIRM? BEGIN TELEPHONE OR SKYPE INDIVIDUAL RAINMAKING TRAINING FROM WHEREVER YOU ARE IN THE WORLD WITH JAIMIE? CALL OR EMAIL FOR MORE INFORMATION.

 

Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: The True Secret To Rainmaking

What better way to kick off the new year here at Zen than a rainmaking recommendation from expert Jaimie Field? 

***

Shhhh… don’t tell anyone – particularly the other Rainmaking Trainers and Legal Marketing “experts” out there.

There is no one way to become a rainmaker.

If you have been trying to fit yourself into a mold of what a rainmaker looks like  or does and it hasn’t been working, the reason is that you are not being authentic to yourself.

There are literally hundreds of different Rainmaking Tactics and Techniques that you can use*, but if you are using one because you heard it was “more effective” than others and it is still not bringing you in clients, then you are not using the right tactic or technique for you.

Not everyone should blog nor should everyone should give public seminars. The fact is that each lawyer and law practice is different and using a technique or tactic which you are not comfortable doing will only cause you to stop taking action. And it is action that will make you a rainmaker.

The key thing is that Rainmaking is about creating relationships. Find the one or two or three Rainmaking techniques that allow you to create relationships with others and perform those consistently.

*A blog will be posted on Friday, January 5, 2013 on JaimieField.com with a list of Rainmaking and Legal Marketing Activities which you can consider using to grow your books of business.

PLEASE FORWARD THIS INFORMATION TO A COLLEAGUE WHO YOU THINK WOULD BENEFIT; IT MUST BE FORWARDED IT IN ITS ENTIRETY. ALL INFORMATION IS THE COPYRIGHT OF MARKETING FIELD, LLC © 2012

Rainmaking Recommendations are sent the first and third Wednesdays of the month. They are bite size tips that when implemented will cause you to make rain. To learn more about Rainmaking, Goal Setting and Achieving  the Life you want as an Attorney please contact Jaimie B. Field, Esq. If you have missed any of the previous Rainmaking Recommendations you can find them at www.jaimiefield.com The Enlightened Rainmaker Blog.

 

Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: How to Get There

Today's recommendation from Jaimie Field comes at the perfect time, just as we're all assessing our year and putting together our goals and plans for 2013. 

***

In Rainmaking Recommendation #67 – Conduct your own Attorney Review you were asked to look back at where you have been.

In Rainmaking Recommendation #69 – Dream Big you were asked to determine where you want to go.

Rainmaking Recommendation #70 is about how to get there.

And this means creating your Rainmaking Plans.

A good rainmaking plan takes into account the where you were, the where you want to go and puts it together with the steps you need to get there.

Many, many, many articles and blog posts have been written about how to set goals.
The acronym S.M.A.R.T. is frequently used to explain how to do this.

(A quick review of this acronym):

S - Specific – do you have a specific goal?
M - measurable – can you measure your progress?
A - Actionable – can you take action on this goal
R- Realistic - Is it a Realistic Goal?
T – is it Time-bound – does it have a deadline?

And of course, if you have read other blogs on www.jaimiefield.com you will know that I talk about SMART-Y goals with a Y – which stands for “You”; is it your goal?

One of the most important parts of this acronym to focus on is the “A” or the action steps you are going to take to reach these goals. What specific actions are you going to take to make your Rainmaking dreams reality? What rainmaking tasks will help you achieve your goals?

You would never try to drive somewhere you’ve never been without directions (including a GPS). Give your Rainmaking Plan a chance to succeed by taking the time to list all of the actions you want to take this year which will help move you toward your goals. Each step you take towards an objective, the closer you will get to achieve your goals. 

Oh, and if you are lost – ask for directions (please feel free to email any questions at all).


ALL INFORMATION IS THE COPYRIGHT OF MARKETING FIELD, LLC © 2012

Rainmaking Recommendations are sent the first and third Wednesdays of the month. They are bite size tips that when implemented will cause you to make rain. To learn more about Rainmaking, Goal Setting and Achieving the Life you want as an Attorney please contact Jaimie B. Field, Esq. If you have missed any of the previous Rainmaking Recommendations you can find them at www.jaimiefield.com The Enlightened Rainmaker Blog. 

 

Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: Dream Big

Happy Thursday all, and welcome to another one of Jaimie Field's excellent rainmaking recommendations - keep these in mind as you start to make your plans for 2013!

***

In Rainmaking Recommendation #67 – Conduct your Own Attorney Review, we discussed Performing your own Attorney Review by determining:

  • what you did this year that worked to bring in new clients;
  • what didn’t work ; or most importantly,
  • If you did ANY of the work necessary to build your book of business.

This “looking back” will you help you to look forward to create your rainmaking plan. Now that you know where you have been, you need to determine where you want to go.

There is an oft repeated proverb that says: “He who fails to plan, plans to fail”. But before you begin to plan, you have to determine what you want to achieve.

So take the time to start writing down what it is you want this year. How many clients do you want? How much money do you want to earn? Do you want to write a novel? Run a marathon?

Don’t worry about how you are going to get right this second, (we will discuss the how in the next Rainmaking Recommendation). Just write down what YOU want.

The key here is that it has to be what YOU want to accomplish. If it’s not your goal, it will never be accomplished because you will have no desire to the work necessary to achieve it.

Just remember what Ben Stein (yes, I am quoting Ferris Bueller’s Teacher, but if you didn’t know he was also President Ford’s and President Nixon’s speech writer) said: "The indispensable first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: decide what you want."


PLEASE FORWARD THIS INFORMATION TO A COLLEAGUE WHO YOU THINK WOULD BENEFIT; IT MUST BE FORWARDED IT IN ITS ENTIRETY. ALL INFORMATION IS THE COPYRIGHT OF MARKETING FIELD, LLC © 2012

Rainmaking Recommendations are sent the first and third Wednesdays of the month. They are bite size tips that when implemented will cause you to make rain. To learn more about Rainmaking, Goal Setting and Achieving  the Life you want as an Attorney please contact Jaimie B. Field, Esq. If you have missed any of the previous Rainmaking Recommendations you can find them at www.jaimiefield.com The Enlightened Rainmaker Blog.

Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field Esq - Thanks Giving

As we in the US celebrate Thanksgiving tomorrow, there is much to be grateful for. Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by Hurricane Sandy, who will be unable to celebrate their traditional Thanksgiving, and the family of a high school classmate of mine, whose young daughter is battling leukemia. 

With that, here is Jaimie Field's latest rainmaking recommendation...

***

Think about the holiday that is tomorrow in the United States: Thanksgiving.

Now look at the words that make up this term: Thanks and Giving. When was the last time you gave a “thank you” to the people who are in your life? Your clients, your referral sources, your family?

Continue Reading...

Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field Esq - Conduct Your Own Attorney Review

I may still be out of the office on vacation, but here's a great recommendation from expert Jaimie Field! 

***

Want to hear a scary fact? There are only 54 days left to this year.

We are coming down to the end of 2012. What did you do this year to grow your book of business?

You need to conduct your own review of your activities.

If you work in a firm, you may be required to have an “Attorney Review” to determine what you accomplished in 2012. If you are a solo practitioner, you should consider doing this exercise on your own.

Performing your own Attorney Review will help you determine:

  • what you did this year that worked to bring in new clients;
  • what didn’t work ; or most importantly,
  • If you did ANY of the work necessary to build your book of business.

Most attorneys have a tendency to get caught up in the day-to –day practice of law: Writing briefs or contract, researching the law, litigating cases, etc.

This means they do not take the time to do the activities: blogging, social media, networking, public speaking, writing articles, meeting with referral sources, etc., that will lead to more business.

You need to be honest with yourself. Do not make judgments; just determine whether you actually did the tasks you would need to do to build a book of business on a consistent basis. Just blogging occasionally, or going to a networking event but not following up with the people you met, or using Social Media to meet the people you want to meet on a consistent basis, will not help you grow your client base. (Think of it this way: most people do not wake up good at a particular hobby - like golf, or playing an instrument. You have to practice consistently, possibly take lessons, and learn from your mistakes, in order to get better.)

Once you have figured out whether you did (or didn’t) do the work necessary and what worked (or didn’t) you can begin to plan for next year.

And the first part of your plan just may be committing to do the things you need to do.

Please forward this information to a colleague who you think would benefit; It must be forwarded it in its entirety. All information is the copyright of Marketing Field, LLC © 2012

Rainmaking Recommendations are sent the first and third Wednesdays of the month. They are bite size tips that when implemented will cause you to make rain. To learn more about Rainmaking, Goal Setting and Achieving the Life you want as an Attorney please contact Jaimie B. Field, Esq. If you have missed any of the previous Rainmaking Recommendations you can find them at www.jaimiefield.com The Enlightened Rainmaker Blog.

 

Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field Esq - How are you going to get there?

Here's our latest recommendation from expert Jaimie Field

***

Last night was the 2nd Presidential Debate. Did you watch?

Were you struck with the same question I was during the entire event?

“How?”

Each of the candidates outlined their goals for the country but neither one explained how they were going to do it.

What does this have to do with Rainmaking? We all have the goal of getting new clients and more client matters from the clients we already have. The question is how are you going to get there.

Now more than ever, it is important for you to begin planning those “how’s”. We are in the last quarter of the year. Now is the time to think about the past year and begin thinking about next. Did you achieve the goals you wanted to this year?

More importantly, did you have a plan to achieve those goals?

Now is the time to write down your goals for next year and then determine what networking, marketing, social media and other Rainmaking tasks you are going to do to get the goals accomplished. There are so many sources you can use to get ideas on techniques and tasks that will help you achieve them.

Goals are great. But if you do not have the plan to achieve them they are really only wishes.

Rainmaking Recommendations are sent the first and third Wednesdays of the month. They are bite size tips that when implemented will cause you to make rain. To learn more about Rainmaking, Goal Setting and Achieving the Life you want as an Attorney please contact Jaimie B. Field, Esq. If you have missed any of the previous Rainmaking Recommendations you can find them at www.jaimiefield.com The Enlightened Rainmaker Blog.

Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field:"Who are you?" Rather than "What do you do?"

On this foggy Wednesday morning, I bring you another great rainmaking recommendation from expert, Jaimie Field

***

When you go to a networking event, what’s the inevitable first question that you get asked or that you ask another?

“What do you do?”

The fact is that this question implies that you are only interested in what they do for business 
and what they can do for you, not who they are as a person. And vice versa.

Networking is about creating relationships which can lead to business. Sales is about closing the  deal and no one likes to be sold. So instead of inquiring about “what do they do”, start with questions which really ask them “Who are you?”

The questions can run the gamut from asking about family, hobbies, and their favorite sports teams (please stay away from the controversial three topics – politics, religion and sex). You can ask questions about what brought them to the event in the first place. Compliment them on their shoes, ties, clothing and style. Ask where they bought those items.

When you show interest in the person, rather than their business or what they can do for you, then
people will begin to show interest in you.

Inevitably you will get to the question: “What do you do?” But it doesn’t have to be the first one. 

Rainmaking Recommendations are sent the first and third Wednesdays of the month. They are bite size tips that when implemented will cause you to make rain. To learn more about Rainmaking, Goal Setting and Achieving the Life you want as an Attorney please contact Jaimie B. Field, Esq. If you have missed any of the previous Rainmaking Recommendations you can find them at www.jaimiefield.com The Enlightened Rainmaker Blog. 

 

Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: You Never Know Where You Will Meet Your Next Client

Today, we have another fabulous recommendation from Jaimie Field. Tomorrow, I'm heading to Madrid for our 2012 ILN European Regional Meeting, so you'll be seeing some posts coming up from our sessions there, and in the meantime, enjoy reading Jaimie's recommendation! 

***

Rainmaking Recommendation #64: You Never Know Where You Will Meet Your Next Client

(There will be a reader who will see themselves in this Rainmaking Recommendation because he was one of its stars.)

Last week I was working at a client’s law office. I went outside on this absolutely gorgeous day to
take a break and saw a gentleman in the parking lot that had a flat tire. While I personally could not
help him change a tire (that’s what AAA if for), we began speaking and in the course of a five minute
conversation learned that he may have a legal issue with which one of the attorneys in the firm
may be able to assist him. So while he continued to change the tire, I ran back inside to grab the
attorney and personally introduce him to the gentleman outside.

I also tell this story about a client of mine who was divorced with kids who was talking to another
divorced father on a line in Burger King. Within minutes they were all having lunch together and
my client had found the owner of one of the biggest companies in the area who just happened
to be looking for a new attorney. This business owner introduced my client to more and more of
his friends who also owned businesses and the referrals have still not stopped.

The point is this: You never know where you are going to meet your next client. You have to learn to
begin talking to anyone and everyone and learn about them.

Networking does not have to be in large groups. Networking is truly done one on one. That next
person you are speaking with may turn out to change your entire law practice.


Rainmaking Recommendations are sent the first and third Wednesdays of the month. They are bite size tips that when implemented will cause you to make rain. To learn more about Rainmaking, Goal Setting and Achieving the Life you want as an Attorney please contact Jaimie B. Field, Esq. If you have missed any of the previous Rainmaking Recommendations you can find them at www.jaimiefield.com The Enlightened Rainmaker Blog
 

 

Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: Re-Evaluate Your Associations

We're bringing you some more great advice today from rainmaking expert, Jaimie Field

***

Look at your calendar.

If you are like me, your September is always filled with networking events – traditionally this is the time that associations get back to business and lots and lots of activity.

Time is a precious commodity. You do not have all the time in the world to be involved with every organization.

Maybe now is the time to evaluate the groups with which you are involved. Ask yourself the following four questions:

  1. How long have you been in that group?
  2. Do you like the people in the group?
  3. Have you received any business from that organization or association?
  4. Are you learning anything being a part of this group that will help you in your career?

If the answer to these questions is NO, then it’s time to rethink your membership with the following caveats:

  • If you haven’t been in the group that long, you need to give it a true shot, unless. . .
  • You really dislike the members of the group. Then it’s just time to get out.
  • If you haven’t given any business to any others, no one is going to give business to you.

Join the associations and create relationships with people who will either provide information that will help you learn more or who will help you grow your business. You do not have enough time to join every organization out there.

One last thing: Just because you leave an association doesn’t mean that you cannot keep in touch and continue to grow relationships with the people you like who you met in that group.

Rainmaking Recommendations are sent the first and third Wednesdays of the month. They are bite size tips that when implemented will cause you to make rain. To learn more about Rainmaking, Goal Setting and Achieving  the Life you want as an Attorney please contact Jaimie B. Field, Esq. If you have missed any of the previous Rainmaking Recommendations you can find them at www.jaimiefield.com The Enlightened Rainmaker Blog

Important Note: Before you implement any advice, please make sure that these recommendations do not violate the ethical rules of the associations governing attorneys/solicitors/barristers in your country. Marketing Field, LLC and Jaimie B. Field, Esq. does not take responsibility for the implementation of any advice which is not permitted by the ethics rules of the various authorities governing attorneys in your country.
 

 

Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: I'm too busy

Here's a perfect recommendation from Jaimie Field as we head towards the end of August and into September, which is traditionally a very busy month after all the summer holidays! 

***

Have you ever used the excuse: “I’m too busy.”

Really?

How busy are you? Have you ever tried to figure out where you are spending your time?
Are you really so busy that you cannot find 15 to 30 minutes in your day to do one activity
that could build your book of business?

One of the exercises I ask my Rainmaking clients who claim they are “too busy” to undertake
is to spend three days capturing every single moment of their day from the time they wake up
to the time they go to bed. They are to write down every single thing they do and the amount
of time it took. No judgments are made about how they spend the time.

What is an inevitable is the wake-up call to the amount of time that is spent on activities which
are truly a waste of time.

Now, I am not saying you cannot take breaks, watch TV or have time for fun, family or friends.
In fact, I encourage it. But with 24 hours in a day, you should be able to find 15-30 minutes to
do one rainmaking activity that could lead to growing your book of business.

PLEASE FORWARD THIS INFORMATION TO A COLLEAGUE WHO YOU THINK WOULD BENEFIT; IT MUST BE FORWARDED IT IN ITS ENTIRETY. ALL INFORMATION IS THE COPYRIGHT OF MARKETING FIELD, LLC © 2012

DID YOU KNOW YOU CAN SCHEDULE AN IN-HOUSE, CUSTOMIZED RAINMAKING TRAINING WORKSHOP FOR YOUR LAW FIRM? BEGIN TELEPHONE OR SKYPE INDIVIDUAL RAINMAKING TRAINING FROM WHEREVER YOU ARE IN THE WORLD WITH JAIMIE? CALL OR EMAIL FOR MORE INFORMATION.

 

Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: Who did you Meet Today?

Today, we're bringing you another great rainmaking recommendation from expert Jaimie Field.

***

Just meeting one new person can have the potential for creating the type of legal practice you have always wanted.

Why? Because that one person can introduce you to hundreds of other people who may need your services.

Yes, you can meet that person online on a social networking site (think Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter). You can meet that person at the gym or while you are out shopping. You can meet that one person at a networking event. You could even meet that person in the court house.

The point is that for every person you meet, that person is connected to more people that you do not know who could become potential clients.

Make it a goal to meet at least one new person a week and create a relationship with them. This will allow you to ask your new contact to introduce you to other people you don’t know.


Rainmaking Recommendations are sent the first and third Wednesdays of the month. They are bite size tips that when implemented will cause you to make rain. To learn more about Rainmaking, Goal Setting and Achieving the Life you want as an Attorney please contact Jaimie B. Field, Esq. If you have missed any of the previous Rainmaking Recommendations you can find them at www.jaimiefield.com The Enlightened Rainmaker Blog
 

 

Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: Because the Bed Won't Come to You

We've got another great rainmaking recommendation from expert Jaimie Field!

***

 

Q:  Why do have to go to bed at night?

A:  Because the bed won’t come to you!

Okay, I know it’s a really bad kindergarten joke (I hope you are smiling), but the point is that clients won’t always just come to you.  You have to “go” to them. 

Where do you find clients?  Are you meeting enough people both on-line and in person?

On-line:

What social networks are you using?  Do your ideal clients use that social network or are you just wasting time posting there?   Many attorneys I know do not know how to use social media for business development and are just posting glorified advertisements about themselves on-line.  Social Media is about being “social”.  Start a conversation, ask a question and answer a question, comment on what other people post.  Start “listening” to what your ideal clients have to say.  You may just find that you have the right answer. 

In Person:

Are you wasting time going to networking events that just don’t have the people you want to work with attending them?  Stop going to those events and find one where your ideal clients congregate.   Worse than that – are you not even attending events where you can meet potential clients? 

Start “going” where your clients are – like the bed – it’s not going to come to you.


Rainmaking Recommendations are sent the first and third Wednesdays of the month.  They are bite size tips that when implemented will cause you to make rain. To learn more about Rainmaking, Goal Setting and Achieving the Life you want as an Attorney please contact Jaimie B. Field, Esq.  If you have missed any of the previous Rainmaking Recommendations you can find them at www.jaimiefield.com The Enlightened Rainmaker Blog

 

Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: "If you always do what you've always done. . ."

Today, rainmaking expert Jaimie Field is using one of my all time favorite quotes for her rainmaking recommendation!

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Rainmaking Recommendation # 59: “If you always do what you’ve always done. . .”

"If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got." Henry Ford (1863-1947), American founder of the Ford Motor Company

The above quote is in response to a question I received from a new client who has been practicing law for more than 15 years who, in our first coaching session, asked: “Why am I not getting new clients?”

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The Client is in Charge - Are You Listening?

We're getting underway this evening with the ILN's 24th Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. Tomorrow, as I do at all of our meetings, I will be presenting to our attorneys and I thought what better topic to discuss than that of client satisfaction? 

My presentation is based on the client panel from LMA's Annual Conference this year, and you get the first look! 

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Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: May I Have Your Card?

Today, I'm traveling to Washington, DC in preparation for our 24th Annual Meeting, which starts tomorrow! You'll see some posts from Washington in the next few days, but today, I have Jaimie Field's latest rainmaking recommendation for you! 

***

Look on the corner of your desk or open that top drawer – is there a stack of business cards you’ve collected during networking events?

Pull the cards out and start going through them. Do you remember who any of these people are?

First, cull through the list of cards and throw out any card of any individual you truly cannot remember.

 

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Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: Create your own Networking Group

Thanks to Jaimie Field for another fabulous rainmaking recommendation: 


What type of law do you practice? What industry do you target?

In each area of practice there is a list of people who work in the same in industry who do not practice law. People like accountants, psychologists/therapists, and other vendors who concentrate on the same group of people/businesses you are trying to reach who will not step on your legal toes.

Create your own ad-hoc networking group. Gather these people together to meet at least  once a month, whether in person, via Skype or conference call, and create relationships with  them. Make sure that each person’s business compliments but does not compete with the other. Each of these people and businesses has the ability to refer more business to you without feeling like they are competing with others who do the same thing that they do for a living. In addition to referrals, this group can also provide competitive intelligence about the industry you wish to target.

Where do you find this group with which to network?

Search the industry with which you want to work. Find the publications, magazines, websites that people read to keep up with the industry and see who is writing the articles and advertising in 
these publications. Contact them and ask if they would like to be a part of this group to help grow all of your respective businesses.

What’s the worst thing that can happen? They say “no?” If this happens, there is more than one person who can take their place.

Rainmaking Recommendations are sent the first and third Wednesdays of the month. They are bite size tips that when implemented will cause you to make rain. To learn more about Rainmaking, Goal Setting and Achieving the Life you want as an Attorney please contact Jaimie B. Field, Esq. If you have missed any of the previous Rainmaking Recommendations you can find them at www.jaimiefield.com The Enlightened Rainmaker Blog

Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: The Golden Rule

Here's the latest rainmaking recommendation from expert Jaimie Field!

--

Everyone knows The Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have done unto you.”

It is oft repeated; it is said in many ways in every religious belief. It is taught to us by our parents when we are children even if we are not brought up with a religious background (“Treat others the way you want to be treated”).

Yet, as attorneys, we have a tendency to forget this rule.

This is not because we are bad or immoral people. The nature of the legal field is adversarial. It is almost always one party against another. We are trying to win for our clients. So by hook or by crook, as long as it is ethical, we will treat our opposition the way we need in order to achieve our clients’ goals.

However, for Rainmaking purposes, not following the Golden Rule is going to cost you clients, potential clients and referral sources. If you come across as aggressive and antagonistic to everyone, you will not win.

Think about how you like to be treated: with kindness, respect, empathy and value. Now treat everyone you know and meet like this, regardless of who they are and what they do. You never know from where your next client or referral will come.

Rainmaking is about creating relationships. For those who read these Rainmaking Recommendations and the blogs have seen me write, over and over again, “People do business with people they know, like, and trust. “ No one will like or trust someone who always comes across as belligerent, forceful or uncompromising.

Being adversarial in the court room is warranted; being adversarial in life will cost you clients,  referral sources and friends.

Rainmaking Recommendations are sent the first and third Wednesdays of the month. They are bite size tips that when implemented will cause you to make rain. To learn more about Rainmaking, Goal Setting and Achieving  the Life you want as an Attorney please contact Jaimie B. Field, Esq. If you have missed any of the previous Rainmaking Recommendations you can find them at www.jaimiefield.com The Enlightened Rainmaker Blog.

 

Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: Broken Chains

Once again, we have an excellent rainmaking recommendation from expert Jaimie Field

So you went to a networking event. You met some really wonderful people. You got their business cards.

You think there is some way that you can potentially do business. You left the event after having a great time.

You went home. And then… you did nothing!

You didn’t write a “Nice to Meet You Note”

You didn’t send an email.

You didn’t call to make a coffee date.

You didn’t connect with them on social media sites.

You didn’t let them know you were interested in getting to know more about them or their business.

You’ve broken the chain.

Think of Rainmaking as a “Relationship Chain” - a chain of links which ends in business. Sometimes these chains are short just a few links long and you get business almost instantaneously. But sometimes these chains stretch for long lengths.

Just because you have met someone, or connected with them on a social media site (Linked In, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest) doesn’t mean you have a relationship chain. Chains are built one link at a time and you need to continually build this chain until it is strong enough to create a relationship which results in business.

If at any point you break this chain, you break the ability to further this relationship and it is relationships which bring in new clients and referrals.

Rainmaking Recommendations are sent the first and third Wednesdays of the month. They are bite size tips that when implemented will cause you to make rain. To learn more about Rainmaking, Goal Setting and Achieving the Life you want as an Attorney please contact Jaimie B. Field, Esq. If you have missed any of the previous Rainmaking Recommendations you can find them at www.jaimiefield.com The Enlightened Rainmaker Blog

 

Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: The Sweetest Sound

It has been an unusually busy month of travel for me here at the ILN - I did the calculation the other day and realized that by next Tuesday, I will have flown 32,346 miles in 34 days. 

Whew.

So I'm gratefully bringing you another excellent rainmaking recommendation from expert Jaimie Field while I'm circling the globe again - and Jaimie's writing on something that's near and dear to my heart: getting a person's name right. I can't tell you the number of times I've been addressed as "Lindsey" by someone looking to do business with me, when the correct spelling is part of my email address. And don't get me started on people who think my name is Wendy! 

But without further ado... 

“Remember that a person's name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” – Dale Carnegie

Rarely do people spell my name correctly. Even more aggravating to me is that I am constantly getting correspondence addressed to Mr. Jamie Field (note incorrect gender AND incorrect spelling).

While I no longer get bothered by either of these issues, if you are trying to sell me something, I am less likely to be interested in what it is since you have not taken the time to address me properly.
However, I will say that I am always pleasantly surprised when I receive an email or letter from someone who has spelled my name correctly. The fact is that I have many friends who, for decades, who still don’t spell my name right.

 

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Change or Die? A General Counsel Panel - Part II

In my last post, we talked about the first part of the client panel session from the Legal Marketing Association’s Annual Meeting, with panelists Jeff Carr of FMC Technologies, Janet Dhillon of J.C. Penney and Ron Barger of the Archon Group. The second part of the session was equally as valuable as the first.

One of the interesting points that the panelists made during their comments was that they need their attorneys to elicit the real end game from them – they went as far as to suggest that attorneys should ask them directly “What does ‘winning’ mean to you?” Jeff said lawyers need to get their clients to be specific, because they often won’t volunteer that information.

He joked that business development is like a relationship – people don’t get better with time. They’re on their best behavior in the “marketing phase,” so attorneys need to get past that, and force their clients to be specific about the results that they want.

 

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Change or Die? A General Counsel Panel - Part I

A few days ago, I offered my initial recap of the general counsel panel that we were treated to at this year's Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference, focusing on some key quotes from the session. Now, let's get into the meat of the panel, where even more value is to be found.

The one overriding thought I had (and I was not alone if you listened to the tweet stream) was that year after year, we're hearing the same comments and advice from general counsel. What does that mean? It means that law firms STILL aren't listening to what their clients really want. 

In the past, this has been manageable, because the economy was thriving and there was plenty of work to be going around. But now, as Jeff Carr of FMC Technologies warns:

There will be new business models that come into place. We'll build them if you won't. We don't need YOU to survive. We need the [legal] industry to survive."

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Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: What you don't say may speak volumes

Today, we have another great recommendation from rainmaking expert, Jaimie Field: What you don't say can speak volumes. Her advice reminds me of my all-time favorite quote - "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." - Anais Nin

 

After an extremely long day with clients, I stopped by my local book store – it’s one of the ways I like to relax.   Yes, while I have eBook readers, and the ability to download books onto every device in the world, I am a bit old fashioned.  I love the feel of books, of turning pages, the actual smell.  I even have a public library card that I still use. 

After perusing the store, I found what I was looking for and walked up to the counter to pay.  There was a line – albeit a short line.  While waiting for my turn to pay, the entire day just seemed to overtake me and I just felt how tired I was; so I expelled a huge, involuntary, exhausted sigh.

The woman in front of me paying and the cashier both looked at me a bit crossly – I realized that that particular sigh may have come across not as an exhausted sound, but an impatient one.  When I walked up to the cashier I apologized and explained that it wasn’t about impatience but how tired I was. 

The cashier was appreciative of my apology and totally understood.

The point of this is that what you don’t say can speak just as loud as what you do when people look through the lenses of their own experiences.  This cashier was used to people being impatient; particularly when there was a line of people waiting.   

What are you saying to a client when you answer the phone with a curt or impatient attitude? Put yourself in their shoes.  While you may have just had a bad conversation with another client, the current client you are speaking with may think you are angry or annoyed with them.   Rolling your eyes, sighs, snorts, all of this can be as misconstrued as actual language. 

Non-verbal communication can scream just as loud as a voice – and even more so when the interpretation is supplied by the person in front of you.  

Rainmaking Recommendations are sent the first and third Wednesdays of the month.  They are bite size tips that when implemented will cause you to make rain. To learn more about Rainmaking, Goal Setting and Achieving the Life you want as an Attorney please contact Jaimie B. Field, Esq.  If you have missed any of the previous Rainmaking Recommendations you can find them at www.jaimiefield.com The Enlightened Rainmaker Blog

 

 

Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: Acknowledge Me!

Following up on our last Rainmaking Recommendation from expert Jaimie Field addressing the issues of why clients don't come back, we have the next in the series - "Acknowledge me! "

 

Reason #2 Why Client’s Don’t Come Back: You’re Unresponsive

In a continuation of the series on “Why Client’s don’t come back”, this Rainmaking Recommendation will address the number one reason why clients’ don’t come back - because you don’t respond to them.  

In this day and age of immediate communication – Wi-Fi, 24 hour internet access, smartphones, emails, and social media – clients almost demand that you respond on instantaneous basis.  It used to be that 24 hours was an acceptable amount of time to get back.  Now, people want a response yesterday.

 

 

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Tip for Tuesday - Be Careful with Customer Service

I'm back with another tip for Tuesday! 

Today's tip is brought to you by a rather frustrating customer service experience I'm having, which is further impacted by social media.

The ILN normally gives a small gift to our delegates when they're attending a conference, as a memento of the city that they're visiting (we like to give them the warm fuzzies about our group!).  This morning, I'm attempting to order this memento for our next conference, and ran into the snag that they only allow you to order 15 of them.

It happens, so it's not a big deal.

But here's where it gets frustrating.  I first try to submit my request for assistance via their website. And I get an error telling me that the "page cannot be found." Okay...so did my request go through or not? I'm not sure.  

I next try to call them, but when I choose the option for customer service, I get an answering machine telling me that no one can help me right now.  They're in New York, and it's the middle of the work day, so what's that about? 

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Uh Oh: My Email Was Misinterpreted. What Now?

I like to think that I have a good sense of humor and believe that there is room for friendliness in a professional relationship.  But I'll admit to being surprised, and not in a good way, when after sending a thank you email to an events planner I'm working with, I got this response: "Always at your service, mylady[sic]."  I've only been conversing with this person for a couple of months, and we certainly are not at that level of friendliness (although, as a friend of mine pointed out, a comment like this really only would have been appropriate had I signed off on my email "Until the morrow, my lord."). 

But all joking aside, most of my Facebook friends agreed that this crossed the line.  It inspired Christine Pilch's post "Avoiding inappropriateness to safeguard your brand," where she makes this important point (see her full post for the second example): 

"Both of the above examples were likely innocent mistakes, however they illustrate how easy it is to damage your reputation by simply crossing a line. Your reputation is very closely intertwined with your brand, which is a reflection of your constituency's perception of you. To illustrate my point, consider how BP's reputation over the past 3-months has affected their brand.

Your brand is critical, so be careful to avoid any inappropriateness that could potentially damage it. Resist the temptation to be cute because it might not be perceived that way on the other end."

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Lawyers: Are You Listening to Your Clients?

Last night, I caught the end of Neil Cavuto's show, when he told a story that made me think - he said that he was shopping for a Mother's Day gift and went into a store.  Both the store owner and his wife came over to him within the first few minutes to see if they could assist him with finding a gift to purchase.  He told them both politely that he preferred to look by himself, that he didn't have anything in mind, but was in a hurry, so he wished to be left alone.  They did so, but only for a minute.

As soon as he picked something up to look at it, they both immediately came over to him again, giving him information he hadn't asked for, insisting that the gift he was looking at must be what he wanted, and continuing to badger him.  He again asked them to let him look for the gift in private, and they continued to ask him what he was looking for and let him know that the gifts in the section he was standing in could all be mailed.  As he was getting more and more exasperated, his phone rang. It was his daughter in the store next door, saying that she had found a gift.  So he walked out of the first store, leaving the patrons in shock.  His message was that "no one is listening." 

That message got me thinking:

  • Are we guilty of the same thing?
  • Do we bother our clients or potential clients with information that they've asked not to receive?
  • Do we help them when they need it and let them be when they want some solitude?
  • What is our customer service experience really like for them - are we overbearing, like these store owners?
  • Or are we facilitators, business partners, trusted advisors?
  • Do we insist that we know what's best for them, without finding out what it is that they really want and need?
  • Does that ultimately push them away?

I think Cavuto's message is a good reminder that part of being great at our jobs, whether as legal marketers, as attorneys, or in any other field, is really listening to our clients, their needs, and even the underlying needs and wants they have that they might not be expressing. Ask yourself today, are you listening?

How Important is Customer Service?

In the legal industry, we know how important it is to keep our clients happy, to find ways to work with them that show them we understand their business and their pains.  But how good is your firm's customer service, really?  Generally, you're not the only one interacting with your clients, so do the other people at your firm who work with your clients give them the same level of attention and service that you do?

You may ask, how important is that, when I already work so hard on my relationship with my clients? Well aside from comments from general counsel like we heard at the LMA conference, when they said that surprises in their bills made them wonder if their relationship-partner was reviewing them at all, I have two non-legal stories that I think illustrate why good, and bad, customer service can really affect your relationship with clients.

A couple of weeks ago, I was returning from Social Fresh in Portland. For some reason, I'd chosen to take the red-eye flight, which meant that because I'd been there for less than 24 hours, I felt like it was 2:30am when we were supposed to board.  The incoming flight was delayed because of weather on the east coast, and when they got there, it turned out that they were having some difficulty with the de-icing light on the plane. The Jet Blue agents at the gate made an announcement, told us what the problem was and that they didn't know how long we would be delayed. They continued to update us at regular intervals until we finally were able to board and take off (on the same plane).  I slept for a bit on the plane, and woke up when they turned the cabin lights on. That was also when they announced that the de-icing light had come back on, and because of the weather in New York, we had to land somewhere that wasn't experiencing icing conditions - Buffalo. 

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Law Firms: Change or Die?

As I mentioned yesterday, I've been following along as attendees of Georgetown's Law Firm Evolution Symposium have been tweeting the conference highlights.  Rachel M. Zahorsky of the ABA Journal was in attendance, and wrote a great article that summed up a theme of the conference - BigLaw must change or die.  She quotes several speakers, who make ominous statements:

- Patricia Gillette, Orrick partner: "It is a mistake to think of change in terms of silos...Change must be sweeping. If you do not change, you will die."

- Susan Hackett, Association of Corporate Counsel vice president & general counsel: "The window is open for another year to year and a half for firms before clients start walking and looking at firms they've never looked at before...Whenever a firm says [it] can't hold to a budget number because of unpredictability, the GC still has a busted budget. It's not unpredictable. It's unforgivable that they don't know and unforgivable that we haven't held them to that."

- Robert Ruyak, managing partner and CEO of Howrey: "Partners must be willing to sacrifice some short-term profitability for greater success and profit in the long-term.  That's something many partners don't want to do, but we have to.  There is no choice because some firms will, and they're the ones that will be eating our lunches tomorrow." 

But some are saying that there are firms that think that the legal industry will soon be back to the way it was, and so they don't have to worry about changing. 

Mid-sized law firms, like those in the ILN, often find it easier to adapt than BigLaw because their size makes them more nimble.  But even though this is the case, clients are asking all of their firms to more strongly consider their needs, focus on strengthening their relationships.  As was said at the LMA Conference this year, clients have always had the power, but now they know it.

So what are your firms doing to adapt to the siren call of change?  How are you providing your clients with better service, more value, strengthened relationships?  And how are legal marketers supporting their attorneys to make these changes possible? 

Or, on the flip side, are you one of those who believes that the legal industry will rebound, and so there isn't any need for change?

LMA 2010 - General Session: What We Love Most About Our Lawyers - A Client Panel

The client panels held during the LMA conferences always provide a wealth of useful information for legal marketers to bring back to their firms.  This year's panel was no different - moderated by Michael B. Rynowecer, President and Founder of The BTI Consulting Group, the panel featured Eric Hilty, Senior Vice President and Assistant General Counsel of Apartment Investment and Management Company (AIMCO), Carmel Gill, Corporate Counsel, Legal Department of Level 3 Communications, Jeffrey K. Reeser, Vice President and Secretary of Newmont Mining Corporation, and Julie DeCecco, Associate General Counsel and Director of Litigation at Sun Microsystems, Inc.  The session was titled "What we love most about our lawyers," and the panel started by saying that in order to stand above the competition and become a prefered provider, firms need to step up partner engagement and have a proactive knowledge of their clients' business.  The clients listed a few of the law firms that they consider top of their lists, and one included ILN member, Holland & Hart.

So what gets a firm "on the list?"  One of the panelists counseled that lawyers shouldn't make them jump through legal hoops, but should do as much for them as they can, so that they don't have to do it themselves.  Another said that lawyers should identify the obstacles for their clients, think two steps ahead to the solution and articulate it.  Their impressions of firms come from their experiences with the attorneys of that firm, reinforcing the theme that it's all about relationships.  The panelist admitted that she thought saying service was the most important thing to her might offend the audience, but as Kate Haueisen said via Twitter "we influence service too!"  The panelists suggested that firms have a dialogue with their clients about their expectations for communication, workflow, and sharing the work burden and they agreed that they are trying to isolate the firms that they have good relationships with and save some money. 

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