Friday, December 2, 2011

Book management         

One of the areas that my legal recruiting and client development consulting businesses collide is in the daily conversations about “The Book”.  What I am quick to find out is that some attorneys have an encyclopedia and others have more of a magazine article.

Very rarely do I speak with an attorney at the 20+ year mark that has significantly more in business than they did at the 12-15 year mark in their careers.   In short, their book is their book because how they develop business is the way that they always have.  For most that was okay, until a couple of years ago. What was thought to be the amount of business, that seemed to come in every year, suddenly became “the guesstimate”. A chasm has formed and rainmakers have separated from the pack by how they manage their book.  

On the recruiting side a lot of firms have doubled what they look for in portable business. There a lot of firms that overextended themselves on promised business and have risk adjusted anything that they hear from a candidate. Second, not many attorneys can clearly identify how much business that they originate, from who, and can they really call them “their client”. The ones that can know their metrics for growing their business.

The attorneys that I speak with that have maintained or grown in this economy have a few common traits:

  • Time is blocked every week for quality prospecting and harvesting activities: networking, referral contacts, targeted seminars, email, newsletters, anything that is where their target market is, they are front and center. Filling the funnel. 
  • They qualify opportunities in or out quickly based on bill rate, type of work, quality of clients/ work.
  • They don’t play bill rate bingo.  Their rate is their rate.  Somebody will do it cheaper, but not them.
  • They know their clients goals and issues so well that if they hung a shingle on the moon the clients would follow them, and the attorneys KNOW that.
Looking toward the end of the year and setting goals for 2012, how many of these traits do you practice?  Now is the time to determine your metrics and what a 500k, 1 million, 2 million dollar practice looks like and what steps need to be taken to get there. Time is sacred, but there is always time for a good book…

Please contact me about how you would like to further develop your client base at: 850-893-8984,