Friday, June 27, 2014


About a year ago, I was having a discussion with an attorney that I had developed a friendship with in Ft. Lauderdale about their practice.  Every 6 months or so we would discuss their career and potential opportunities.  They found themselves stuck.  Over a 3 year period they had originations of 472k, 509k, and 488k. 

Seeking a better opportunity, but stuck in a range, the attorney discussed client development plans.  What has worked, what hasn’t and yet nothing had really changed. 

Last week they called and said that originations have passed 900k since that discussion and a simple suggestion that I made. 

Figure out the things that you simply do not want to tolerate anymore and stop tolerating them.
Their list consisted of 10 items.  Time and energy demons. 

They tolerated: People walking in their offices when they had time blocked for other activities on their firm calendar, calls not getting returned from clients and prospective clients, an associate that needed direction on everything, legal assistant that was consistently late, seminars that weren’t generating any business, firm meetings that they didn’t have a need to be in, clients that take 30-60+ days to pay, etc.

A lot of frustration and animosity that builds up and distracts to the point where the 15 minutes lost turns into an hour.

Now, there are things that as functioning humans you simply must deal with.  As a Miami Dolphin fan, the draft is a yearly reminder of this..

However, what can be holding you back from significantly growing your practice can be the things that you feel like you have to overlook when you really do not have to.  It’s not a THEM problem, it’s a YOU problem. 

These are not comfortable discussions or changes that you have to have with others. Kind of like telling your parents that you want to start your own traditions rather than dragging the kids from house to house during the holidays.  At some point a practice has to grow up.

Set an expectation with clients on payment. If an associate isn’t working out, get a different one.  Plenty of good ones out there. If people walk in your office while you are the middle of a matter, bolt the lock, put a sign on the door. If you are wasting time on client development matters that aren’t developing clients, spend time on things that will. Tired of missing your kids events because of working late, stop letting 15 minute distractions become an hour.

Tolerating is where some people hide out.  It takes time and effort to tolerate. What if the inverse were true?  Not tolerating your business being under 1 million a year. Not tolerating an averagevacation. Not tolerating calls that interfere with family time.

Make your list and lets talk next year..

For more information on client development best practices contact please call Andrew Wilcox at (850) 629-9073, or