Welcome to 2014. How will it be different (hopefully better) for you than 2013?

Recently I was speaking to a lawyer and he mentioned how successful his firm was in the late 90s and from 2004 to 2008. Those were certainly great years for law firms.

But, client development is 2014 is more challenging and also more important than those “go-go” years. Certainly, clients have changed, the economy has changed, and law firms have put greater emphasis on the ability to attract, retain and expand relationships with clients.

With more challenges and more choices in 2014, I want to give you some questions to help you figure out how best to spend your client development time.

  1. What client development activity has worked best for you in the past?
  2. How have your best clients found you?
  3. What is your client development plan for the first 90 days of 2014?
  4. Is it easier for you to get clients to hire you who have a legal matter right now or clients who do not have a legal matter right now? (Hint: If you identify a problem and offer a solution before the potential client knows there is a problem…)
  5. Seth Godin talks frequently about the importance of being remarkable in the eyes of your clients. What are examples of remarkable ideas you can generate in 2014 that will bring clients to you, or your firm?
  6. What problems, opportunities or changes will your potential clients face in 2014 and what unique solution can you or your firm offer clients?
  7. I have often said that selling legal services is counterintuitive. The harder you try to sell clients, the less successful you will be. What can you do to get clients to hire you, without trying to sell your services?
  8. If you are writing articles or blog posts, what topics will potential clients find most valuable?
  9. Suppose you have an opportunity to make a presentation to an industry group, and your goal is to get your audience to hire you or recommend you. What can you do before, during, and after your presentation that will increase your chances of being considered and hired?
  10. If a potential client did a Google search of a legal topic in your practice field, would the client find you on the first page of Google?

Based on your answers to the above questions, what is the one thing you can do in 2014 that you are not doing now that will generate the most business in the long term?