I know many young partners and senior associates who are working as hard as they think they can. So, when I tell them they can increase their level of business by 50% in a couple of years, instead of seeing excitement in their eyes, I see pain.

I can tell they are thinking: “I don’t want to work any harder.”

Less is More

The top producing lawyers work hard. There is no doubt about that. But, most of them also make time for their families and personal interests, because they use their time wisely. They have a plan and use systems to be efficient. They also employ the 80-20 rule, spending 80% of their time on the top 20% of clients or activities that produce business. 

If you want to improve your client development efforts in 2015 without burning out in the process and you do not know where to start, here are 10 questions to answer:

  1. What is the industry of your major clients?
  2. What steps have you taken to understand their industry, their business and their needs?
  3. What are you doing to build a team to help you with your work?
  4. What do you consider to be your major strengths?
  5. What do you consider to be areas where you could improve?
  6. What client development efforts did you make in 2014? Which were successful?
  7. What do you perceive as obstacles to your client development success (either firm or self-imposed)?
  8. What have you done to expand relationships further with your existing clients?
  9. What are your clients problems, opportunities and changes that are impacting them and what makes you uniquely able to solve the problems or help them with opportunities and changes?
  10. What is the one thing you can do that you are not doing now that would have the greatest impact on your client development efforts?

Isn’t it time to develop a business plan and focus on achieving it? I have a 2015 Business Plan I urge lawyers I am coaching to use as a starting point. Download it from the link and get started.