What would you do when the phone is not ringing and it seems the well is dry?

A lawyer I coach recently asked me that question.  He was concerned that he might sound desperate if he called clients and asked if they had any work for him or called referral sources and asked if they had any referrals they could make for him.

I told him he would indeed sound desperate. Clients do not want their lawyers to be  “needy” or “greedy.” What client would hire a lawyer with the look of the guy in this photo?


During my career when the phone wasn’t ringing  I did these three things.

  1. I talked to my closest friends-the ones I knew would not consider me desperate talking to them. I asked if they had any ideas for me or could think of any potential clients that could use my help. I used these words: “If you were in my shoes, what would you do to attract business from clients in this tough economy?”
  2. I wrote down 25 actions I could take that would produce business in the short term. I did not stop thinking of actions until I reached 25. I tried to be as creative as I could possibly be. Once I got to 25 I listed them in order of importance.
  3. I found a reason to visit clients, potential clients and referral sources. You have to get out from behind your computer to build relationships.

If the phone is not ringing, it is important not to lose confidence. You have to believe in yourself at those times more than ever.

When the phone isn’t ringing, it is less likely a reflection on you as it is your clients simply have no work for you. Figure out ways you can add value. Identify other potential clients and figure out how you can become visible and credible to them.