I was recently asked:

How did you set client development goals?

Answer: That is a really great question. I know from experience you are not the only one who wonders about this.

To set client development goals you first have to determine what you really want to accomplish.  As Stephen Covey said: “Begin with the end in mind.” If you are a regular reader, you know I always focused 5 years out.

Once you have the end in mind, then you are ready to set goals to help you get there. There are two types of annual goals for your plan:

  1. Year end result goals
  2. Action goals

I always set an annual dollar amount goal I want to bring in for each year. I did this recognizing that achieving that number goal was not totally within my control.

For example, one year I had a month long trial scheduled that would have involved weeks of preparation and substantial fees. Just as we were starting the major push to prepare the case, it settled. In another year, a client was so happy with a result I had gotten that he gave me a $100,000 bonus.So, knowing I did not have total control over achieving dollar amount goals, I set them primarily to give me energy and cause me to think about what I needed to do to generate that amount of fees.

I also set goals on client development activities. My goals in one year included:

  • The number of presentations I want to give.
  • The number of articles I want to write.
  • The number of client visits I want to make.
  • The number of client workshops I want to give.

I recommend action goals to the lawyers I coach because they have more control over their activities than they do their results. When you set activity goals,  break them down into smaller components. That way you are more likely to get started and stay with it. I meet with the lawyers I coach in person every 90 days and we set 90 Days Action Goals.

You should always ask why achieving a particular goal is important to you. I recommend this because I know from experience that if you do not have a good reason, you won’t make the sacrifice needed to achieve the goal.

Next, you should establish a date by which you will achieve the goal. Then, list the activities you will need to do. As you can see from the previous paragraph, the activities themselves become goals. Finally, take some action right away. I describe this as making sure the train leaves the station.

If you would like more thoughts on setting goals, watch this video podcast I created:

How to set goals.