I frequently receive emails from lawyers I coached sharing what they are doing differently and how it is working for them. If you want to contribute, drop me a note.
In 2006, I began coaching lawyers at Looper Reed & McGraw. One of the outstanding lawyers in that first group was Jonathan Hyman, a commercial litigator. He was an associate at the time and is an equity shareholder now. In 2012, Jonathan generated close to $1.5 million in business. Here is an email from Jonathan Hyman sharing what he did differently following the coaching program:
In the year before I began the coaching program I originated a decent book of business for a lawyer my age. During the year I was involved in the program that number increased almost three fold. There is no way to quantify how much of that increase came from the coaching program. The only thing I can say is that I am doing things differently than before and good things are happening.
While I learned a great deal from the program, the following six philosophies stick out the most:
- View the world from the client’s perspective, or as lawyer friend of Cordell’s says, to listen and hear the “voice of the client.” I was reminded to listen deeply and to understand before speaking. I learned to direct my thoughts and comments to what my client was communicating, and in some cases not communicating. Once I bought into this fundamental notion, I approached client development with far greater focus on the client.
- Build deep personal relationships. My favorite Cordell Maxim is to “make your friends your clients and your clients your friends.” I enjoy building relationships. Cordell helped me become aware that that every encounter with a client is an opportunity to build trust and rapport without “selling.”
- Provide non-billable value to the client or potential client. Send articles, share resources and demonstrate a genuine concern for your clients and their business.
- Treat failures as opportunities to learn. If you are going to try to attract clients, you will not always succeed. If something doesn’t work out, don’t sit around feeling sorry yourself, pick yourself up and move on to the next potential opportunity.
- Use your time wisely. It is your most precious resource. If you are going to make a significant time investment, focus it on the right potential clients and set your sights high.
- Above all, find your own burning desire to generate business and help clients. You can’t be content or complacent. You can’t “wait for it to come to you.”
I hope you have also learned these six main points and that you are implementing them successfully.