Monday, August 31, 2015

Have My Guy Call Your Guy

Non-attorneys can play an important role in client development. Failure to effectively use them is a failure to make use of all the resources available to you to attract clients. There are many ways in which non-attorneys can assist in the client development process including promoting the firm online, with their network of contacts, attending pitches to answer questions, helping attorneys stay organized in their business development initiatives, etc. Want to make full use of your administrative support person? Download my checklist of ways Admin staff can help attorneys in their business development efforts.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Beware of Client Entertainment

Client entertainment is often viewed as low risk, high fun times to share with clients and prospects. But too often, it can be fraught with risk and erode client relationships, especially early on in the client relationships. I hear hundreds of stories in which hosts or clients got too drunk, forgot their manners, made inappropriate sexual advances, had the credit card bounce, forgot to invite key client team members, poorly communicated event details, clients didn't show up, the host cheated on the golf course, a last minute replacement ruined the discussion and ate all the shrimp, the wives got into a fight, etc. etc. Stories abound. Client entertainment should be treated like an interview- a yearlong or more interview. Prepare well, keep your wits about you, follow up with a sincere thank you and hold the celebrating for when you get back home. Wait until you have a longstanding secure relationship with the client before you loosen the reins.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Negative People Get Headlines. Positive People Get Partners.

The world is full of negativity. The news and our culture seem to exist on a diet of fear, gossip, rumors and conspiracy. Negativity gets the headlines. But it also brings the spirit down. Never, ever say anything negative about the competition, former or current employers, peers, friends, family, politicians or religious people. Instead, always look for something positive to say or say nothing at all. Maintain a positive, upbeat attitude and people will be attracted to you. The rarity of a consistently positive outlook is contagious.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Don't Poke a Wound

Gossip, innuendos, rumors or unsubstantiated claims are like open wounds. Each person that passes along the information pokes the wound and irritates it a little bit more. Wounds take a long time to heal when they are constantly poked and prodded and kept raw. Wounds leave ugly scars. People remember the gossip and, too often, where they heard it. The reactions to poking a wound and passing along gossip are the same: It is fascinating to watch but the respect you feel for the poker is diminished. One can’t help but wonder if you had the wound, would the poker poke it too. 

Monday, August 3, 2015

Imagine You Peed Your Pants

Be humble and be vulnerable. Studies show people are most attracted to those they can relate to. Humility and vulnerability are two qualities that rank high in attractiveness. Everyone has been in a vulnerable situation making vulnerability one of the most effective ways to engage and endear oneself to others. Treat everyone as if you needed their compassion and understanding at your most vulnerable time. They will repay you with sincere interest in you and your success.

Monday, July 27, 2015


Presenting offers in three stages helps buyers make decisions. Always offer a good basic solution, a better solution and the best solution. When presented as 'Good-Better-Best' offers, behavioral studies show that buyers discount 'good' solutions as likely missing important value. The risk of loss is one of the most powerful influencers on buying decisions. The 'best' solutions are seen as more than what is needed and often viewed as wasteful. This mental calculus most often results in clients choosing the ‘better’ solution. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Use a Dummy to Prove a Negative

Business people evaluate decisions based on the return on investment. Showing an ROI requires you to monetize the value of the benefit. But sometimes the benefit is the avoidance of problems. How can you monetize the value of something that has not happened?

Use a dummy, made up situation to make your point. The process of walking through the potential savings helps prove the negative. If the likelihood of the situation occurring is strong, it will not be a stretch to get a client to assign a monetary value to that situation. For instance, if you charge $25,000 to develop an employee manual, you should be able to make up a reasonable story of a situation that could go wrong. Use this example to demonstrate how the training and policies developed in the manual can avoid the potential costs associated with not having the manual.