I spoke to a young lawyer the other day who hails from another country. I will call her Natalie. Natalie explained to me that where she comes from, the culture is such that self-promotion is frowned upon. In her country, people do not think much of braggarts and blowhards. They respect people who are humble.
Category: Client Development
Back when I was practicing law, ignoring my health, and always exhausted, there were oh so many things to think about. One of them was referral fees.
Of course the Law Society has rules about referral fees, as they should. (There are a whole bunch of other things that they have rules about which they should not be involved in, but I will save my rant about that for another day.)
In our firm, we kept our rules about referral fees a whole lot simpler than the Law Society rules. We did not pay referral fees and we did not accept referral fees.
The Slow Game
You think that baseball is a slow game? It has nothing on networking.
Here is a story for you.
Many years ago I met a tax accountant named Michael. Capable guy. We built up a trusting relationship and referred business back and forth from that day forward to my retirement.
Know Your Snack Bracket
One of my best clients was a very large privately owned corporation. I had a great relationship with Steve, the majority shareholder/CEO. Our firm was the ‘go-to’ corporate counsel for the company.
The first time that Steve’s company was looking to handle some acquisitions, the CEO asked me, “What is your snack bracket for this type of work?” What he wanted to know was what size of deal we were comfortable handling. The answer at the time was deals of up to about $100,000,000. Beyond that a larger firm would better serve him.
Rob was one of my favourite clients. He had intellectually challenging work, treated my whole team respectfully, gave me reasonable deadlines, and promptly paid all of his bills without question.
Yet, there were lawyers in my firm who did not like working for Rob, who, being smart and creative, would frequently propose unusual business structures or litigation strategies and then insist that we convince him why they would not work.
The Engagement Ring
The other day, my friend Martin, who was recently involuntarily retired from his law firm, was waxing eloquently, albeit somewhat sadly, on the topic of engagement rings and portable client bases. According to Martin there is a connection. Bear with me and I will try to explain.
All Hail the Rain Makers
For today’s diatribe, we are going to need a definition of ‘success.’ Although the traditional definition which relates primarily to making a lot of money is deficient in more than a few ways, since it seems to be the standard used by so many in the legal profession, I am going to choose that one.
There are only three ways to make money in the legal profession.
Murray’s Marketing Missives
- Give a damn about your clients. They will refer other clients to you.
2. Take your law school friends to lunch. They will be handing out work in a few years.
3. Hold your glass in your left hand when you are at a cocktail reception so your right hand won’t be clammy when you shake hands.
Lawyers (other than litigators, I suppose) don’t like public speaking much more than other people do, and most people rank public speaking as their greatest fear, just before death.
As best as I can tell, there are two potential audiences for lawyers to speak to. The first group is comprised of potential clients. The reason for speaking to them is obvious.
My father used to ask, “If you’re so smart, why ain’t you rich?”
There are probably a million things that are wrong with that question, but his basic point is worth considering. He was asking why it is that some people believe that they know better concerning just about everything, but they do not generate any results from their supposed brilliance.