If you’re an attorney in private practice and looking to generate new clients for yourself or your firm, you’ve probably heard the term “lawyer coach” before. It’s a legal trend that has been rising in popularity since the recession of 2008. Like coaches in sports, these professionals are there to guide, mentor, hold you accountable, and share their accrued knowledge. This may be critical to lawyers who are stuck, unsatisfied, or lack the guidance to achieve the success they so desperately desire. In the legal realm, there are a variety of coaches, each with specialized skills that will help you generate results faster and with fewer struggles than when on your own. Areas of focus in legal coaching include executive, leadership, operations, management, life, and my specialty, business development for lawyers.
What is a Lawyer Coach?
As you well know, lawyers don’t learn business development in law school or at the law firm level. Therefore, when attempting client development, many lawyers either give up early in their careers or invest countless hours working at it, obtaining minimal results. One thing all lawyers need to have to be successful in business development is a positive attitude and a clear understanding of why having a sizable book of business can be a game changer in one’s career as a practicing attorney. It’s been made abundantly clear by law firm leaders and legal recruiters that true freedom and control of your life only comes when you have your own clients attached to you. Only hire a coach if you are committed to change, are open to new ideas, and are willing to be held accountable to achieve your goals.
What FRETZIN does that is unique in the legal coaching space is a combination of lawyer coaching and legal business development skills training that combine to make our lawyers absolute assassins at growing a sizable and sustainable book of business. FRETZIN’s program works because most lawyers not only need coaching and accountability but also lack the methodologies, processes, and skills to develop business in the most efficient ways possible.
Top 5 Signs You Need a Lawyer Coach
- Your revenue has plateaued or has begun declining.
- You haven’t seen a new client in a while.
- You want your law firm to grow more quickly in less time.
- You want to pivot your career.
- You are stuck and unsure how to change.
Sign #1. Your revenue has plateaued or has begun declining.
Many lawyers feel like they are on a roller coaster ride with clients and billable hours going up and down. There doesn’t seem to be any consistency in how or where the business is coming in, and the ride gets old after a while. You only do business development when things are slow, if at all. Unfortunately, if things don’t change it’s possible that one big client you’ve been counting on may go away. Or the phone just stops ringing, and then what?
At FRETZIN, we train our lawyers always to be working on their marketing, branding, and business development so that the faucet never gets turned off. When business is flowing in, you can raise your rates, be more selective in the clients you choose, and may refer more lawyers inside or outside of your firm for the extra work you have coming in. All of these are solid wins for you in your career as a lawyer. We provide planning, execution, and follow-through strategies that allow you to control the work and truly enjoy the best lawyer’s lifestyle possible.
Sign #2. You haven’t seen a new client in a while.
It can be scary and even upsetting when your business goes cold. Even million-dollar rainmakers can get nervous and anxious when new business slows down. While you are not a “salesperson” in the traditional sense, your ability to generate business is a huge part of what makes a lawyer successful these days. The accountability that FRETZIN offers is critical to ensuring that you stay in front of your best contacts and clients to obtain the work that exists out there.
FRETZIN has several unique ways of ensuring that your client development doesn’t slow down or falter. First, meet weekly and monthly with Steve Fretzin to ensure that your foot is firmly on the business development pedal. Second, we will be actively tracking your efforts to ensure you’re keeping up with your biz-dev activities. Lastly, we set you up with a “workout buddy” for your business development efforts. This way, you are making legal growth a top priority, versus pushing it down as so many attorneys do.
Sign #3. You want your law firm to grow more quickly in less time.
What’s the best way to accomplish something truly important? Is it to wing it or just figure it out on your own? Of course not! The keys to success in anything are to work with someone who excels in that area and learn from the best. To learn legal business development in the least amount of time and with the greatest results, you work with FRETZIN. We provide the planning, strategies, day-to-day tactics, and language to build your book with the least amount of effort. This isn’t to say that it’s easy, but certainly more so than going at it alone.
Our clients rave about how the FRETZIN program has dramatically changed their lives. You will no longer fear doing legal marketing like you might today. It’s even possible that you might enjoy it! Imagine trying to learn the guitar or a new language. It’s hard but easier with a great teacher. Now imagine being awesome at the guitar. You probably would want to play it all the time. That’s what we’re seeing with our lawyer clients, they enjoy the rush of signing up new clients.
Sign #4. You want to pivot your career.
Making equity partner or going out on your own can seem like a daunting task. For many attorneys, this is the only path that leads to true fulfillment in one’s career as a private practice lawyer. We get so many lawyers coming to FRETZIN because they are feeling trapped by their firm or situation, where getting to the next level is seemingly unattainable. In fact, many of our big law career coaching clients are growing million-dollar-plus books and becoming some of the youngest equity partners at their law firms. Whatever the case, working with FRETZIN, and building your business development and legal marketing skills will only benefit you in your career.
Sign #5. You are stuck and unsure how to change.
You may have heard the quote by Einstein that doing the same things over and over and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. I spoke with a lawyer recently who said he’d been networking unsuccessful for the past ten years. It was easy to identify that he had one year of experience ten times.
Lawyers who work with FRETZIN regularly say that the processes and language we provide are simple and easy to follow. Additionally, it changes how they think, feel, and act around their prospective clients, existing networks, and clients to be more curious, giving, and helpful. We teach “Sales-Free Selling, ” meaning that words like convincing, selling, and pitching are NOT in our vocabulary.
Questions to Ask Yourself When Considering Coaching
There are so many reasons to hire a lawyer coach, but it’s important to get yourself in the right state of mind so that you are ready to advance your legal career. There are so many reasons to take control of your career in law. Here’s a list of questions that may be helpful in determining if the timing is right for you to hire a lawyer coach.
Are you happy with your current work situation?
- Are you stuck doing everyone else’s work?
- Do you feel like you have too many bosses (clients and co-workers)?
- Is your compensation limited due to your title, limited client interaction or inability to grow your book?
- Is there an intentional lack of clarity on how to get to equity?
Is your lack of client development impacting your autonomy?
- Are you focused only on the billable hour and hitting your requirements?
- Do you feel like you need to be on call 24/7 (weekends and evenings)?
- Does your health and family come second to your job?
Are you building wealth for someone else?
- Are you merely a profit center for your firm via your billable hours?
- Have you ever calculated how much the firm makes from your efforts?
- Are you watching other less talented attorneys get ahead?
Is your physical and mental well-being where it needs to be?
- Are you working out, sleeping and eating well?
- Are you taking care of yourself last, instead of first?
- Do you struggle with sleep thinking about things late at night?
- Are you at risk for diabetes, heart disease or stroke at too young an age?
Are you sick and tired of the rut you are in doing unfulfilling work?
- Were you pushing into an area of law that doesn’t interest you?
- Are you doing grunt work that is under your skill level?
- Would you enjoy the interaction and engagement of working with your own clients?
- Is there a lack of associate/paralegal support under you?
How to Find the Right Lawyer Coach for You
There are several key elements to finding the right lawyer coach to help you take things to the next level. In addition to researching the coach on experience and success with other lawyers, it’s critical to speak with the coach to ensure there’s a good fit. Personality, skills, success rate, and understanding a coach’s processes are all important to choosing the right coach for you. Try to ask a lot of questions while also getting a flavor for how the coach approaches you and asks you questions to identify a good fit. For example, I always try to find out what a lawyer needs to ensure there’s a good fit for what I do versus trying to jam them into my program. If someone isn’t a fit, my goal is to get them to the right coach to achieve their goals.
While there are two different programs that FRETZIN offers, attorneys must have the following mindset in order to be considered. A positive attitude, open mind, and willingness to learn are all critical for success. We offer programs for both attorneys looking to learn business development and those who have mastered the skill and want to continue developing new skills.
For lawyers who are struggling to get to the million-dollar book or want to grow beyond it, we offer our Sales-Free Selling program. This program is second to none in the legal coaching arena because we partner together for eight months to not only grow your business immediately, but to ensure you internalize key business development skills to be utilized for the rest of your legal career.
Additionally, we run the Rainmakers Roundtable program for top business-developing lawyers and law firm leaders. For qualified applicants, this program gets lawyers off their proverbial island and allows collaboration with 7-10 other highly skilled rainmakers from around the country. Our clients love these groups because of the family-like feel and the amount of learning, execution, and business that is generated each and every month they participate. If you have a million-dollar book and want to grow from there, this program may be for you.