In this episode, Steve Fretzin and Aaron Baer discuss:
- Being intentional with your legal business development.
- The mindset behind business development.
- Preparing for the future of legal.
- Tips for your best business development practices.
- Start stupid small when you are building habits, including for your business development, and they will become part of your daily routine.
- The first sell you make is to yourself – you have to believe in yourself and your firm.
- The younger generations want to buy legal services the same way they buy everything else – client services are going to be the key.
- Niche down. If you try to be everything to everybody, you will be nothing to nobody.
“You can either wait until everyone else is doing it, or you can do it first and have this enormous unfair advantage. And if you want to help clients, if you care about clients, just try to learn stuff that’s going to help them and don’t listen to the people that are going to tell you that’s all nonsense.” — Aaron Baer
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Show notes by Podcastologist Chelsea Taylor-Sturkie
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lawyers, attorneys, clients, aaron, people, business, development, book, mindset, firm, started, rocket science, legalese, estate planning, legal, listening, practice, niching, lead, figure
Narrator, Aaron Baer, Steve Fretzin, Jordan Ostroff
Aaron Baer [00:00]
lawyers need this so badly. We don’t have that roadmap. We don’t have these systems. And the irony is, once you understand them, and you get your mind set to the right place, you are pretty much unstoppable. Because everyone else in this industry is still doing it the old way. And if you’re not, it is an unfair opportunity for you, and you’re going to wish you start sooner.
You’re listening to be that lawyer, life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Each episode, your host, author and lawyer Coach Steve Fretzin, will take a deeper dive helping you grow your law practice in less time with greater results. Now, here’s your host, Steve Fretzin.
Steve Fretzin [00:45]
Hey, everybody, welcome to be that lawyer. Hope you’re having a lovely day today. It’s another time Hey, opportunity to be that lawyer, someone who’s competent, organized in a skilled Rainmaker just got over a weekend, and I’m ready to rock and roll this week, tons of appointments. And as you know, Fretzin is the place to go for not only training and coaching, but also we run peer advisory groups. So if you’re already successful, motivated lawyer, and you’re looking to collaborate with eight to 10, other lawyers that have also been kind of polished up a bit, it’s a great forum to go into. And we’ve got a business developers under a million in originations, and over a million is the rainmakers roundtable. So check that out on my website, fretzin.com. I’m going to introduce Aaron in a moment. But I want to take a second to thank our sponsors legalese marketing, and money penny for being great partners for Fretzin. And for myself, I guess I am Fretzin. But anyway, that’s okay, the money Penny doing my website, live chat. And also legalese, helping me with all my marketing in and out, just making sure all the Fretzin stuff gets out on time, and taking it off my plate, which is the key for lawyers getting stuff off your plate. The quote of the show is a Roger Clemens quote, and for those of you don’t know, Roger Clemens, he was a football player. Now, just just check, just testing. He’s a retired baseball player, I think anything is possible if you have the mindset and the will and desire to do it and put the time in. So Aaron, welcome to the show. Thanks for being here.
Aaron Baer [02:18]
Thanks so much for having me stiff.
Steve Fretzin [02:19]
So when you hear that, quote, what does that mean, the mindset in the will and desire to do it as it relates to legal business development?
Aaron Baer [02:27]
Yeah, I think with with legal business development, I mean, you really have to be intentional, you know, for most lawyers, or attorneys, you know, we have day jobs, myself included, we are lawyers and attorneys, and, and on many cases, those are also night jobs. And so finding the time to do it is a challenge. And I think if you’re not deliberate about it, and certainly early in my career, I was not at all deliberate about it. And the results or lack thereof, reflected that I’ve I’ve seen, you know, like you working with a lot of lawyers and attorneys and helping with this development is, it’s so important, you know, to have someone that holds you accountable. And it’s so important to build habits, and you don’t want to start with the biggest habits, if you start with those enormous habits, you’re not going to do them because something was gonna get in the way, that trial, you know, that file that deal, whatever it is, it’s not going to happen, and you really, really got to start small. And that’s what we found works. If you start smaller, we call it stupid, small, you can get stuff done. And more importantly, you can build habits. And that is the key with this development is being intentional about it, and building habits and doing stuff that where it feels good and isn’t a chore. And if it feels like a chore, you’re doing the wrong kind of business development.
Steve Fretzin [03:33]
And I think the other piece of it is the mindset, right? That if business development is just a big waste of time, and why bother? And I’ve got other things to do, it’s not a priority for me. You know what, it’s really never going to get done, then you’re then you’re absolutely going to put everything in front of it. And you’re never going to build that book. And what is it? What does it mean to build a book for lawyers today? What is what’s so important about that, Aaron?
Aaron Baer [03:56]
Yeah, I think it’s less about money than it used to be. And you know, when I look at people who were, I guess, mentors, or whatever you want to call them, for me, when I started out, talking about business development, it was pretty much always about money. And it’s still true. I mean, you make more money, if you have your own clients. I mean, I’ve been lucky enough to grow my book, that’s obviously, you know, beneficial financially. But but, you know, we spent a lot of people about this, because I was curious, what are people who are looking to grow a book, or have a book or looking to grow bigger? What are they looking for these days, and it’s not money, or at least money’s not the number one thing, in some cases is control with their firm its power, because the unfortunate reality is still the people with a bigger books of business get listened to more. But more importantly, it’s personal autonomy. And it’s knowing that there always be work for them. They’re not dependent on others. They have that control. They have that, that you know, that that that fear of not having enough, right, not having enough work to do all of that. That goes away. And then it’s also flexibility. You can join another firm of the same size. You can start your own firm you can do what you want and work towards that life that you want. And that, I think is what so many lawyers today are looking for and missing, which is fulfillment. And the question, of course, becomes, how do I get there? How do I get to whatever that vision of success looks like for me in the future? There’s a path there. And in many cases, that path involves having clients, and you get clients through business development, and that I think, is so important these days, whatever your reason is,
Steve Fretzin [05:21]
yeah, it’s a big part of the control element of of a trajectory of a career. And you either control your career or you don’t. And although lawyers right now we’re able to kind of move jobs without a book of business, that that will not last, you know, we’re going to be getting back to the way things were changing always. But you know, it used to be that if you didn’t have a book of business, you really weren’t portable. And now, that’s changed because of the great resignation. And I have a feeling we’re going to be going back to that, because firms now have to pay for all these, you know, all this overhead and all these people they have, Hey, real quick, everybody, we’re talking to Aaron bear. He’s not only an attorney, but he’s the founder of build your book and for L Academy. So this is a guy up in Toronto, correct? Yep. And Aaron, and I, you know, he was kind enough to sit through one of my classes last week, and we’re getting to know each other better, but I just appreciate that he’s in a similar space where he’s trying to help attorneys get to the next level, and really understand and own that their, that their ability to create business and will lead to a happier career in in the space. What’s your background? Eric? Can you give a little like I we understand you’re a lawyer. But what’s the flip to get into the business development, start teaching that because not everybody figures out that that’s something they can do or that they should do with their life?
Aaron Baer [06:41]
Yeah, the short version of story is entrepreneur at heart. Always when I was a kid, you know, start fixing random little little businesses, obviously not for much money, went to business school, decided to do law school after and started law school at 20. and Canada in the US at the same model. So I was the youngest one of my class, you should be older, was lucky enough to get one of the big firm first year jobs, which are pretty rare. So I was 21. Working at a big firm, had no idea what I was doing, obviously, like most people, first year Law School doesn’t teach you much practical. And I had no no, no, my family who was a lawyer came back for my second summer and on. That’s an associate in my first year, I remember thinking nothing here makes sense. Nothing that we’re doing like like, these processes don’t make sense. Why is there not more tech, like like nothing seems ironed out. That seems very odd. And so early in my career, I was thinking about that stuff got really involved in the legal tech space, in my second year or so it was a booming are starting to boom scene in Toronto, or there’s a huge tech scene as well, and got really interested in that. And long story short, I ended up I guess, integrating a lot of legal tech into my practice, but also started realizing, hey, this training I got in law school, it was not so great for practicing law, both on the substantive side, did a terrible job of helped me understand how to be a good lawyer or a lawyer at all. And on the business development side, I kept looking at, you know, partners who are more senior in the me and others and going, I’m not seeing any sustainable ways of doing business development, nor do I see anything replicable, I see, here’s what worked for you. And that’s not going to work for me, because I don’t have that rich cousin, I don’t have whatever your other thing was, none of them had a system, they had a lot of luck. And for those who didn’t have a lot of luck, they just hadn’t succeeded. Yeah. And so what I realized is, I needed to understand how this works. But just like I realized the practice of law, you know, could could use a lot of help from outside industries, I finally started realizing, I think the practice of business development, or as I’m not afraid to call it sales, but I guess most of us are, could use some help, started listening to podcasts, reading books, and connected with a friend of mine from business school, who’d been doing sales for the last decade in a modern, authentic way, and hired him to coach me and started working with him. And he’d say, you know, Aaron, like, you know, stop if I’m boring you. And I remember saying to him, like, you’re not boring me one bit. Like, I know more than the average lawyer, the average lawyer knows nothing. And I know next to nothing. So you’re absolutely not boring me, this is like to you the most basic of basic stuff. I don’t know any of this. We work together. And then I said to him, You know what, when I was going to leave my job as a partner at my big firm, I said, You know what, I’ve been sort of training you. So you can do this in the legal space on your own as a trade off, you know, for helping me. But why don’t we do this together, if we can take my experience as a lawyer, building other people’s books up from zero to two, 3 million and then building my own up until the seven figure plus range, combined with your actual knowledge of how this should work from other industries, we can do some pretty cool stuff, because I’ve got the legal background. I’ve seen this done the wrong way. So many times I’ve done this, the better ways, and that you actually know what you’re doing. Let’s make that work for law and for other professionals. And it’s been a lot of fun.
Steve Fretzin [09:37]
Yeah, it is a blast and learning it and executing on it. And for most of the attorneys, you may have heard me say this before, if you’re listening, you know, multiple shows. You know, when I when I started out coaching, I was working with entrepreneurs and salespeople, and it was like a whiteboard that had been scribbled on over and over and over again and they have so much junk of past trainings and past coachings and past jobs, where they all had different ways of doing things. And for them to work with someone like me who has a system and a process and a methodology that is proven and sound and all that, we had to like, break down and erase all that stuff on the board. And it’s interesting when I work with attorneys, for the most part, it’s a whiteboard that hasn’t been written on yet. And it sounds like that’s where you were at the time where this coach could just come in and say, Here’s Step one, do this, here’s step two, do this. And then so there’s not a lot of, you know, Bs, if you will, like that you had to erase to then put to fill in that space, it was just open space that you can fill with a way of doing it, that’s better than winging it or better than just figuring out on your own.
Aaron Baer [10:42]
Yeah, you know, when I, when I was on my old firm, as a partner, I was I was really involved in legal tech and, and trying to sort of adopt better processes and better things. And I would talk to friends of mine from the business world, we’ve known consultants, accountants, entrepreneurs, whatever. And I just say to them, nothing I do is rocket science, I literally just take best practices from other industries and apply them to law. But in the legal world, this is seen as innovation, because people are just so insular, unfortunately. And in the same thing with business development, you know, the courses we run, so we run these cohorts similar to you. But we’re also starting to run these one day, or like, you know, four hours a day, or three hours a day, times two weeks kind of workshops, which is, I think, where we’re heading to more, and it all the stuff we’ve done with all the lawyers and attorneys we’ve worked with from around the world, nothing we do is rocket science, absolutely nothing. We, we add in, you know, what are really at the end of the day, fundamental sales, fundamental business development concepts. But we obviously like you do see if you know, we’re applying them to lawyers, because lawyers are different, you can’t just take a standard thing that applies to a professional salesperson who does this for a living and apply it to lawyers or attorneys. But a lot of the work we do, as I’m sure you do, as well as on the mindset side, because at the end of the day, if you don’t believe in this, if you see this as a chore, if you don’t believe in what you’re selling, if you don’t know what you want to be lucky, we can’t be successful. So So you know, I’d say we’re 50% psychologists or therapists, 50% business development teachers, but at the end of the day, we always say, you know, the first sale you make is to yourself, and if you don’t believe in it, if you’re scared of all this, if you’re afraid of reaching out, which so many lawyers and attorneys are, it’s not gonna go well. But the fun part is because we work in small groups, we see just so much progress. And we’ve just, it’s been so incredible to watch people coming in, I’m sure like USB, if you are terrified of some of this stuff, and they’ll say, I’m afraid of doing this even the most basic thing, they see someone else do it, they go, okay, that person was also free to this last week, holy smokes, look at the amazing result that person had, let me try this, they do it, they realize it’s not so bad. And then we’re off to the races and constantly tweaking mindset, and all of that, because a lot of what we’re told them to do is novel and unusual for the legal space. But it’s what’s going to set them apart because they’re the only people doing it. And it’s like you it’s a proven best practice that is going to lead to results. And it’s so fun to see those results start pouring in.
Steve Fretzin [12:57]
Yeah, and when you mentioned, it’s not rocket science, I appreciate you a tee up my new book, legal business development isn’t rocket science, which is available on Amazon Kindle, I believe. And then eventually, it’ll be in the softback book back on the shelves. But it’s mindset for sure. Going back to our initial quote of the show, and if the mindset isn’t there, if the ambition interest isn’t there, I’m really not interested in spending my time with someone that I need to convince this as important or that I’ve got to talk into, you know, hey, you need to think about this and do this, they have to get to a point where they are the individual lawyer is drawing a drawing a line in the sand and saying, Look, I cannot get where I want to go without learning this, I don’t have the time to figure it out on my own, I don’t have the time, or the patience to go out and do 100 networking meetings, make every mistake in the book, and hope that I can improve it and figure it out over time. That’s the way it’s been done. And attorneys are killing themselves spending, you know, 40 hours a month and more, in some cases going out there and running around. So to your point, Aaron, you’ve got podcasts, there are books, there are coaches, mentors at your firm, you need to absorb you need to go out. But without that desire, that ambition and that interest, I think it’s probably you know, something every lawyer has to come to that tipping point to decide, am I in on this? Or am I out on this? If I’m out on this, okay, maybe you have a great career as a lawyer every day billing hours, and it works out because you’re smart, and because you’re good. And because maybe you get lucky. And then there’s everyone else. And most people aren’t willing to put that at risk. So they’re going to want to figure it out and not make all the mistakes that come along with that if they can help it. So I think what you and I are doing is really important, even if it’s not a direct engagement, meaning right even if it isn’t someone that engages us directly and pays us a fee and we spend time with them, the books, the podcasts, the videos, all the stuff that’s a vailable be a student of the game be a student of business development as a lawyer. And I think that’s why you’re listening to the show everybody. If you are, you know, you know, that’s what this is all about.
Jordan Ostroff [15:11]
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Steve Fretzin [16:01]
So Aaron, let me ask you this, what? What can be better done to prepare lawyers for the future law moving into the next five or 10 years? What are some things that lawyers need to be thinking about to prepare for that
Aaron Baer [16:14]
practice of law is changing slowly, as I think many of us know, but it’s changing. And what’s really changing at the end of the day is client expectations. And even if lawyers or attorneys aren’t feeling it yet, you know, and I think we’re in this little Mirage right now, as you alluded to earlier, Steve, where firms are hiring people left, right and center and salaries are going up. And plants aren’t exactly thrilled about this, they’re not getting increased value. And we all know that deal flow and all that is going to slow down at some point and things will return to a more more of a equilibrium. But what’s coming is clients are getting younger and younger, whether it’s the people in house who are making the decisions, the people running the businesses, you know, you name it, and millennials, Gen Z’s all of all those kinds of people. They want to buy legal services, the way they buy any kind of services, and the way legal services are currently delivered, that customer experience. All that sort of stuff is night and day, from how everything else in the real world happens. So well, firms may be able to get away with it today. That’s not going to work long term. And at the end of the day, it’s an exciting time. I think right now in law, so much is changing, there are so many opportunities. And if you’re doing stuff differently, you have so many unfair advantages. And it also ties to your business development, you know, and I think for business development as lawyers as individuals, you’re selling, you know why someone should work with you. So I’m a corporate lawyer, I do you know, m&a, I help businesses expand to Canada, I help companies raise money, all that sort of stuff. But we’re a dime a dozen, right? You know, I worked at a big firm, I was a part of a big firm. But guess what, there’s 1000s 10s of 1000s of people like that, too. So at the end of the day, you know, why should someone work with me? Or why should they work with you. And you’ve got to figure out what that edge is. And if all you can say is, I’m one of you know, 10,000 people that can do this work well, and I charge a lot of money. And but I went to a good school, you’ve got no edge, like clients don’t care where you went to school, they care about how you help them, and what that experience is like. So for example, for me, with a heavy use of tech and automation and process, that means number one, you get stuff faster, and it’s way more cost efficient. I’m also a business guy at heart, and I’m an entrepreneur at heart and in reality, so I actually think like an entrepreneur first, which clients love, because clients hate long memos and other nonsense, what they need is practical, actionable advice. And so for me, so much of what I do is just by again, taking good stuff from other industries and saying, why don’t I do this? Why don’t I do that. And I used to complain all the time that lawyers just didn’t do these things. You know, my old firm, I tried to get colleagues to do stuff and just resistance and it wasn’t just them, it’s across the board. Now I go great. If my quote unquote, competition doesn’t want to do this stuff. And it’s the stuff that clients want the stuff that adds value. It’s the stuff that gets referrals, then by all means, let them not do it all just eat their lunch. And you know, the format now boutique firm, we’re growing like crazy. We’re in the web three space, you know, pretty much Canada’s leading crypto blockchain web three, firm. And guess what, no one can’t compete. Because we’ve got a unique edge, we actually understand this stuff and live and breathe it all day. So firms want to, you know, say, we’ll get there when when you know, other things happen, that’s fine. Like, we’re just going to keep moving ahead. And what I’d say to anyone listening is, you can either wait until everyone else is doing it, or you can do it first and have this enormous unfair advantage. And if you want to help clients, if you care about clients, just try to learn stuff that’s going to help them and don’t listen to the people that are going to tell you why are you doing this? This isn’t what lawyers do. That’s all nonsense. It’s what lawyers, you know, it’s what good lawyers do. It’s what the traditional lawyers didn’t do. And that’s why lawyers have a reputation that isn’t so great with the public.
Steve Fretzin [19:50]
Well, I think to that, you know, if we think about how lawyers used to get business and you mentioned you alluded to this, you know, hey, I’m at the golf club, shaking hands And, you know, with all these, you know, CEOs at the golf club, or I, you know, I’m at the social club or I’m on the board or, you know that that still works to some degree. But I think most attorneys aren’t investing the time in joining a club and glad handing around, I think that having unique differentiator, something that gives you an edge in tech, something that gives you you see something coming up the pipe, that is, you know, the, you know, the future of that particular industry, or the future of that particular type of law, that’s going to weigh out a lot more than you know, then you know, being left behind, but having some relationships that, you know, that that you’ve made through through glad handing in a golf club or something like that. So, I love that. And let’s, let’s do this, let’s go back and forth there. And let’s, let’s give my audience some some really good tips, let’s think about, like, what are the one or two things that you’re that you’re teaching and coaching your clients on, I’ll also do the same. And let’s see if we can get a couple of good takeaways in the next, you know, five or 10 minutes for business development best practices. So what would be like number one on your list that you are working on with lawyers that that they just love, and that they can really sink their teeth into.
Aaron Baer [21:08]
So number one is give, give, give. So in the old days, lawyers were all about taking, right, everything was transactional. And I think we got to switch that over. It’s all about building authentic relationships, which is what people want. Anyways, that’s what friendships and everything are built on. So it’s all about giving. And the more you can give, the more you’re going to get back.
Steve Fretzin [21:26]
I’m going to add one thing to that because a lot of the networking books that I came up with 20 years ago, were like the Go Giver. And there’s some really good networking books that explain how giving can benefit. And what I identified is that that’s right to a degree. The other part that we want to consider is that we want to meet with the right people then give to the right people, because they’re in our lane, they’re in our in our mutual goal in the same mutual direction. So I can give to the Avon lady at the networking event I can give to the guy who does Auto Collision Repair at the at the local Chamber of Commerce, that’s fine. I mean, depending on how much time you have. But if you’re limited on time, I would say look, if you’re an estate planning attorney, figure out who your best strategic partners are potentially, so financial planners, family attorneys, other litigation attorneys, whatever, and give to them, make them the people that you’re focusing your energies on, and give selflessly. But also with intelligence, if somebody doesn’t have the capacity to reciprocate, if somebody isn’t really, someone you enjoy, or like, you may want to pass and spend your time with people not only that you enjoy but also have the same clients and are interested in that reciprocation. So that way you’re giving but you’re also receiving, which I think is an important part of how we spend our time. But giving always always is the essential Aaron, right.
Aaron Baer [22:51]
Yeah, no, I agree. I agree with you. You know, one of the things we work with lawyers and attorneys on is, you know, trying to identify who are the right referral sources. And that really involves understanding who your clients are. And it’s not so simple. And I think most lawyers will say, Well, you know, my client is this. But when you really dive deep, what you really need to understand is, at what point in time, should that person be reaching out to me, and that’s where you go backwards to try to figure out well, who would have been talking to them first, or who are people and of course, complementary industries. But but that’s not so straightforward in a lot of cases. And that’s where sometimes, you know, we’re in like, week five, Week Six of a cohort where we’re going, Oh, okay, now we’re starting to get they’re starting to get who their client actually is, they’re niching down. And that’s another thing I’d say is, you got to niche down, if you’re trying to be everything to everybody. You’re nobody to everybody. And most lawyers, myself, often included, are afraid of that. And it’s really simple. If it’s not working for you today, you got nothing to lose, because whatever you’re doing isn’t getting you where you want. So you need to start taking smaller experiments. And all the data suggests, and we’ve seen this over and over again, and practice niching down is the way to go. You can have multiple niches, but if you’re everything to everybody, nobody knows when to come to you. And you want to be that guy or that person that people say when x happens, I’m gonna give Aaron a call. Yeah,
Steve Fretzin [24:07]
and the two areas that you can consider niching down one would be in within the area of you know, practicing law. So, you know, if you’re doing everything and you think estate planning is the way to go, or you think that business law is the way to go. And that you can decide that you want to do one of those really focus doesn’t mean you have to throw away all the others day one, but I think you want to focus on sharing that intention and sharing that information about what you’re doing. And and getting that business in the door. And then the other side of it is the industry. So you could say I’m an estate planning attorney, but I’m only working with high net worth individuals. I’m only working with business owners I’m working with certain types of people. That way. You’re also becoming know not only as an estate planner, but also for the business entrepreneur, estate planner versus the mind paused a planner so you can consider the industry is a nice as well as the specific practice area that you’re in. So I think that’s another way to focus again, you’re separating yourself from the pack when you focus on international estate planning or business estate planning versus general estate planning. Right? Yeah,
Aaron Baer [25:15]
everyone is too general. And again, you know, there’s so many clients out there. And I think, you know, also on abundance thinking there, you really have to shift your mindset to a belief that you don’t get that client, it’s okay, there’s a million clients out there, and they want to work with me. And once you believe that, it really shifts your thinking. Because if you don’t believe that, you’re going to now do everything to bend over backwards to get this client that may not even be a good fit. And there’s nothing worse than chasing the wrong clients that you know, are the wrong clients, because you’re so desperate, and you’re living in fear all day. That doesn’t mean don’t provide good service to people. But that mindset has to be one of abundance. And that unlocks a lot of things to, then you can
Steve Fretzin [25:50]
also bundle a couple things together. So for example, if you’re doing real estate law, and you like estate planning, and you understand that, you know, residential real estate can be up and down. But estate planning can be consistent. Maybe you bring them together, because you also know that your real estate clients all need estate plans, they have a new home, they’ve got a family, it’s just a natural crossover to say, hey, you know, I also, you know, would love to, you know, the best question that I teach real estate attorneys and they always look at me, like, why don’t I think of that it’s not rocket science, right, is to ask a question. So when you you know, now that you’ve got this great house, you know, how are you going to set that up in your estate plan, and they go, what what estate plan, and then right there in like a natural lead into, Oh, you don’t have an estate plan? Okay, we should talk about that. Because, you know, this can happen, this can happen, this can happen. And it’s more than just the house that, you know, that needs to be put in in its, you know, you’ve got kids that need to be protected from the big bad world of things that can happen. So anyway, it’s simple. It’s sometimes it’s simple stuff, right?
Aaron Baer [26:51]
Yeah, exactly. And just building on that point there, you know, you may not do estate planning as a real estate lawyer, but that’s okay. That’s an amazing referral opportunity. And so you know, anytime you can find those referral opportunities to send to other attorneys, that’s amazing. You don’t have to do the work, you make a quick intro, and you’ve made two people really happy. And we’re all about, you know, giving and all that stuff. And well, one last thing I’d add here, I guess is you got to be persistent, you got to follow up. And attorneys are the worst at this. And I think that is why so many of them fail at business development. They send out a message to a person or they have a meeting or whatever. And they think they’re done. I’ve either built the relationship in the latter case, or In the former case, the person must not have been interested. And we know that people are busy people have other priorities. People weren’t interested maybe at that time, but they might be later. And if you are the kind of person that has been the one shot wonder, without success, you might need to take some more shots. And there’s so much evidence saying you need five 710 11, whatever the numbers are touchpoints. So one is often not enough, especially when it’s outbound that you’re doing. So you really have to think about that. And I’ve seen an attorney, not when I worked with in our in our coaching business, but when I worked with in real life prior to that, that was her secret to success. I studied her for a year, everyone kept saying, Erin, how does she do this? And I went, I figured it out, she follow up, she knows what she wants, she reaches out. And then she follows up until she gets what she wants. And at the end of the day, you know, built a multimillion dollar book of business that everyone else is jealous of. And that was there a secret? That was it?
Steve Fretzin [28:19]
Yeah, a lot of it is a lot of it is just it’s not one, one and done. We don’t meet someone for coffee, and then oh, now I’ve got all these referrals coming in. That’s just not how the game is played. You know, the first meeting might be to qualify and see if there’s a fit from a personality standpoint, from a referral potential standpoint and everything else. And then what’s the next step? So like, I have all my clients doing journaling, Aaron, and one of the things I do is I looked at it, how many of their meetings have next steps, we finished meeting, we had this great coffee, what’s the next step? And when they don’t have next steps, that’s when I caution them and say, This is how things die. This is where you know, business development goes to die. Now if you don’t need a next step, because the person was horrible, or the person was not who you thought they were, then fine, move on. But if if you met someone that was real and that you gave to and that gave to you and there’s an opportunity to continue that momentum forward, then yeah, if you don’t have a next step, then it’s just going to go into the ether. And it’s done. So Aaron, we’re wrapping up our time together any kind of final thoughts for lawyers, just kind of final thoughts on wisdom, some wisdom to share?
Aaron Baer [29:22]
Yeah, so first thing is start now whatever stage you’re at, I wish I’d started doing this. You know, my first year second year as an associate, I started, you know, basically what I became a partner a little bit earlier. And I wish I’d started earlier, I’ve made immense strides, but I don’t even want to know what it would have been like, and I started earlier. The second thing is I’m a huge believer in accountability and coaches and the reality for most lawyers is are attorneys. If you’re listening to this thinking, well, I could do this myself. I’d say to you, how is it going so far? And yes, you could do it yourself. But what skills do you have and what knowledge do you have to actually do this yourself? You can, you know, you can do business development on steroids. You know, going back to our Roger Clemens quote at the beginning here with a coach with some somebody who actually knows what they’re doing, and can give you all the shortcuts and then work with you on the mindset. So, yeah, keep doing it yourself if it’s working, but if it’s not working, you may want to work with Steve, you want to work with us, we’re at Build your book.org. And feel free to sign up. We’ve got a free mailing list, we’ve got all sorts of stuff. You check me out on LinkedIn as well, Aaron Baer ba er, I’m posting nonstop for lawyers and attorneys. But really, I think, you know, the work Steve’s doing is incredible. You know, the books, all of that, because lawyers need this so badly. We don’t have that roadmap, we don’t have the systems. And the irony is, once you understand them, and you get your mindset to the right place, you are pretty much unstoppable. Because everyone else in this industry is still doing it the old way. And if you’re not, it is an unfair opportunity for you. And you’re going to wish you start sooner.
Steve Fretzin [30:44]
Yeah, I always tell my clients I go, you know, your it’s going to be like you’re competing against children, because you’re going to learn and know so much and have so much built into you of how to do it. Like you’re the assassin and everyone else is just Wally, you know, Wally walking around wandering around, you know, trying to figure it out. So it really it really is, you know, uh, you know, I think you and I are doing honorable work. I think we’re in a wonderful industry. And it’s it’s, it’s a lot of fun when we have the right clients with the right mindsets, and that’s, I think, who we’re looking for. So Aaron, thank you so much for being on the show and sharing your wisdom. I I know, you know, we’re gonna stay tight and figure out ways to help each other in the future because, you know, it’s it’s, there’s a lot of need and not a lot of us so we’re gonna we’re going to be staying tight. Absolutely. This is great. Thanks so much for having me Steve. You got it and Hey everybody thanks again for spending some time with Aaron AI today. Again, you know, this is this is an opportunity to to get some takeaways whether it’s about shifting your mind, whether it’s about understanding the importance of some specific networking acumen, you know, all things that can help you to be that lawyer someone who’s competent organized in a skilled Rainmaker. Stay safe, stay well, and we will be seeing you hopefully real soon. Bye bye, everybody.
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