In this episode, Steve Fretzin, Deb Knupp, Alay Yajnik, and Gary Johnson discuss:
- Time management and business development.
- Finding focus when you’re having a hard time focusing.
- Getting in front of the decision-makers.
- Knowing when to hire an associate.
- Get a bigger impact out of everything you do in marketing. All aspects of what you do should be working in tandem to give you more content with less time.
- Make your to-do list the night before and mark your must-do tasks in order of what should be done. The next morning, start at the top and don’t stop until it’s done.
- You must understand who your targets are. Who are the right strategic partners for you? Who is your ideal client? Who are you trying to connect with and why?
- By bringing somebody into your firm, you are increasing your income threshold, not just spending money on them.
“When you’re doing your marketing and business development, try and do things that complement each other. They shouldn’t be silos – they should all be working cohesively.” — Gary Johnson
Thank you to our Sponsors!
Legalese Marketing: https://legaleasemarketing.com/
Practice Panther: https://www.practicepanther.com/
- Book: Getting Things Done by David Allen: https://www.amazon.com/Getting-Things-Done-Stress-Free-Productivity/dp/0142000280
- Book: Atomic Habits by James Clear: https://www.amazon.com/Atomic-Habits-Proven-Build-Break/dp/0735211299
- Video: Atomic Habits: How to get 1% Better Every Day by James Clear: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_nzqnXWvSo
Connect with Deb Knupp:
Connect with Alay Yajnik:
Connect with Gary Johnson:
Connect with Steve Fretzin:
LinkedIn: Steve Fretzin
Facebook: Fretzin, Inc.
YouTube: Steve Fretzin
Call Steve directly at 847-602-6911
Show notes by Podcastologist Chelsea Taylor-Sturkie
Audio production by Turnkey Podcast Productions. You’re the expert. Your podcast will prove it.
Narrator, Gregory Eisenberg, Steve Fretzin
When you’re doing your marketing and business development, try and do things that complement each other. So for instance, if you’re giving a speaking engagement, you should be utilizing social media to promote that speaking engagement, you should also be speaking into the presentation about exactly what you’re doing, but also what the value is that you have to people. And then your follow up should also be in regards to your social media and your networking and talking about it while you are speaking to individuals coffee, Zoom lunches. So everything starts to work together. So you’re doing less of it, but you’re getting bigger impact. Instead of just going I’m just doing social media and that’s it. I’m just doing that there. They shouldn’t be silos they should all be working in in cohesiveness.
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 Ritson will take a deeper dive, helping you grow your law practice in less time with greater results. Now, here’s your host, Steve Brinson.
Steve Fretzin [01:17]
Hey, everybody, welcome to be that lawyer. Today we are doing another double episode of Be that lawyer live where we’re going to be answering lawyers toughest questions, I’ve got the most amazing panel, who you’ll meet in a few moments. And what I want to just share is that this is an opportunity for a live audience who is going to be putting their toughest business development, marketing, business, you know, general growth questions in the chat. And we’re going to be looking at those on a regular basis to answer the toughest questions that lawyers have about how to grow business and keep their wits about them. I think that’s also the challenge right now they stay sane, and, and feel good about things. I’m Steve frets, and I’m the host of the be that lawyer podcast, if you haven’t checked that out, it’s on all the major platforms, including my website, frets and.com. And we’ve done I think it’s off 270 episodes or something insane in about just under three years. So we’re at a mad dash to for some reason put out a tremendous amount of content at an incredible rate. But if you have been listening for a while, don’t be shy about telling people about it or giving us a kind review on your Apple phone or wherever you’re listening. And if you’re brand new to this, this is going to be put into the B them or your podcast double up. So probably near the end of the quarter. But that’s gonna be the end of January, maybe early February. So keep an eye out for that. So we’re going to jump in, we’re going to do half the show now. And then we’re going to do half the show be the second episode. So just be prepared that we are going to take a little bit of a break. And then we’re going to come back and kind of reset things. So let’s start off with taking a moment to just thank the sponsors. I’ve got the most amazing sponsors for my show. And they’re going to give you a little more insight about what they do and how they help lawyers to be successful. We’re going to start out with my friend Stephanie from money. Penny Stephanie, how are you?
I have very well Nice to see you all. Stefan Jones from money Penny. We’re a proud partner of Steve Fretts in so many penny of the phone swing and live checks, but it’s giving law firms like yours amazing people and technology to ensure you’re capturing every opportunity and maximizing your time whilst always delivering an exceptional service. And it’s really simple. We have access to your employees and via platforms such as Microsoft Teams, your dedicated Moneypenny receptionist can either transfer calls to cell phones that office or to wherever works for you. And we can answer your inbound calls all the time, or just when your in house teams are busy, the choice is yours. We can do exactly the same for your web chats as well. So there’s actually a two week free trial for anybody that’s on this webinar today. And if you’d like to get in touch to him or please contact me on email@example.com
Steve Fretzin [03:55]
Yeah, and you can actually chat with money penny on my website because I am also doing the live chat on my website your money Penny and you know someone else who say, you know, ask a question and there’s someone there to answer it and give me an appointment. If they’re interested in moving forward. And if they’re not, then then they can sort of disqualify it and move it back to the field which is also beneficial for my time. So thank you, Stephanie. Let’s go on to Matt who is with practice Panther. Tell us all about practice Panther, the wonderful practice management service. Thank you, Steve. Appreciate it. Hello, everyone. My name is Matt on the Head of Sales here at practice, Panther. I’ve been a practice Panther since its start, and I’ve seen us grow from a small company to one of the largest case management software’s in the world for small to medium sized law firms. Some of our more popular features include texting clients, sending documents for signature directly within the system, our ROI tracking for your marketing campaigns using our custom reporting, or automated document templates for the purpose of contracts are accepting online payments and a lot more. We offer completely free training free SIP For a free onboarding, and a free data migration from your previous systems into your practice Panther software, we pride ourselves on our commitment to growth, and our stellar personal customer service. If anyone is interested in learning more about our system, feel free to check us out at practice panther.com or email me directly to Matt at practice. panther.com All right, Matt. Thank you. You were back there in the David baton days right there. And I didn’t say his name right. David the tone. David baton. Great guide the time great guy had sure to stick with him one day, it was fantastic. Good man. Good man. Let’s move on. We’ve got Greg with legalese marketing.
Gregory Eisenberg [05:37]
Hey there, Steve. Hey, everyone. Thanks for having us. So my name is Greg Eisenberg. I’m the co founder of legalese marketing. And we’re really here to serve as your chief automations Officer and Chief Marketing Officer at a fractional monthly level. You might know what cmo services are typically like, but a lot of people don’t know what see a Oh, services are like, there are so many cool technological pieces out there just like Matt’s program, that you need to make news for your firm and you need it to work with other programs and needed to be as optimal as possible. So we are almost that Chief automations officer that your law firm needs where we can work with your team each month, and spend time building out processes building out automations and connecting technology together to work for your firm, and that it works with your marketing efforts as well. So if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us at legalese marketing.com. And we’re here to help.
Steve Fretzin [06:33]
Yeah, thanks, Greg. People regularly think that I’m this marketing genius. And I’m not going to argue with them except to tell them that the dirty little secret is Greg is behind the scenes with his team, posting on social media, sending out my newsletter helping me Automate, you know how I schedule meetings, and how I follow up with people on my podcast and all that. So Greg’s just awesome. And I appreciate you. Appreciate all my sponsors. Thank you guys so much. Let’s move on to the panel. Wow, we have a powerhouse panel today for you guys. Just you know, three of the sharpest tools in the shed. We’re going to start out with Deb, who I’ve known for a long, long time, and I’ve admired and you’re sort of like tip of the spear when I was getting into legal coaching. I think he had done it for a number of years. And I kept hearing your name. And I’m like jab again. Deb. Oh, keep hearing your name. She’s doing something. Right. So welcome, Deb and do and just share a little bit about yourself in growth play.
Yeah, I’ve had the great privilege of knowing you and teaching lawyers how to sell for over 22 years. And we are a growth consulting firm, we focus on the sales, client and talent experience. And we’re probably most known for our ethos in teaching doer, sellers, how to sell like an active service. Usually it’s pretty self interested to sell. And we can teach you how to make it an extension, a walking addition of your client service. So thanks for having me here today.
Steve Fretzin [07:49]
Yeah, and thank you for saying the word sell or sales multiple times. I think you just scared half of our and half of our attendees. We can’t be afraid of that word. Every Friday. Come on. Anyway, thank you, Deb. Let’s move on to a lay out Jeanette, who’s my friend out in out in California, the law firms success group. Hey, how are you? Hey, Steve,
I’m doing really well. Thank you so much for having me on today. Really appreciate it. It’s great to see you and great to be here with with these awesome panelists. I’m the founder of law firm success group. But our passion is enabling law firms and attorneys to build successful law firms. Many lawyers work too hard for too little. And they’re just more stressed than other professionals. And the problem we’ve talked about this is it doesn’t have to be that way. Right? lawyers and law firms can be very profitable, and the owners of those firms can lead rich, rewarding lives. The problem is you’ve got to run the law from like a business. And that’s what we teach them how to do in terms of strategic marketing, strategy, hiring, time management, and all the things that they need to put in place in terms of systems and processes to really increase their income and help them take two to four weeks off every year. If people want to learn more, they can visit us at law firms success group.com We’ve got a lot of free tools and resources there.
Steve Fretzin [09:02]
Yeah, and we’re gonna Of course, add all of the contact information from everybody in our show notes today. They’ll also be if you guys are attending today, and you’re so kind I’m going to be sending a follow up survey to just get feedback on the program and also to find out if you want to talk with any of the panelists that are here today. So keep an eye out for that. And if you respond to that survey, you will be getting a copy of legal business development isn’t rocket science everybody guess what it isn’t? And you’ll get a copy to read all have Britain’s best hits. Okay, moving on to Gary Johnson, who’s my old buddy, Jay to marketing consultants. How you doing Gary?
Have morning or afternoon wherever you’re at. Thanks for having me out. Steve. Gary Johnson, what Jay to marketing, help attorneys increase their confidence, increase their income and also decreased the amount of time that they spent on marketing and business development by creating specific and customized strategies for them. that are easy to operate and actually work very, very well and love doing it with attorneys. So again, thanks again, Steve, for having me on.
Steve Fretzin [10:09]
Yeah, absolutely. And well, I think you’ve failed so badly in the last one, the last episode that I had to give you another chance. I think that’s what happened. Thank
you. Thank you. Yeah, damn ship, because that is redemption, that
Steve Fretzin [10:20]
if you guys don’t want to have a good time, you should just leave right now. Because we’re gonna have some fun, we’re gonna answer some questions. And if we can’t give each other a hard time, then what’s the point of this whole thing? You know, let’s, let’s, let’s enjoy it. So this is a great time to just mention to the attendees, if you wouldn’t mind, go into the q&a and start loading in things that are bugging you things that are not working things that are you’re challenged, frustrated by as a relates to being a lawyer or trying to grow business. And I’ve got just amazing people here, as you just heard that are going to help answer these questions. So I’ll, Greg will probably helped me get those questions in front of me. But I have one right up front that I know was I had asked for some questions ahead of time. So we’re just going to jump in and get started with these. And panelists, just let me know if it’s one that you want to tackle them, I’ll make sure we get your answer. All right, starting out, it is all about time management. So lawyers have the billable hour, they’ve got the family, they’ve got all kinds of maybe they’re running a firm, they’ve got all these obligations, and then you were telling them, Hey, wait a second, you also need to go out and develop clients, you need to develop more business. And they’re just like, well, how the heck do I do that? Right? This is like probably the number one thing that we’re dealing with on a day to day basis. So Deb, why don’t you start us out? And do let’s keep our keep, you know, keep our answers tightened to the to the point, but let’s see if we can get around and get some really good content for the gang on this particular topic.
I think you’re right, I think one of the biggest competitors to marketing and business development is time and time management. And we will say that, first of all, taking the mindset that engaging in business development as you’re going as an extension of your regular client services are really critical way of thinking. And I would encourage folks, if you want to expand the purview of time, or start to get a sense that you’re spending more time or enough time, if you want business development, look at things through the lens, but we call it growth play the G three, where are you guarding revenue, and that really is an extension of doing a fantastic job planting seeds for opening doors and continuing to retain revenue. Where are you looking to grow revenue, where you’re planting seeds as an extension of client service, you’re asking questions while you’re billing that may lead to new leads. And then of course, what are you trying to do to get and spend that time specifically in the environments where you’re likely clients are likely buyers would be in a way that brings you that level of joy? So I think the G theory guard grow and get it’s an effective way to look at time.
Steve Fretzin [12:48]
Yeah, G three, I love that. Let’s go to LA.
Yeah, Steve, I’m so glad you brought this up. Because we see this happening all the time. And time management really is a symptom, right? When people are saying, Oh, my gosh, I don’t have enough time to do this, that or the other is a symptom. And there can be many, many different causes for that. To fix it, where it starts is to actually put some boundaries in place and to take control of that and say, You know what, I’m not going to let my law firm run me into the ground, I’m not going to let my law firm take away my life, because at the end of the day, time is life and life is time. Right? It’s a personal resource. You can’t save it, you can’t get more of it. You have to use it in the best way that you can. And so once you’ve made that decision to take control of where you’re spending your time, there’s a lot of different ways you can go about addressing that. One of the things we do with our clients is called the 2010 five rule. It’s focused on solo transaction attorneys. Its way thinking about how much time you spend in your law firm. 20 hours week and client work 10 hours a week on business development and marketing. Yes, I know that sounds like a lot to many of you but really for growing is what it takes and five hours a week on law firm administer often any of those numbers. It’s a sign that something has to change. You add it all up. It’s a 35 hour workweek gives you plenty of time to enjoy life.
Steve Fretzin [14:03]
Yeah, 35 Hour Workweek that’s like they say that one hour workday or something like that. Love it. But some people are able to pull it off. But I think it’s going to lead into where Gary or I are gonna go. So Gary, take it away.
Yeah, I mean, this is great advice for Malayan datum. The thing I would add on to that is when you’re doing your marketing and business development, try and do things that complement each other. So for instance, if you’re giving a speaking engagement, you should be utilizing social media to promote that speaking engagement. You should also be speaking into the presentation about exactly what you’re doing but also what the value is that you have to people. And then your follow up should also be in regards to your social media, and you’re networking and talking about it while you are speaking to individuals coffee, Zoom lunches, so everything starts to work together so you’re doing less of it. but you’re getting bigger impact. Instead of just going, I’m just doing social media. And that’s it. I’m just doing this. They shouldn’t be silos they should all be working in in cohesiveness. Yeah.
Steve Fretzin [15:11]
Thank you. So right on. So like, this show is going to be two podcast episodes, it’s going to be videos that I’m going to create, it’s gonna be on social media, I can craft articles based on the G three, and the 10, the 2010, five, like I can turn all that into and give you credit, by the way, but like turn that into an article. Like there’s all types of content that that you can repurpose, and reuse. And it’s all about saving time, I would add just the two things that are there clearly a part of everything you three just said, which is automate and delegate every single thing you can, and I could get into that for an hour. But to give you the one thing that I would say is an absolute game changer, and my clients back this up and support this fully is some form of calendaring system like Calendly acuity, sometimes it can happen through the practice management software’s you’re using, or can be added to those systems. But I used to go back Hey, Gary, let’s get together cool. Yeah, house Wednesday at two o’clock. No, that’s no good. And so we go back and forth five, six times, we got 1520 minutes and multiple back and forth, that’s over for me over I don’t do any of that anymore. I think maybe the rarest of occasion with someone that’s either like technology, you know, on savvy or whatever the case is. Technology on salmon, not technology savvy. Anyway, whatever. Brain scramble brains, but you guys get the gist. Like it’s all about that automation. And then of course, delegating things under your paygrade. You shouldn’t be doing admin work at 20 3040 $50 an hour. You know, if you’re doing your own bookkeeping, if you’re doing your own filing, if you’re doing all this stuff, and you’re sitting at your computer, just typing stuff all day, I mean, horrible way to spend your time as a lawyer. So I think put that altogether, everybody in time management can really be managed and can be happy be something that you can control. And that’s going to be a big deal in helping you get ahead. Okay, so we’ve got moving on to the next question. Okay, nice. So, okay, this is actually interesting, because it’s a from anonymous, no one’s willing to admit it, but I think I have AD adult ADHD, it’s undiagnosed,
Steve Fretzin [17:13]
But I think it’s, it’s for the for the attorneys that have ADHD, or or just very difficult to stay focused, you have specific strategies that would work for people that have a hard time focusing and staying the course on something. And let’s mix it up a little bit and start with a lay on this, what do you think?
So I don’t have ADHD, and my clients, as far as I know, don’t have ADHD. But focusing is always a challenge when you have a busy attorney who’s wearing multiple hats, and those are kind of running them through the day, and they end up getting the end of the day, and they never got done, what they wanted to get done. So I’m gonna share with you a quick tip that we do with a lot of our clients, we go through several different strategies for this one strategy that works really well, the night before, you want to make a to do list for the next day. And you’re probably all listening to this have heard about the the ABC kind of method where you figure out what you have to do and what you’d like to do and what you know, that kind of thing. Once you’ve done that, the next thing you do is you go through your must do tasks, and there’s probably six to 10 of them. And you number them a one, a two, a three. And that really forces you to think about what to do first. Then the next morning, you walk in, you’ve got your list, you start on a one, and you don’t stop until it’s done. Right. If you have a meeting, you go to your meeting, you come back and and jump right back in day one. Just keep focused on that. Because if you get one thing done during the day, that’s what you have to get done.
Yeah, prioritization. For sure. I’ll let’s go to Gary. So somebody who has is off the chart on ADHD, which is me, and I really am and I’ve been seeing quite a few psychologists and psychiatrists, and on some medication, one of the things that I got from one of my ADHD coaches was 25 minute sprints. So I have this thing that is a timer that I put off for 25 minutes, handed golfer 25 minutes, and then whatever you’re doing stop for five minutes, do lunges or sit ups or something that is going to get you out of your head, and it gets your body going. And then boom, you’re right back into the 25 minutes. And also would allay had said is brilliant. Because when you have that time before the day and you already have a planned out, it will take away a lot of your anxiety. And the last thing I would say is a thing called a parking lot, which is a piece of paper that you have next to you that When thoughts come into your head, you write it down on your parking lot. And then at the end of the day, you look at that and you say that was a stupid idea. I shouldn’t do that. Or oh my god, that’s Brilliant, I got to put it on the next day or somewhere. So it’s either going off, or it’s going onto your calendar.
Steve Fretzin [20:06]
Alright, so the question is how many stupid things in a row do you have to write down before you realize maybe I should stop writing all these stupid things down?
It’s a great question. So the when I’m doing
Steve Fretzin [20:17]
Alright, very good point that I love that like journaling ideas. I mean, there’s a whole I think there’s a whole bunch of, you know, podcasters, and people that have mentioned that the importance of putting ideas down and again, yeah, you might only have one good one for every nine bad ones. But
that one Pelican good idea here. Yeah, let’s get it out practical with ADHD is that it just stays up there. And then it causes all sorts of
Steve Fretzin [20:39]
Yeah, right on W want to share on this point? Well, I
- And I’ve been really appreciating that, you know, sort of the organizing mechanisms that would apply a Brady when he wants to have a higher regard to focus in return on investment time. But I I’ll add to the question from the perspective of figuring out where your energy is lifting, and what brings you a sense of joy, a sense of accomplishment, things that bring you a lot of fulfillment, I do find that focusing when you’re getting that endorphin hit that payoff that you’re really in a zone of working with, or working on tasks that you really enjoy. I think there’s a lot of benefits. So a great way to think about what is the target market? Or what is the target client, I would urge you to think about a bullseye living in between three things. So if you can see a Venn diagram, you want to look at what am I really best in the world? Like when you look at your expertise and your capabilities? Like, where do you really have a lot of success, momentum and mastery, if you will, then when it comes to passion, what do you really enjoy? What is what what fulfills something that really is interesting to you, that’s, it builds your curiosity that there’s an enjoyment, and then you align that with market opportunity. And I think when you put those three things together, and then do that the task management and the focus and the 25 Minute spreads, I really believe that you’ll start to get that extra pay off of that emotional hit of joy.
Steve Fretzin [21:56]
Yeah, and I just think I have from my perspective, again, undiagnosed ADHD, my son has it. And so I’m assuming I have it has been just getting really organized or reading a book, like getting things done, or were the book on habits atomic habits. And by the way, if you don’t want to read that book, there’s an awesome like, 40 minute video on YouTube about it, which I just totally cheated, reading that book, which is okay, you know, sometimes cheats, good thing. But there’s things that you can plot. And you know, what I think about where I was, when I started my business stacks of business cards, stacks of files, I had a brochure for Hawaii mixed in with proposals mixed in with whatever, and it was just a big mess. And getting things done. Just getting that organization understanding how things get put into my brain and how they get put forward or out. Really was a game changer for me now. I’m totally paperless, quick plug for the remarkable to all my notes, everything on a tablet, everything backed up, there we go GE money, right. It’s just such a game changer as relates to, to organization and how we just keep focused, right, I think that’s the key. Okay. All right, we have another question. This one’s from Dan. And it is all about getting in front of actual decision makers. He’s been networking and trying to like meet people through networking, and it’s not really leading to business. It’s not leading to getting in front of actual new clients. And so the topic is really about that, uh, how do we get in front of, you know, actual buyers to buy legal services? So, Deb, why don’t you jump out and start on this one, and we’ll work our way through the group?
Well, I would begin by understanding what is your buyers top priorities? What is your buyers value drivers? And then what are your buyers metrics? If you can understand and put yourself in the perspective of that ideal client or that ideal buyers perspective? What did they care most about? What are their hot button issues? What are their what are their value drivers? And then ultimately, how do they measure success? And then begin to orient what your offer is that lines up with those priorities, how your differentiators line up with those value drivers and how your success stories line up with those metrics when you can have that client centered point of view before you try to get in front of them. So often, I see attorneys want to market their skills, their expertise, their value proposition, their credentials, and then they find that they’re not getting anywhere with that, by having a client centered point of view to bring an offer that is actually an act of service that lines up with the things that your clients ultimately care about. It’s in that connection that you might ultimately get to a billable hour a billable opportunity.
Steve Fretzin [24:29]
Yeah, terrific. Thank you. Let’s go to a lay.
Yeah, dad is spot on. And I’m going to take a different take on that that will build on everything she just said, which is awesome. If you’re getting in front of people, but you’re not getting any opportunities from it, step take a step back and think about a few things. Number one, are you actually getting in front of the right people? Are you getting in front of your ideal clients or your ideal referral sources? If you’re not that could be the problem right there. If you are in you’re still not getting anything back Think about how you’re showing up. Are you showing up to actually give and be helpful and be supportive, and build a relationship and showing that you care? Or are you showing up with, you know, low energy and having your hand out and standing on the corner and hoping referrals just gonna drop into your lap? Here’s the secret, you’re not gonna like this, pretty much. People don’t care about you, they care about them. So to the extent that you can help them that you show up as an awesome person that’s positively memorable. And that you come across as someone who is actually interested in them, that’s going to help you build those relationships that are going to generate referrals much faster.
Steve Fretzin [25:39]
Yeah, I was working with a guy a few years ago is an ER does everyone know what an ER is? Right? Every character and Winnie the Pooh, there you go. All I can think like, just so negative and kind of like, and he’s like, why is anybody referring me steals, you know, things. I’m just like, Holy mackerel, dude. You need to be liked, you need to be likable. You know, and he just wasn’t. And it’s like, you know, I’m not saying you have to change who you are. But you have to go out and kind of put on a happy face. And, and so that’s, you know, that’s That’s tricky. Gary, hit us up. I don’t know, that had good answer. You’re the you’re the number of our group.
Exactly. I don’t know. I think LA and Deb just, they hit it out. They? I don’t know what I could add to that other than being an active listener. When you’re with them. I know that that’s not really a part of the question of how do you get in front of noun by belay and Deb are really, you know, they hit it out of the park in regards to that. And it’s really the listen to what their needs are. Listen to what is important about what did they find valuable? Because if you don’t, and you just steamroll over them, it’s not going to nail it. Like what a les was saying is when you know exactly what is in it. For them, it’s so much easier to do a proposal to them to do a consultation for them. If you have no idea. You’re like 30 yards away from a dartboard. Get right up to it. And the way you do that is by asking really good questions and actually listening to them. And I think that that is a skill in business development, that is not taught very often. And it is a shame, because it is the most important thing that you can do in business development, is to listen to people. Yeah,
Steve Fretzin [27:25]
well, I’m sorry, what was that? Oh, no. All right. Let’s see how it worked out. Right.
We all flick it. Urla What do I do? I
Steve Fretzin [27:32]
was gonna go there. Gary, you had a you had an instinct right away, that I was going to hit you up like that. Alright, I just want to add on to something a les said that one of the greatest mistakes lawyers make in developing business is not developing the right referral partners. That’s where most of the business for lawyers unless you’re spending a fortune online, most lawyers are looking to get business through referrals through to strategic partners, okay? And they go out and they just meet everybody. They say whatever, there’s no plan, there’s no thought there’s no infomercial, there’s nothing to draw it out. More importantly, and this was this was said earlier by a number of you that you really need to understand who your targets are. And I hate to use that word. It’s almost like as bad as Deb saying sales earlier. But, you know, who are the targets from a state if I’m a divorce attorney? Okay, who are the best strategic partners? For me? Well, it’s not everybody, yes, it’s everybody. Everybody could refer a divorce attorney. That’s fair. Okay. But who are the people that are most likely to come across clients or friends or people that need is that the pastor of a church is that a financial adviser was dealing with the money from their families at a real estate person. And then when you find those people, you need to nurture those relationships, and to Gary’s point about listening and being active in that. And I’ll add one more word that is critical in business development, sales, whatever. And that is qualify, because not all financial planners are created equal. There’s the financial planner, Hey, Dad, nice meeting, you give me 10 names of people, you know, so I can bother them for the next year. That’s one financial planner, there’s another financial planner who’s dealing with high net worth professionals, is an excellent reputation is an absolute giver, and is looking for a great divorce attorney to be able to refer clients to and probably could do five or 10 a year. Well, you need to think about those targets, relationships and qualifying all as a part of the same sort of, you know, package of how you’re going to get in front of decision makers. Then there’s a whole other conversation about where we go from there, which we might get into in part two, just so you’ll stick around for part two. But I think we have time for one more question. And I’m just looking here at the list of the questions we have. And this one is really around. This is going off on a little bit of a different angle, but it’s about how does a lawyer who’s doing really well let’s say a solo or small firm lawyer, know when to hire an associate like what’s the threshold and then is it like Oh, I do I push on my chips and go for the W two full time associate, do I do it someone that’s a contract? How does that work? So, I know this is a little bit off the bizdev path, but it’s definitely in the wheelhouse of law firm growth. So who would like to jump in on this one? I’ll leave this up to the kind of the group here. Let’s go with a lay, because he’s chomping at the bit I can tell I was
chuffed and I love this question. Today is we’ll ask Yeah,
Steve Fretzin [30:23]
I just yeah, you gotta lay here’s a little skinny, a little spoon. Spoon. How
much time do we had? Sir, it’s, well,
Steve Fretzin [30:28]
I think we got about five, six minutes.
So we do a lot of this work with clients, helping them figure out who their first hire is. And this is a really interesting problem, because oftentimes, attorneys buried with work, so they don’t have a lot of time to find somebody, they’re also really, really worried that look, I’m going to take this person on, and I’m going to have to deal with paying this person, I need to give them work. If I don’t give them work, what am I going to do, I don’t want to have to lay somebody off. And so they’re really, really concerned about that. And you know, and rightly so. And so the approach we take, we do a couple of things with them. First is we want to try and figure out what the profitability is of the person that they bring in. So depending on who they hire, how much money will the attorney make. And that’s important for a mindset shift. This is not costing the attorney or the firm money, it’s making the firm money by bringing somebody in and attorneys income goes up, whether that’s a legal assistant or paralegal born associate, and they don’t have to be full time, they can be full time, they can be part time, you can use contractors. So once we open up and look at all of those different options and talk through how much income the firm can make, and how much work they actually have to give to that person, then we can start to make some decisions about what role and then whether it’s full time, part time or contractor, and then we go from there. Yeah, really smart dumb. Yeah,
I was gonna say, I really can appreciate this idea of understanding when when you can begin to calculate the amount of energy that you were willing to put into the investment to keep a pipeline or to keep things full. And I do think there’s also a great opportunity to start to look at the various currencies, in which a paid resource can help build not only revenue generating and the productivity part of this, but how does this also enlist, you have to create opportunities for reputation building and relationship access. So sometimes, I think you have to take a bit of a broader view of how you get paid. And I do find that as lawyers start to look at bringing on resources, the revenue delivery, the productivity that may come with a part time or a full time contract resource, then creates capacity for you to generate currency reputation only and currency in building the access to relationships.
Yeah, right on, Gary.
Nope, you’re out. Okay, so
Steve Fretzin [32:56]
it’s just not my actual it’s not your true, yeah, not your jam. Okay, that’s fine. Let me throw in two cents as well. And that is, you know, this goes back to kind of the heart of things, you know, business development and client development is at the heart of driving up your revenue, your profitability and your ability to to have an associate in place that you can hand off as much as you can hand off. And that’s really the whole point is how to, it’s like taking Michael Jordan, I’ve got the jersey behind me to prove it. But taking Michael Jordan and put him on the bench mean, you need to get Michael on the floor playing. And that’s you, as a business developer, as a client developer for your firm, whether it’s solo, whether you’re in a big firm, you’re not going to be able to be as profitable and as happy in your career, if you’re billing 60 hours a week, or you’re doing all the administrative or you’re just being burdened down by the work. And if we’re looking at as the business of law, and you’re at the point where you’re on the verge of of, you know, getting tapped out, think about what you could really hand off and how much more time you’d have for your family. Or even better to like, go out and develop more business, maybe bring in another associate. And I think to lace points, so many different options now, maybe more than ever, right? I mean, delay, is it easier now to find people than it was 10 years ago, where it was like, Hey, your choice is full time or That’s it?
Yeah, there’s a lot more options. That’s the good thing is you can really figure out whatever model works best for you and what models were built for you. You can find a model, there’s at least six and there’s there’s more when you start to figure out hybrid stuff. It’s also one of the tightest hiring markets that I’ve ever seen in my career. It is absolutely not super hard to find talent is always hard, been harder the last five years and I’ve ever seen it. And so really leveraging best practices on how to go out and find people. Getting assistance for finding people is going to be really critical because once that person is in place, here’s the promise right? Here’s what’s so awesome. When the clients get back from taking a couple weeks off or three weeks off or whatever. They are so happy when they have their associate of their paralegal because that person’s been making the firm money while they were away. And it’s awesome seeing walk in and out that build smell their physical and we actually made money and I was on I was in Hawaii, this is great.
Steve Fretzin [35:09]
Yeah, no doubt. I mean, it’s sort of the big switch for many attorneys is getting to the point where they’re, they’re able to stop being the worker bee and to really start handing off things to others. And that’s where I think most of the happiest lawyers are. Would you guys? Debbie? Kind
of a little unknotting. Yeah.
Right on. Okay. Well, listen,
Steve Fretzin [35:26]
we’ve answered now think for questions that are in high demand on the panel and the attendee, let the attendees here, we’re going to wrap up this segment. I don’t want anyone to go anywhere. Unless you’re listening on the podcast, then you got to probably get to be done with it. But we’re gonna come back in a few days and do another podcast for part two. So stay tuned, nobody leaves. We’re going to just kind of wrap up this segment. We’re going to move right into the next one. But I just want to share you know, be that lawyer everybody, someone who’s confident organized in a skilled Rainmaker, take care of the safety well, we’ll talk again soon.
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