In this episode, Steve Fretzin, Steve Seckler, Stuart Baum, Sharon Ve, and Chuki Obiyo discuss:
- The relationship between business development and marketing.
- Content creation to bridge the gap between marketing and relationships.
- Trusting your instincts and working with the clients you want to work with.
- Supporting and cooperating with your competition for wider spread success.
- Find out who your ideal client is and go to where they are. If your client isn’t where you are, they will never see your content.
- Create content that you can repurpose across multiple platforms – it will help you stay top of mind and add value.
- Qualifying clients will help you to ensure it is a harmonious transaction for all involved.
- Ask enough open-ended questions before you try and solve the problem.
- With regards to _______, what are your greatest challenges, frustrations, and concerns you want to address today?
“Consistently complimenting your colleagues. This is a blue-sky opportunity that a number of attorneys have not fully leveraged. Do that consistently, and you will get the benefits and the ROI.” — Chuki Obiyo
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Show notes by Podcastologist Chelsea Taylor-Sturkie
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[00:00:00] Chuki Obiyo: I would come up with something of an acronym. So it’s three C’s. It’s consistently complimenting your colleagues. This is a blue sky opportunity that a number of attorneys Have not fully leveraged. And to do that consistently, you will get the benefits and the ROI of that. And I’ve seen it happen over and over again.
[00:00:24] Narrator: 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.
[00:00:47] Steve Fretzin: Hey, everybody. Welcome to Be That Lawyer. I am Steve Fretzin. I’m so happy that you’re joining us today. Um, this is part two of a two part series. If you missed part one, go back and listen to the first part first. Go back. But if you just want to listen to this one, that’s great too. Um, we’ve got some amazing, um, lawyer coaches that are going to be joining us, including Chuki Abeo, Sharon V.,
[00:01:08] Steve Fretzin: Stuart Baum, and Steve Seckler, uh, sharing their wisdom, answering the lawyer’s toughest questions. Uh, so here we’re just going to jump in and enjoy the show, helping you be that lawyer. So we got business development. I think you guys can all agree, like they, they work well together and Stuart, this is kind of your jam too, but like business development, I see as the stuff that we need to do with our time.
[00:01:29] Steve Fretzin: So relationship building, golfing, right. You know, maybe it’s writing, maybe it’s, it’s speaking. It’s things that we’re doing to put ourselves out there and build relationships. Then there’s marketing, and that’s a whole other beast kind of within itself. What I have found, and I’ve used this analogy before, is that I see the peak of the mountain as the goal for any attorney that they want to get to where they’re doing business development climbing one side and marketing climbing the other.
[00:01:54] Steve Fretzin: And when they do them both together and they support each other well, they end up at that peak, which is where Sometimes the, the big windfall is on, on, on getting business and keeping business and staying consistent. So I’d love for you guys to chime in on. All right. So great. I’m out networking, but what should I be doing to support that effort from the marketing side?
[00:02:12] Steve Fretzin: The marketing, you know, piece of things. Anybody want to jump in on that? Stewart?
[00:02:18] Stuart Baum: I think you named somebody. I named you. What? Sharon, do you want to go? She raised her hand. I always feel like. No, I’m kind
[00:02:25] Steve Fretzin: of in charge here, Stuart. So like,
[00:02:28] Stuart Baum: I’m going to, I’m seeing the
[00:02:29] Steve Fretzin: hands. I’m going to, I’m going to follow an order.
[00:02:31] Steve Fretzin: I don’t want to follow man. This is my show, baby. You know,
[00:02:35] Stuart Baum: All right, so a couple things. One is, I mean, I think it was said earlier by, uh, Steven Seckler is, or maybe it was, I, I forget, but know your niche, right? What are the things, what is your personal brand? What are the things you want to be known for?
[00:02:49] Stuart Baum: Um, and, you know, I’m a huge fan of LinkedIn. Make sure you put some of those things on LinkedIn, whether, even if it’s not your own stuff. Follow other people, share stories of other people, or posts from other people that are on that type of brand, on that brand. Create small, little, whether it’s a blog…
[00:03:10] Stuart Baum: Generally blogs do work on this type of thing that have very small, you know, points you want to make working with one lawyer now on, you know, founded from the secure app, something that helped with 529s, for example, and he’s putting together a small blog on 529s, some of the new stuff at the secure app, because he does gift, you know, he does gift planning and that way he’s like, people are like, Trust in the states.
[00:03:33] Stuart Baum: Well, there’s millions of lawyers that do trust in the states. But that one thing on 529s, who would that attract? That would attract grandparents thinking about their grandkids. It would attract, you know, moms and dads thinking about their kids will have some money. So that one small thing on 529s, The other thing that’s good about it is I can now share that.
[00:03:53] Stuart Baum: It’s a small bite marketing piece where Stephen can say, Hey, I’ve got these questions about, you know, trust estates. I’m like, well, I can’t, I’m not a lawyer. I can’t do anything on it, but I can share this guy. It’s Hey, if you’re thinking about 5. 9, there’s a really quick thing that might help you. Mr.
[00:04:09] Stuart Baum: Fretson on thinking about how to gift to your kids now. And he’s like, that’s something I was looking at, or that’s not exactly, but this person seems smart. So those are two quick little things is like, find that one small, easy bite marketing thing, you can put it out there. Then when you’re in that audience with them networking, mention that, get that conversation.
[00:04:29] Stuart Baum: Now, boom, they think of you when anyone mentions 529 and to the point made earlier, you own 529s in your network for gifting purposes, you’re going to get the phone calls.
[00:04:40] Steve Fretzin: You know what I was hoping you were going to say, Stuart? The, uh, the riches are in the niches. The riches are in the niches. Well, that’s
[00:04:46] Stuart Baum: not mine, though.
[00:04:47] Stuart Baum: No, no, no. You
[00:04:48] Steve Fretzin: own that one. Oh, trust me, my friend. I don’t own any of that stuff. That’s all stolen. Stolen and borrowed. But it does make sense. I mean, that’s where a lot of the success happens for lawyers is when they get out of that general stuff and really get hyper focused in their area and become well known for it.
[00:05:04] Steve Fretzin: So, good stuff there. Let’s go to Sharon. Find out who your ideal
[00:05:08] Sharon Ve: client is and where they hang out, what they’re interested in, because if your ideal client is not hanging out in the area where you’re marketing to, your content is going out to a dark hole and it’s never going to get seen. Secondly, and also try and go to places where you can help people who are helping your ideal client.
[00:05:28] Sharon Ve: So that it’s a, it’s a symbiotic relationship. And lastly, be consistent. If you’re going to do something for like social media marketing, if you’re, if you want to post, then post once a week, once a month, but don’t post sporadically. Make a commitment to be consistent.
[00:05:44] Steve Fretzin: If you want to get to my wife, all you need to do is post puppies and kittens on Instagram.
[00:05:49] Steve Fretzin: You’ll have my wife’s attention. She’ll buy whatever you’re selling. So, right, so find where your people are is a great point there. Let’s go to Steve.
[00:05:57] Steve Seckler: I like to think of marketing as something that maybe younger lawyers could focus on a little bit more. And then really where they’re trying to get to is the business development and the relationship building.
[00:06:07] Steve Seckler: Because fundamentally, as we all know, people are going to hire lawyers who they know, like and trust or who they’ve been referred to by someone who they know, like and trust. So, but initially when you’re young, when you’re early in your earlier in your career, a good place to start is by writing some articles is by maybe taking on a speaking engagement.
[00:06:27] Steve Seckler: It’s a little bit less threatening. What I find is really interesting about social media is I like to think of social media as kind of bridging the gap between marketing and relationship building because as you know, for all my fellow panelists would agree, a lot of the game here is staying top of mind over a long period of time.
[00:06:46] Steve Seckler: A lot of people don’t buy legal services every day. So if you make a good connection with somebody, if you build a relationship, it feels authentic, you have to find ways to stay connected with those people, and you’re not going to have coffee with them every week. So what social media does is it provides a way of staying top of mind.
[00:07:02] Steve Seckler: It’s marketing because you’re putting out your reputation. You might be putting out some content that’s of use. But if you engage people, you get people commenting on your posts, you’re commenting on their posts, you’re actually having a conversation. So that’s what I think is very useful about social media.
[00:07:19] Steve Fretzin: I mean, it’s one thing to start branding yourself and getting the word out, but I think it’s how are you consistent with, right, Steve? Consistent with how you’re touching people and staying top of mind and offering content and not being salesy, right? You’re not just saying, hey, hire me, hire me. It’s more about like, what are you doing to add value as a way of keeping in touch and people then, you know, when something does happen, you’re there.
[00:07:41] Steve Seckler: And I think that’s what’s hardest for lawyers of all of this. Yeah, I mean, one of my mantras now, as you know, Steve, as we spoke about this recently, I think it’s coming out on your podcast is. Lawyers, you know, thinking like a lawyer is really helpful when you’re giving legal advice. You know, you want to be skeptical.
[00:07:59] Steve Seckler: You want to be measuring risk. You want to be thinking analytically. But when you’re marketing, you want to be thinking about opportunity. What might be, you might want to be, you know, relational and it, you know, I think a way a lot of lawyers think of, I did a presentation, I didn’t get any results, or I sent an email to somebody that didn’t respond.
[00:08:21] Steve Seckler: And it’s easy to give up, or I just spoke to somebody. Okay, well, now what? And they don’t set up any next steps. And you’re really good at this, Steve, and sort of figuring out those next steps.
[00:08:33] Steve Fretzin: I appreciate that. Let’s go to Chuki.
[00:08:35] Chuki Obiyo: Absolutely. So one of the themes that’s been really advanced here is just this idea of consistency.
[00:08:40] Chuki Obiyo: And Steve, I want to come up with something of an acronym. So it’s three C’s. It’s consistently complimenting your colleagues. This is a blue sky opportunity that a number of attorneys. Have not fully leveraged, right? I, what does that look like now? Some solo practitioners might say, well, you know, I don’t have that many colleagues, but look, if you have some support staff, paralegals, project assistants that you work with, you absolutely can set up a mechanism where you compliment your colleagues on LinkedIn and other social media platforms, again, within reason, and there are ways to do that.
[00:09:14] Chuki Obiyo: Tactically and strategically. Now, if you are not a solo practitioner, again, the sky’s even broader. There are opportunities where someone’s, you know, listed as the best lawyer, you know, in some ranking website. Well, let’s position that, uh, not self congratulate, but let’s point the spotlight at our colleagues.
[00:09:33] Chuki Obiyo: And to do that consistently, you will get the benefits and the ROI of that. And I’ve seen it happen
[00:09:38] Steve Fretzin: over and over again. And I think that also goes for like your strategic partners and like others that are doing good around you, because not only are you staying top of mind with them, but they’re appreciating that you re shared a post or that you commented on their, you know, award or whatever it is that they’re getting.
[00:09:54] Steve Fretzin: And that’s going to be key. I was going to just add one more point to this. As I tend to do and that is find something that you can market that you can repurpose the junk out of right that you can get 234 uses out of and I’m just going to give one example because I’ve been doing it for now for 40 something weeks is that I put out a book legal business development isn’t rocket science over my shoulder.
[00:10:18] Steve Fretzin: You can see it. And it’s got 51 chapters, basically fifth, I’ll call it 52. All right. So what I did was I created a quick 32nd video describing each chapter. I think I did it in the whole thing in like an hour, you know, of just video, video, video did one take. I didn’t waste a lot of time on it. And I’ve been able to put out a.
[00:10:38] Steve Fretzin: Unique post every single week for 51, 52 weeks. That’ll be happening, describing the chapter and then giving away that chapter to the book. So taking the book, giving away a chapter, but using video. And again, it’s just another way to, to stay top of mind, offering value through repurposing content. So really think about what you can write, what you can record, what you can do that, that you can repurpose.
[00:11:01] Steve Fretzin: I think that’s a really. Great way to get multiple touches and values out of one, you know, one article, one speak engagement, whatever it might be.
[00:11:10] Steve Seckler: And it’s a time management, it’s a time management technique.
[00:11:13] Steve Fretzin: Absolutely. Absolutely. And even better if you can hand it off to someone. So you guys can’t see Sergio, but he’s my marketing director, but I just like throw stuff at him here.
[00:11:22] Steve Fretzin: Do this here. There’s that. And then he makes it beautiful. He’s been putting out some crazy good videos for me, promoting my podcast. And so if you have someone at your firm, or you have a friend, or you have a college student, or, or someone, a virtual assistant that can take your content and make it shine, even better, even better, and it’s all delegatable, it’s not something you have to have that, I don’t have the skills to edit video, and create, and cutouts, and cut ins, and whatever the hell they’re called, not a chance, okay?
[00:11:47] Steve Fretzin: So, really, really important things. We’ve got some more detailed kind of some a little more specific questions that are have been asked on the, in the chat and thank you all for, for, you know, not only asking these questions, but I’m noticing in the chat that you guys are kind of having a conversation and giving each other advice, which I think is absolutely fantastic.
[00:12:06] Steve Fretzin: So one of the things that can suck away your time and can really bring you down as an attorney is dealing with bad clients, in particular, allowing bad clients to hire you, but yet you, you’re interested in the business, you don’t want to turn, you know, money, good money away. But there’s a risk in that too.
[00:12:24] Steve Fretzin: So what do you guys think about like how to avoid bad clients generally? And then like, how do you, what do you do to kind of make sure that you don’t take on a client? That’s going to really drain your time and emotional energy. Sharon, you want to start us out on this one?
[00:12:38] Sharon Ve: Sure. I’d love to. What I will say is, you know, going back to knowing who your ideal client is and who you love to serve, because when you know who’s drum you want to beat, then it’s much easier to say no to those clients that aren’t the right client.
[00:12:51] Sharon Ve: And you know, when you close the door, it opens the door to another opportunity. And most people have had the experience of taking on a client when they were going through the process, they knew that this wasn’t going to be a good client. If you are, are, if the, if the, if they’re throwing, you know, foul on the play of the client or whatever, like if flags are flying and you already know that it’s not going to be a good situation.
[00:13:14] Sharon Ve: Um, then most likely it’s not going to be a good situation. So you also have to trust your gut with that respect.
[00:13:21] Steve Fretzin: Fantastic. Chuki. And I
[00:13:23] Chuki Obiyo: completely resonate with Sharon’s point about you do have to trust your instincts and trust your gut for sure. But Steve, can I take a slightly contrarian perspective on this?
[00:13:32] Chuki Obiyo: So I think there’s some arrogance when attorneys say they have a bad client and that should be questioned, right? So. You are in the business to offer your advice and you do it in a way that creates value, that protects rights, that promotes justice. When done correctly, I believe what attorneys do, what lawyers do, is the noblest of professions, right?
[00:13:58] Chuki Obiyo: So, oftentimes, I do pressure test when an attorney says, you know, they have a bad client that I, you know, deal with. Ah, I’ve got this bad client. Well, you look, you could fire your client, your client can fire you. That’s, that’s fair. But… Again, a little touch of arrogance, I think, with that, that needs to be unpacked in certain conversations and scenarios.
[00:14:17] Steve Fretzin: Okay. Yeah. Really interesting. Stuart. Yeah. So, um,
[00:14:21] Stuart Baum: I love that Juki. I think that’s fabulous. And, um, you know, onboarding clients, you know, setting level setting, what the relationship will be like and what the mutual expectations are generally helps on both sides. But I do want to sort of double down on what Juki said is when people say that we’ve got a bad client and they’re mean and they’re this and they treat me like dirt.
[00:14:42] Stuart Baum: It’s why is that? I mean, Are you letting them do that? Have you sat down with them? And again, yes, a drink. It’s always with me. A drink is sit down with them over a drink and say, okay, look, how do we turn this relationship from transactional to a partnership? What are you looking for me? That’s not just words on a page that I can help you help your business help where you’re going.
[00:15:02] Stuart Baum: And what, what is it that makes you, you know, you don’t say, why are you treating me like garbage, but that’s really what you’re asking them. How do we move past this? You know, how do we move past this customer vendor situation to two people trying to grow business? Does it always work? Hell no, but I’ve seen people turn unbelievably compatible issues into the best relationships that are going to stand the test of time by having those upfront conversations.
[00:15:32] Stuart Baum: What do you expect from the outside of getting this piece of paper to your hands by 5 p. m. on
[00:15:37] Steve Fretzin: Tuesday? I think sometimes the it’s the the qualifying up front before they sign up as a client that is missed, right? Because we’re so anxious to pitch and so anxious to get into an engagement. You know, before the ether wears off that we don’t properly qualify that we can meet expectations or that this, that they’re going to pay us or that there’s going to be a harmonious type of arrangement.
[00:16:00] Steve Fretzin: And then it isn’t. And then you who’s really to blame at that point. So I think there’s, there’s sometimes some, well, I actually want to, I’m going to transition into that in a minute, but I want to talk a little bit about the, uh, the onboarding and the initial meetings that are happening with prospective clients.
[00:16:13] Steve Fretzin: We’re going to get that into a minute. Does share, do you have one more point to make on this subject? Treasure. And guess what? You’re still a rookie.
[00:16:21] Sharon Ve: Again, again. I did want to raise that, you know, just because someone is, you know, the quote unquote, like if you’ve like gone through the process and you know that this person is not for you, the beautiful thing and unfortunately law school teaches us all that everyone else is your competition.
[00:16:37] Sharon Ve: Um, but that’s not the case because my ideal client is not the same as Steve’s ideal client and there’s beautiful ways to find parallels so that when someone is not the right fit for you, you have someone that you could pass them on to. And that’s the beautiful thing is that that person who was a nightmare, quote unquote, for you is the ideal client for someone else.
[00:16:57] Sharon Ve: And they’re praising God that you sent them
[00:16:59] Steve Fretzin: their way. Yeah, I mean, there are, I only work with the most ambitious, motivated, hungry, you know, attorneys. And there’s other lawyer coaches that I’m friends with, they, they want the toughest. You know, Stuart and I were having this, right? Stuart, you and I were talking about it.
[00:17:14] Steve Fretzin: He’s like, he wants the badass, tough, you know, challenging attorneys. I’m like, man, go for it. Like, you’re all,
[00:17:21] Stuart Baum: well, the broken children, send them to me.
[00:17:23] Steve Fretzin: Yes. And I was like, oh my God, what a great way to, you know, for us to collaborate, because I’m looking for one thing. He’s, he’s open to the other and I’m absolutely not.
[00:17:33] Steve Fretzin: So, um, but that just goes to show, you know, how, uh, you know, the cooperation, right, Steve can work. Okay, let’s take a quick break to talk about how MoneyPenny is changing the game for lawyers who are losing business every day and may not even realize it. It’s impossible to provide amazing client service when you have phone trees, voicemail jail, or untrained staff handling your phones.
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[00:19:14] Legal Ease: com.
[00:19:16] Steve Fretzin: The thing that I want to transition to though, is there are a lot of lawyers who are living in the old days of the pitch meeting, they’re living in the old days of Of, of having a meeting with a prospective client. Letting things kind of happen haphazardly, obviously I’m teaching process to avoid that.
[00:19:35] Steve Fretzin: And I’ve been teaching this, this process called sales free selling for 20 years. And the idea is to stop talking, selling, pitching, convincing, solving, and to get into more asking. And that leads into, that kind of comes back from the last point we had about qualifying. And so I’d love to hear what you guys are recommending to lawyers to ask in their initial meetings, on boarding meetings, whatever we want to call them.
[00:19:59] Steve Fretzin: Thank you. To make sure that that they’re getting what they need out of the perspective client to understand that there’s a fit to understand that this is going to be a win win and I’d love to hear kind of like what are some of the questions that you like to have asked or that you that you recommend lawyers ask anybody want to jump in on that.
[00:20:18] Steve Fretzin: Well, let’s go, let’s go Steve and Sharon.
[00:20:21] Steve Seckler: So I’m not going to recommend specific questions, but what I am going to say is I think that there’s an expression that prescription without diagnosis is malpractice. And I think what a lot of us do as professionals, whatever our profession is, lawyers or otherwise, is we start to rush to the solution before we’ve really asked enough questions.
[00:20:41] Steve Seckler: So I guess the general proposition that I would put out there is when you’re screening somebody, when you’re getting to know them and you’re evaluating and assessing. Whether they’re a good fit for you, and they and they’re a good fit, and you’re a good fit for them, uh, is to really just keep asking open ended questions, you know, and what else, and what else, and what else, and to not really weigh in until you’ve really heard enough that really convinces you that they’re ready to hear some advice or some next step.
[00:21:10] Steve Seckler: Uh, the other thing I want to say about qualifying that I learned a little tip, I think it was mostly from Gary Johnson. Another one
[00:21:16] Steve Fretzin: of our, we don’t, we don’t talk about him on the show. Okay. Well, he’s been
[00:21:19] Steve Seckler: a shout out to Gary.
[00:21:20] Steve Fretzin: Okay. Uh, is to
[00:21:25] Steve Seckler: send the clients or the prospect something to complete. It’s sort of a way of getting them to, you know, to gauge whether they’re really committed. Like, I know for me that, and part of this is a luxury, you know, are you, do you feel like you have enough business that you’re not so hungry that you’re able to start being a little bit more selective?
[00:21:43] Steve Seckler: And that just happens with every professional over time. Also, you learn from your mistakes. And I mean, I’ve, I’ve had clients that, respective clients that just don’t seem to want to fill out my assessment. I’m like, good. You know, I’m glad I found that out early on because I don’t want to work with somebody who isn’t committed.
[00:22:00] Steve Seckler: Just like, you know, I’m sure the other panelists here feel
[00:22:05] Steve Fretzin: really, really important stuff. Uh, Stuart. Stuart
[00:22:08] Stuart Baum: I mean, what you said, Steve, really resonates. Something I say almost all the time is people don’t like being sold things, but they love So the more you sell them, the more they feel the sell and lean back, the more you collaborate with them, sit on the porch with them and ask them questions like you were their friend, the more they’re willing to open up and then halfway through the conversation, they’re like, well, can you help me here or not?
[00:22:33] Stuart Baum: Um, one of my favorite questions and, um, it’s not mine, but I’ve stolen it from a bunch of different people is what would, how will your world end if we do nothing? When people come and say, we have to do this, it’s like, all right, how will the world end? What will it look like if we do nothing or if we kick this can three to six months?
[00:22:49] Stuart Baum: And then they start explaining what the fix is, what the urgency is, why they want to get there. And the other one that is like, okay, say, what have you tried now to avoid using me? I mean, I’m not a lawyer, but what I, you know, I always help people. I’m expensive. Why would you pay somebody like me when you can avoid paying anyone to do anything?
[00:23:08] Stuart Baum: And then they start explaining that. And then you say, okay, here is how I can help you. Or I’m not the right person. You probably should talk to Steve Seckler about that. He’s a better person to solve this problem for you. Let me make that introduction. So my favorite question in a nutshell is what if you do nothing, how will the world
[00:23:25] Steve Fretzin: end?
[00:23:26] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. I love that. And again, you’re getting information. Information is the key to. Someone’s selling themselves on you versus you having to feel like you have to sell them or convince them. It’s always better when they say, how do we get started versus, you know, your pet or mine or some sticky, horrible, you know, sales tactic that lawyers would never want to do anyway.
[00:23:44] Steve Fretzin: Chuki? Yeah, I
[00:23:46] Chuki Obiyo: love Stuart’s point about just favorite questions and that just, you know, is spot on a bit of our reverse psychology there in a way. So I’ve got an interesting story. Some years back, there was an attorney that really was struggling with this aspect of their client onboarding process. And again, there would be missteps and just, you know, not have sort of that value alignment.
[00:24:05] Chuki Obiyo: And one of the techniques that we implemented, and I welcome feedback from the panelists on this, is to really be very profound on that reverse psychology, right? So, he would ask, why would you not hire me? So, Ms. Clyde, Mr. Clyde, why would you not hire me? Again, after a few sort of discovery questions, And it’s very interesting, right?
[00:24:23] Chuki Obiyo: So as part of the exercise in exchange, you would have the prospect convince themselves of why they actually needed to hire him. And then he would use that as part of his solution contract, if you made to really drive the relationship forward, or remember you said. You know, it didn’t, you know, want to hire me based on this or you would hire me based on this and then sort of anchored to that and then drive the relationship forward that way, but it’s a really interesting question.
[00:24:49] Steve Fretzin: Why would you not hire me? Yeah, I love that. I love that. Something that I work with my clients on is trying to build a list of issues before we get into the weeds on any of them. So a. Solving, selling, talking, completely off the table for my clients. They’re not doing any of it, okay? All about diagnosis first, prescription later, to Steve’s point, okay?
[00:25:10] Steve Fretzin: The second part of it is, I want my clients to ask what I call THE question. The reason I call it THE question is because it’s THE most important question they’re going to ask in the whole meeting. Because when they ask it, if they get the right responses, it will set the table for the rest of the meeting.
[00:25:25] Steve Fretzin: And it may, it has nothing to do with the lawyer. So this is it. If you want to write this down, do it, but that’s up to you. It’s with regards to blank. What are your greatest challenges, frustrations, and concerns that you want to address today? So let’s say it’s, it’s a lawyer’s asking about a partner that’s getting ripped off by his other partner, some partnership dispute.
[00:25:44] Steve Fretzin: With regard to your partner and the issues you shared with me on the phone, what are kind of the greatest challenges, frustrations, concerns that you want to talk about today? And the goal is to get one, two, three, four specific things written down on your notes. So that You have something to work with to continue to take and go deeper on each of those issues because that’s going to make the meeting and the conversation much more robust, similar to a therapist asking and taking things deeper.
[00:26:13] Steve Fretzin: And so that’s going to work much better than hearing one problem and solving it. And then if that doesn’t go anywhere, you’re kind of out of luck. So I would say that’s a great way, once you’ve done some background to just really get into the meat and potatoes of the meeting, asking the question with regards to blank.
[00:26:28] Steve Fretzin: So for me as a coach, I would say to a lawyer with regards to business development and the challenges you’re having, you know, what are the kind of the main things that you’re, that you’re feeling, you know, struggles with that you’d want to talk about today? And I’m getting them all listed out. Chuki, then Sharon.
[00:26:42] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. Can I just add
[00:26:43] Chuki Obiyo: one more insight? Um, yeah, actually our conversations back and forth. The scale of one to 10 question, I think is really great. Yeah. So if you’re out a way to implement that as part of your strategy on a scale of one to 10, you could contextualize that as you need to, but quantified that question, I think it’s
[00:27:00] Steve Fretzin: very helpful.
[00:27:01] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. Define the 10. So 10 is, you know, highest commitment to take action. One is no interest at all. Kind of, where are you falling right now? Like, and then you gauge where you are and how to get them to attend. If that’s the way to go, Sharon. I think it’s important
[00:27:14] Sharon Ve: to empower those people who are doing intake for you to ask the right questions so that you make sure that whoever is coming to actually have a conversation with you that it’s going to be a fruitful conversation.
[00:27:26] Sharon Ve: And if this is echoed in everyone’s, and this is a tool that I use, and I just want to highlight it is how and what questions I personally find. Are the best questions to ask because when you ask someone how and what questions, these are more curious questions. You’re trying to get an understanding of them.
[00:27:43] Sharon Ve: Whereas oftentimes, and this is not a criticism, but oftentimes I feel like when we say why. Um, kind of like shrink back a little bit and feel like we’re being accused of something. But if you’re like, well, instead of saying, why did you do this? You could say, well, what about this made, um, you do this? And then you can understand where someone’s coming from a little bit better, and so you can vet them a little
[00:28:05] Steve Fretzin: bit more.
[00:28:06] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, really great. So I think it’s important to have some questions at the ready, maybe some, some starter questions, some middle questions, and then to stewards, like a little more heavy, right? Like, let’s get down to the, to the brass tacks or, you know, what’s the motivation? Why me? What, you know, what’s, you know, what’s, you know, keeping, keeping you up at night, that type of stuff.
[00:28:24] Steve Fretzin: And I think it has to be done in that manner. You just go hard charging with, with heavy questions up front. It may not go, you know, you might see the person’s body language kind of, you know, get real tight because you just, you went too fast too soon. Right. So I think it has to be done sort of as a conversation versus as a, you know, a quote unquote, sales meeting.
[00:28:41] Steve Fretzin: Okay. The last thing I want to wrap up with, and this is where we’re going to kind of end the show. And I think this is something that lawyers would really appreciate to hear from us all and maybe get our take on it, is what happens when rates, Come up too early in the meeting, so I’m talking to Stewart and we’ve been talking for 10 minutes about his coaching and I see, you know, what do you, what are you charging now for your program?
[00:29:03] Steve Fretzin: And Stewart’s like, Whoa, I kind of came up early, so lawyers are being asked about their rates. They’re being asked to solve problems too early. How are we overcoming objections or overcoming rate issues? Or helping our clients to do that. What are any, any, uh, kind of set in stone ways of approaching that?
[00:29:20] Steve Fretzin: Uh, Sharon, you want to start us out?
[00:29:23] Sharon Ve: Sure. And since we’re closing out, I did want to take the opportunity. Thank you for having me here with all of you amazing people. It’s just amazing to be a part of this. So when it comes to the rates question, like first off. Are you comfortable with the rate that you have set because if it’s a, if you are not fully like with it, like empowered by what you’re, what you’re asking people to pay you, then that rates question is going to put you off a little bit.
[00:29:50] Sharon Ve: So you need to be comfortable with your rate first off and secondly, when that is happening, um, you can always divert it to another question. And so. You know, what’s the reason for asking this, just to, just to gauge them. And if they can’t pay your rate, and if it’s not something that you would be maybe willing to do pro bono, then maybe they’re not the right client for you and you can pass them
[00:30:14] Steve Fretzin: on to someone else.
[00:30:15] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. It’s usually a willing or able situation, right? They’re not willing to pay it or they’re not able to pay it. I think it’s good to identify which, and, uh, You know, one can’t be solved necessarily, and one maybe can. Who’d like to, anybody else, Steward, you want to jump in? I’m sure you’ve had this come across your desk once or twice.
[00:30:32] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, I’m going to give a
[00:30:33] Stuart Baum: shout out to Rudy in the chat, because, I mean, if they push back too hard on your rates, then you know that, hey, you might not be the right person for them. So if you say, you know, you know, I’m at 100 an hour, and they’re like, well, I’ve never paid that much for this. It’s like, all right, well, then maybe you should find a provider who’s less money.
[00:30:51] Stuart Baum: Here’s the service I provide and why I get those rates. And one of the things, one of the things we talk about a lot here is, you know, nobody ever buys on price. I say that a lot. Everyone’s like, no, that might not be true. I’m seeing head nods here though. No one ever buys on price or we would always only shop at the dollar store.
[00:31:08] Stuart Baum: So we’re buying on value. We’re buying on what fits us. I mean, does it mean you can walk into a Lexus dealership and buy their most expensive car? Maybe you can’t afford that, but you certainly want to get the best thing for your money. So when we talk about price, I mean, I think Sharon’s point is well made, you know, it’s like, what’s your rate?
[00:31:26] Stuart Baum: This is my rate. Now let’s talk about what you believe, you know, you want to get out of this. And then let’s talk about how much time I think I’m going to need to put into it to get you those results. And if my time times my rate isn’t what you value to get that done, either you’re going to have to find somebody of lower rate, who can probably not do the high quality of the job I do, or someone spend less time on it, and I can’t spend less time to get the output that you’ve talked about.
[00:31:55] Stuart Baum: So where do we change? And the other thing is never, ever, ever. argue, never, never discount your rates to people. Look at the whole package and say, okay, cause all you’re going to do is end up doing it anyway at a lower rate and then back to, back to shout out to Rudy. They’re never going to value you.
[00:32:15] Steve Fretzin: Sometimes we have to ask some additional questions to understand why rate is so important or why they feel that a rate is certain way like if I, if I paid, you know, too much for a landscaper and the landscaper was terrible and I’m kind of turned off about expensive landscapers. Maybe someone needs to ask me about that.
[00:32:32] Steve Fretzin: Like, what was my experience and why did I feel like I was overpaying and why did I feel ripped off? It actually might end up being a valuable piece of information to lead to why someone would pay more for you because they had a bad experience because they used a country lawyer or someone that really wasn’t as experienced or efficient as you are.
[00:32:51] Steve Fretzin: And so that might help overcome that. But the one I wanted to give you guys was something I teach all the time. It’s, it’s this very simple. It goes in with Sharon was saying just a little bit of an upgrade, not upgrade, but up to just different in the sense that. You gave, like, a really good redirect, and I think there’s one piece that I would add to that.
[00:33:09] Steve Fretzin: It’s agree and redirect. So, if somebody comes to me and says, you know, what’s your rate? I would say, you know, that’s a great question. I get that all the time. You know, it seems like that’s the thing lawyers always want to know first. However, you know, based on where we are in this conversation, you know, you’re on step nine.
[00:33:26] Steve Fretzin: I’m really on step two. I don’t even know like what all your problems are that we would be talking about. So if it’s okay with you, you know, if I promise I’ll answer that at the end of our conversation, can we go back? I’ve got a few more questions for you. Is that okay? Person says yes. And now we’re off of the rate.
[00:33:41] Steve Fretzin: So we want to sometimes just right on Sharon. So there’s opportunities to say, you know, we can just answer the question. But I think if it’s happening too early in the meeting and your answer isn’t right because you don’t know what the right answer is other than what you know what your rate is, that it could end up leading to, you know, them not understanding the value to Stuart’s point, where then the rest of the meeting, they’re just thinking about your 500 an hour, 500 an hour, they can’t even listen to the words you’re saying or the questions you’re asking, right?
[00:34:08] Steve Fretzin: So we really need to have a solid way of agreeing and redirecting to get back on where the meeting should be. Okay. Well, listen, I think we’ve got to wrap things up. We’re at the time. I want to thank Stuart. I want to thank Chuki, Sharon, and Steve for being amazing panelists. I want to thank our sponsors, uh, Money Penny, uh, Practice Panther, and LegalEase for being just amazing partners to the show.
[00:34:32] Steve Fretzin: Listen, I hope everybody that was here live got great value and great takeaways and the folks that are listening to the podcast as it’s coming out, uh, that you guys continue to listen to the show, enjoy what we’re putting out and don’t be shy about telling people about it and giving us some good reviews.
[00:34:47] Steve Fretzin: Listen, everybody, just appreciate you. Thanks for being here. Be that lawyer, everybody, someone who’s confident, organized, and a skilled rainmaker. Take care, be safe, be well, and we will talk again soon.
[00:35:02] Narrator: Thanks for listening to Be That Lawyer, life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Visit Steve’s website, Fretzin. com, for additional information and to stay up to date on the latest legal business development and marketing trends. For more information and important links about today’s episode, check out today’s show notes.