Clare Fanner: Soft Skills are Critical Skills in Law

In this episode, Steve Fretzin and Clare Fanner discuss:

  • Making an impression with purpose.
  • Similarities and differences in the US and UK legal sectors.
  • Changing the focus to the client and aligning it to the business while managing expectations.
  • The enabling power of technology (without taking away from lawyer skills).

Key Takeaways:

  • Every little part of what we do matters. We can and do make a difference, even if we do not recognize it.
  • While networking had to change during the pandemic, we are already seeing a comeback of in person events as things taper off.
  • To do your job properly and effectively, you need to take care of the whole client.
  • Different generations have different expectations of their lawyers. You must adapt a strategy to adapt to the generations.

“Increasingly, people are recognizing these are not soft skills, they are critical skills. And that is relating to people, having that understanding of how people operate – the human bit.” —  Clare Fanner

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Show notes by Podcastologist Chelsea Taylor-Sturkie

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Clare Fanner  [00:00]

And increasingly people are recognizing these are not soft skills. They are critical skills and that is relating to people having that understanding of the how people operate the human bid.


Narrator  [00:16]

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  [00:39]

Hey, everybody, welcome to be that lawyer. I am Steve Fretzin, your host, and I hope that you’re having a lovely day. As you know, Fretzin is all about helping lawyers to be that lawyer, someone who everyone’s talking about that’s making it rain that’s making it happen, bringing in his or her own clients. And we do this a number of ways we do this through coaching and training. We have peer advisory mastermind groups we set up for lawyers that want to network and talk in a confidential environment with their peers other high performing attorneys on the rainmaking side, I got five of those groups running looking to grow to six this year. So if you have interest in either of those types of programs, let me know. And if you haven’t picked up a copy of B of a legal business development isn’t rocket science, guess what it isn’t. And we’re going to talk about that today with Claire a little bit who’s my guest, I’m gonna introduce her in a moment. Take a second to thank our sponsors legalese marketing and money, Penny legalese helping me on the business development marketing side, just making sure that my efforts in my content gets pushed out. And they do a fantastic job with that. And of course, money pennies on my website doing that, you know, website, live chat. And of course, they do the the live reception. So check out money, Penny, love to have you guys reach out to them. If you are thinking about getting some reception and replace somebody that maybe isn’t a good use of the space or time or the way they’re handling the phones and get a professional to do it. So now, Claire, before I get into the weeds with you on your background, and thanks for being on the show, by the way.


Clare Fanner  [02:07]

Thanks very much, Steve. lovely to be here.


Steve Fretzin  [02:09]

Okay, and I noticed that accent Are you from Atlanta, Georgia?



Definitely not from definitely not all South of England.


Steve Fretzin  [02:18]

Wonderful. Well, it’s one of our favorite Accents over here. And we’ve got a bunch of weird ones over here in the US, but we love we love English accents. You submitted a quote, and I thought it was really interesting. And I want to get your take on it. Act as if what you do makes a difference it does. And that’s a William Blake quote. So tell me why did you submit that quote? And what does that mean to you?


Clare Fanner  [02:37]

Well, there’s so many great quotes out there that I think inspire us in different ways. But this one is sort of it reminds us that everything we do as individuals, makes a difference matters to someone somewhere. And I think there’s times when we think we’re in immaterial, inconsequential and not important. Well, we are every little part of what we do matters. So he’s just a nice, simple little reminder that we can and do make a difference. So I like it. I like a few others as well. But that one really strikes a chord with me.


Steve Fretzin  [03:09]

Okay, and I like it as well. I feel like you know, my job is to is to make a big difference. I’m trying to leave a legacy of helping not only lawyers, but the legal industry to grow and develop and use better means to develop business and all that. And you know, but it’s, you know, every article I write every book, I put out every podcast I do, it’s touching someone somewhere, and I’m hoping for the best. But so maybe that quote inspires lawyers to realize that whether they’re representing their clients with vigor, or they’re putting out content, or they’re, they’re just having a really good meeting networking with someone, it does add up, it does matter.


Clare Fanner  [03:46]

Oh, totally. And everything we do every interaction we have with people, it leaves an impression of some sorts. So let’s make sure it’s the right impression. Let’s make sure we’re moving people in the right ways. Were energizing them and exciting them, motivating them, whatever it is we set out to do but have a purpose. And then and then believe.


Steve Fretzin  [04:06]

Yeah, that’s really terrific. And, again, thanks for being on the show. And, you know, you and I met through a mutual contact and and we had a terrific conversation. And we kind of got excited about the idea that I’m, I’m helping folks in the US, you’re helping folks in the UK, and that we can kind of smash it together and have a discussion about about all of that. And before we get into the you know, the meat and potatoes of that conversation, give a little bit of background because you really have spent a long time in the legal industry and are quite the expert.


Clare Fanner  [04:34]

Thanks, Dave. Yeah, we were introduced by Moneypenny, who funnily enough, I’ve actually sponsored the research that I’m going to talk a little bit about later and share some of the insights. And you’re right, it’s so I do similar stuff to you by the sounds of things with a marketing focus with UK law firms. So in the legal sector, I’ve been in the legal sector for 15 years now. I’ve been in marketing and business development for 35 years. So A long time I was in financial services for a long while, and then stepped across 15 years ago to join law. And it’s been a fascinating, interesting journey. At a simple level, I would say the UK legal sector when I first joined it 15 years ago, is possibly about 20 years behind the financial services sector, as far as its marketing, and its adoption of marketing was concerned. And that’s not a surprise, because law firms in the UK didn’t used to be able to do any marketing, they weren’t allowed to promote their services for a long, long time. So So yeah, it’s an interesting sector. And I look forward to chatting to you about maybe some of the similarities and differences between the US and the UK sectors.


Steve Fretzin  [05:41]

Yeah, I mean, I didn’t, you know, we have such interesting and similar backgrounds. I’ve been in business development and marketing for a long time. And then again, in 2008, with the recession, you know, landed illegal, that I’ve been here ever since. And it is a little bit of a slow moving train. And, you know, I remember when I tried to get in, in Illinois, CLS which is continuing legal education, lawyers need every you know, every year, every other year, and business development, marketing, those kinds of topics, were not eligible for continuing legal education that wasn’t considered education for lawyers. And I had to do all kinds of twists and turns and language changes to try to get it pushed through. And eventually we did, and now it’s more common, and they get approved almost, you know, across the board. So things are changing in a positive direction for lawyers to be able to go out and market their law practices. So let’s talk about how lawyers in the UK are currently marketing and doing business development. I don’t know if we want to separate those two things, or if they’re mash together, how do how is it described in the UK? Is that all considered marketing, whether it’s, you know, meeting with prospective clients and networking in person or resume or social media, websites, newsletters, things like that? Is that all considered marketing?


Clare Fanner  [06:56]

No, there is there is a, it’s starting to blend, but there is definitely a difference. So So marketing traditionally, and I’m generalizing here, but marketing traditionally has been more the calm side of things, the event side of things in the sense of hosting events, yourself, sponsorships, things like that. Business Development has been more about the lunches, the coffees, the relationship piece, that who are our key clients, are we looking after them? Do we know who they are? Having a structured approach we can to summarize it in a really simple way, which is that and I’m sure you’ve heard this analogy, the scattergun and the sniper approach. So marketing tends to be. And I’m not, I’m not saying this is the case. But regarded as the scattergun, BD tends to be the sniper where you are tailoring one off relationships, or approaches to individuals. But the lines are blurring. So 15 years ago, when I came in to the sector, I was recruited to be a marketing communications person. So very specific role that gradually evolved and became a marketing director shortly after I joined. And then marketing and business development when there was the recognition of the need to join the to bid up. And to make sure there was a cohesive approach to everything that helps promote who you are, that looks after the clients that joins all of that up with the lawyers in the business, and then do the right stuff that’s aligned to whatever it is that firms trying to achieve. Right. So it’s blending.


Steve Fretzin  [08:31]

Okay, so what are lawyers doing? And I’m gonna say, more individual lawyers than law firms. So not talking about the CMO of a law firm, that’s a 500 person, law firm, individual lawyers that are that are at those firms that want to go out and get business, how are they doing it in the UK.


Clare Fanner  [08:49]

Number one thing has always been and still continues to be, and this is backed up by the research we’ve done recently is recommendations and referrals. So that’s all about the good old fashioned network. And developing and maintaining those relationships, and 83% of people in our latest research recommendations is there as being vital and expected as a way of choosing a law firm or a lawyer. So So that’s right at the top of the tree, and the lawyers in the UK, in the first instance, have to develop those relationships. So if they’re new to the sector, and a lot of law firms, provide them with the skills and the support to encourage that. And secondly, then develop those relationships. So that’s right at the top. Increasingly, social media is playing a part and social media in the sense of Yes, being active on it, but in the right way. So good quality content, content that’s interesting, engaging, entertaining, maybe provocative, sometimes having an opinion. And that has to be balanced in most cases by law firms and their brand and their position and they will Want my lawyers to have their own voice, but they also need to make sure that it’s cohesive. So that’s where people like me come in, which is make sure that they show up consistently and appropriately, and support them so so in those areas, and then you’ve got a bunch of things that then sit around that. So as you would expect, events typically are a key part of most law firms, marketing and BD plans. COVID hit that massively, because really, we we were in lockdown, as I’m sure you are. We couldn’t go out, we couldn’t meet people, we couldn’t hold large, large scale events. So we had to get smarter about what we did and how we did it. So events took a little bit of a backseat, social media became more important engagement with technology, being smarter at that, about how we kept in touch with clients. But events are making a comeback. So 2022 already, I’m seeing a lot of law firms, either already appearing at different events and or planning them. And by events, I’m talking about everything from sponsoring exhibitions, running seminars, going to other events and agricultural events, for example, for the farming community, hosting dinners, etc.


Steve Fretzin  [11:14]

So let’s, let’s go back to the first point, because if that’s where the majority of the business is coming from is through relationships and referrals, what are you teaching lawyers to do, that helps them build a relationship or helps them be that referral partner to get the matter as it happens to a client or another lawyer or someone else that could refer


Clare Fanner  [11:36]

one of the things lawyers have always been very, very good as the technical stuff, the legal stuff, what they’ve not been very good traditionally, again, generalizing here, but so all lawyers listening in, please don’t take this as Vitara in your with the same brush. But traditionally have not been very good at what we have called in the past the soft skills. And increasingly, people are recognizing these are not soft skills, they are critical skills. And that is relating to people having that understanding of the how people operate the human bit. And so one of the things that, that I actually do through some of my research is look at some of the emotional aspects of how clients feel, and how we can join that up with the lawyers. So for example, 74% of people have a negative emotion when they first approach and engage a law firm. So our law firms understanding that that initial telephone call, whether that’s with a lawyer, or a front of house, person, or receptionist of somebody else, are they handling that in an appropriate way. So, so law firms are getting much better at equipping their lawyers with the skills with the research the data or the understanding that helps them understand how clients are feeling. And then the second part of that is, traditionally, and this is still case, lawyers typically specialize in a particular area of law, but they won’t always think about the other needs that a client might have. So a business client that comes to them around commercial matters. They’re an individual as well, do they have a world do? Do they have property needs? Have they protected their family, etc, etc. So increasingly, equipping them with the skills and the tools and technology enables this to some extent, to make it easy for them to have the right conversations with a client to say, hey, actually, I can help you with this thing you’ve come to me about, what about this other stuff? Let’s make sure we’re looking after that as well. And there’s a change in mindset. It used to be and it still is called this a lot cross selling. Actually, it’s an obligation that lawyers have, because actually to do your job properly. And effectively, you have to look after the whole client. So we owe it to clients to have those conversations. Yeah, that’s


Steve Fretzin  [13:53]

really interesting, interesting angle. I don’t think in the US lawyers are thinking about that angle at all, that they’re not really representing their clients as fully as they should or could, because they’re not asking questions to identify other risks to identify other needs that would protect and serve their clients. Across marketing, I would say here in the US is one of the most underutilized aspects. In fact, when I talk to to our attorneys, I do a lot of evaluations of individual attorneys at big firms, mid market, etc. And the goof is like there’s a pile of money sitting in front of them on a table, right? Not, you know, more figuratively, and they’re walking around it all day, because they’re not walking into it, which would be meeting with their clients and asking those kinds of questions identifying the other business that’s there that they’re just you know, they’re just they’re not focused on it. They’re focused on I do commercial litigation. That’s what I do. That’s what I talk about. And not thinking about, you know, the other the other parts.


Clare Fanner  [14:52]

Yeah, and Steve, don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting UK lawyers are ahead of the game here and are great at it. They’re not I suspect they’re innocent. Other places, some are very good. Many are not. But there’s an increasing understanding that that’s the direction that things need to head in. And increasingly, law firms are putting the things in place to support the lawyers. And I think this is the crucial bit. This shouldn’t be a case of, you know, blaming lawyers, you’re not doing a proper job. Actually, if they’re not given the know how and the skills, they’ve been taught to be very good using your example of being a commercial litigation, were great, do a brilliant job at that. And you’ll get the recommendations that will have people coming back to you going back to our earlier point where business comes from, but actually to grow your practice to grow that firm to grow the reputation. Let’s think of the other things we could do to support that client. So we’re not there yet. We’re just, it’s just moved up the list in terms of priorities and getting more attention.


Steve Fretzin  [15:51]

And just to share a tip, I think one of the reasons lawyers don’t do the cross marketing, cross selling whatever, you know, you know, verbiage we want to use, I think it’s mostly about their discomfort with the approach and with the language. I mean, that’s what I find, you know, when I talk about legal business development isn’t rocket science, a lot of it is approaching language. And if you have a good approach and language to do it and get it done, it becomes less salesy less uncomfortable. And I’ll give you a quick example, then I’d like to hear your thoughts of it. And maybe if you’ve got one, hopefully to one up what I’m saying a little bit, it would be something like, you know, using a third party example. So if you’re sitting down with a client, and you know, you’re focused on commercial litigation, and you’ve got you’re in the middle of of a matter with a client, and you say, you know, I want to bring something up to you, Bob, and again, you know, the only reason I bring it up is because many of my other clients are coming to me. And I’m identifying that they’ve got all these other challenges around their business, and they’re not, they’re not talking to me about it. They’re only talking about commercial litigation, when in reality, you know, I’m very interested in hearing about what’s going on outside of it. So we can, you know, you know, make sure you’re not at risk and that you’re safe. Do you mind if we just have a quick conversation about it? The guy goes, Yeah, sure. Would you have in mind, now you’re in the now you’re in the weeds, you’ve approached it in a way that’s not salesy. Use the third party story to explain in a way that, you know, it’s not like I’m trying to sell you stuff. It’s, I want to protect you. And I want to make sure, yeah, you know, the problems that you’re having, you know, are similar to my other clients that are coming to me with other things. What do you think about that approach? And in Do you have another example of how you kind of teach it.


Clare Fanner  [17:26]

I love that approach. And that’s something I I often talk about is using that third party reference, because there’s always a more powerful conversation. If I can sit here and say, Steve, it’s not me saying this, right. It’s this research over here. It’s these clients, it’s this data. So I’m bringing it to you this is this is the direction we need to go in. And so So I often have that conversation with firms, with clients with people I mentor, around, you know, use third party references to get your message across. The other thing I would say, and it’s a slight angle, but it’s on the same point. Traditionally, in the UK, the lawyers have been targeted around fees and billable hours. And they continue to be targeted in those ways. But increasingly, those targets and the focus of how they are managed is changing to be more aligned to looking after the client. So we, we had one law firm that sort of led the way if you like, I think it was 2015. They’re called ASB law, a small law firm in the southeast, relatively small, who actually stopped targeting their lawyers on billable hours and started targeting them on client satisfaction. And when you think about that, that changes your whole mindset, you still need to be a great lawyer and technically excellent at what you do, and obviously get the work done efficiently and appropriately and deal appropriately for it. But when you’re targeted as an individual to look after that client, because what that client says is going to affect you know, your long term prospects, your salary, etc, then that changes the focus and everything we can do to change that focus to be on the client, and obviously aligning it to the business and the firm or where they’re going. For me that makes perfect sense. In terms of the direction law firms should be going in and lawyers should be focusing on


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Steve Fretzin  [20:09]

And so let’s let’s transition from that into you sort of how you’ve seen things change over the last couple of years, obviously COVID has been, you know, a big step forward and are a big step back, depending on how you reacted to it. For me, and for many of my clients, we leaned into zoom, we leaned into the efficiency of it, we leaned into the ability to have events through zoom. And and get, you know, my business has expanded nationally, you know, tenfold, because I’m not having to just focus on Chicago and running live classes where I, where I live, I’m able to expand it, you know, quite quite, you know, quite well. So what what are your thoughts on the last two years? I know, you did some research to on this, so So I’d be curious to hear you know, some of your findings.


Clare Fanner  [20:54]

Yeah. So it sounds like we’ve had some similar experiences. So whilst the UK is smaller, massive land than the US, we’re still geographically limited in terms of how we traditionally operate. So law firms very much have been community based, I’m talking outside of the big cities and outside some of the larger firms. So traditionally, their, their target market has been in their locality. And that could be, you know, 20 miles around the city. So COVID came along, it stopped that face to face stuff that lawyers were so reliant on, they typically would be going to the breakfast clubs, the networking clubs, they would be supporting local community initiatives. And clearly that couldn’t happen. But what but exactly like you, Zoom became everybody’s best friend, or worst friend, whichever way you look at it, but we all adopted it. Microsoft Teams for an awful lot of law firms, because they were Microsoft focused and felt there was security issues not using anything Microsoft. And and a lot adopted. There were two approaches, I suppose at the central level, law firms either became highly visible online, and very active in social media and invested in their content strategy in the materials that they had in the skills of their staff, and then being visible in communicating through social media and through digital channels. So using their database, or they could down batten the hatches and hoped that everything would go away, and they’d come out the other end in one piece. Obviously, there’s firms that that did more than that. But at a simple level, they fell into those two camps. Those that became highly visible adapted to the digital world engaged with their client database, found ways to stay in touch have done very, very well. The legal sector has grown over the last few years, massively. There’s a huge amount of work, most law firms are now struggling to keep up with demand struggling to deliver against client expectations and service. And recruitment is a real challenge in the sector, getting good quality staff and people and lawyers, the firm’s that hunker down and sort of batten the hatches, they’re struggling to play catch up now. So it’s been a really interesting two years. Interestingly, one of the things we asked in the research we conducted, firstly, in 2020, and then again last year, was about having access to their lawyers outside of traditional hours. So at the weekend, and in the evenings, if you like, in 2021, we asked that question and that we asked that question six months into the pandemic. So it was September 2020 36%, of people felt that it was essential that they had access to their lawyers at weekends and evenings, which, which, on the face of it just over a third of people, so it’s not massively high. We asked the same question again last year. So a year later, still, in the pandemic, we’re still in lockdowns and 54% had an expectation around being able to have access to their lawyer for weekends and evenings. So that’s just one of the examples. There are a bunch of other examples in the data. The biggest thing we’re seeing is a massive change in expectations from clients. And if we think about it, it’s not a surprise, because we know what we’ve all experienced in these last two years. I use Amazon like crazy. I’m guessing you guys use Amazon and equivalent over there. I live in a tiny little village not far from Stonehenge, most of your listeners have probably heard of Stonehenge. So I’m in the middle of nowhere in that lovely quintessentially British countryside that you can all picture. But I can order something at 10 o’clock tonight on Amazon, and I can have it delivered to my house by nine o’clock tomorrow morning, in the middle of nowhere in the UK, and that is what’s fueling client expectations. And we as a sector, I’m not suggesting we’re suddenly having to deliver things overnight. But we do need to realize that technology is massively important. It’s an enabler doesn’t take away the need for high quality lawyers and an expert advice. But technology can make delivery of those services, so much easier and better for clients. And the other thing we’re seeing massive difference in is how the younger generation has a very different set of expectations to our older generation. And examples I would use, there would be the availability of lawyers, so are under 30s 70% of them, expect to be able to see a lawyer at the weekend or in the evenings or talk to them or get hold of them, which is massively higher than the number I gave you earlier. And the other thing is communications. So are are under 30s, are expecting firms to think about using portals and apps and WhatsApp to keep in touch with them. Whereas our over 60s are saying emails and snail mail if I can call it that, fine. So we we have to develop a strategy for the generations. Because if we keep doing what we’ve always done, we’re going to start losing our clients to those that are adapting and evolving.


Steve Fretzin  [26:08]

I want to ask you one more question about that. And then I’ve got a final question that I think it will be really interesting for people to hear. If if people if clients expectations are have never been higher as it relates to how they communicate with their attorneys, and 54%. And then lawyers at the same time are trying to have quality time with their families quality time in the weekend actually shut it down, which is a healthy thing to do. How does that correlate to you know, how things actually work in real time?


Clare Fanner  [26:41]

I think I think that’s exactly the question I get asked every time by by law firms Not surprisingly, and lawyers, they look at me in disgust when I share this data. So it goes back to what we were talking about earlier, Steve Alford party, it’s not me saying this guy’s its clients.


Steve Fretzin  [27:00]

It’s not she’s just the messenger.


Clare Fanner  [27:02]

This this data was, you know, this is UK, typical clients telling us what their expectations are so, so it’s, it’s what clients expect, how we then adapt our business model, our our availability will vary firm to firm. So if if it’s a firm that says, You know what, that’s not our bag, that’s not our, we’re not going to suddenly make ourselves available in the evenings in the weekend, they don’t have to, but what they do need to do is manage expectations. So make it very clear to your clients on your website, through your communications, how you talk, we will always be very responsive, but in these in these hours, and the second thing to do is put something in place that enables that client that’s calling on a Saturday night with, you know, something that’s really bugging them and a massive worried, put something in place to enable them to get hold of somebody. And that’s where people like Moneypenny and the others come in, because actually, they can handle those calls, they can take those initial points of contact, and make sure that clients feel supported. So there’s different ways of looking at it. And then there’s, there’s, there’s going to be a growing breed of firms that say, you know, what we are going to make ourselves available 24/7, there will be, you know, it’ll come from somebody, and we don’t all have to compete on that basis, don’t need to, but just make it very clear what you’re offering to clients. So you are managing expectations.


Steve Fretzin  [28:31]

Yeah, and there’s a lot of different whether it’s, you know, virtual reception Virtual Assistant, there’s new software’s coming out, that are helping to keep clients up to date on matters. And there’s all kinds of new, new technologies to that assist with that. But I think, you know, I tell my clients, you can call me on the weekends, if I’m on a boat with my son fishing, don’t expect me to pick up but leave a message or email me and as soon as I get off the boat, and I’m on in my car driving home, I’ll ring you back, and we’ll talk you know, I’m not available, but within reason, I’m not going to give up family and by the way, most of my clients have families, they totally get it. Like they don’t want to be at play, you know, exactly. But I don’t want it to slow down the communication. I don’t want it to slow down their, their ability to reach me because I’m highly reachable. And I only take on a certain number of clients a year so that I have the ability to be reachable, because I’m a one man show. So I think that’s really important to set expectations what at whatever level, you can manage and explain it. So yeah,


Clare Fanner  [29:33]

totally unlike most lawyers, I know you know, they don’t work nine to five, they do pick up the phone or have an evening or a weekend or do work, you know, whenever to support their clients, but it’s just making sure they are balancing that and having downtime because family and getting away from your work is so important, but just making sure you’re not leaving your clients in limbo. If you’ve said you’re gonna get back to them or if you’ve said you’re available, then be a very Little and get back to them. If you can’t then just have something in place to manage their expectations. And as you say, there’s so many things there to help us do that.


Steve Fretzin  [30:08]

Yeah, I’ve got a final question for you. And I just want to compare UK and US on this one thing, and then we’re going to wrap up with Game Changing books. This is this is just so my audience is different. So I feel like in the US, if we’re talking about maybe a million lawyers in private practice, okay, that really only about 10% are interested motivated to grow business to go after business. 90% are hiding under their desks through billable hours and just try to knock out work, spend time with their family. And it’s it’s either a job, but it’s not something you know, that is, you know, sustainable in the future. If things change if things get tougher if there’s another recession, etc. I’m just putting that as a generalization is my experience. I’m not saying it’s 10%. I’m just saying my experiences around 10% are thoughtful, and my audience I think consists of the majority of that 10% How is it in the UK are what what? What’s the general attitude of lawyers in business development going out and getting business going out? And being proactive with it? Yeah. Where does it kind of fall?


Clare Fanner  [31:11]

Yeah, like you. I couldn’t put a precise percentage on it. I’m not sure I’ve seen one somewhere that that that defines it in any trustworthy way. However, my experience working with many of them, and a number of different firms, I probably say we’re in the third to 50% are in that, yeah, I’ll do the business development fit. I see. That’s important. And I think that’s come as a result, some of the stuff we talked about earlier about this changing breed this changing approach to giving them the right skills to supporting them to encouraging them. From a young age, I don’t know how process works, when you first bring the lawyers into a firm we have, traditionally in most of our law firms, the trainees are expected to do a significant amount of business development. So if they start at that age, then they’re doing it all their career. So I think that number is growing, I would say it’s 30. To 50%. Growing would be my gut feel.


Steve Fretzin  [32:06]

Yeah, I think a lot of the associates in the US are discouraged from doing business development or marketing. Generally, they just they’re they’re meant to build ours and make money. And a few of the associates will come come out of that box, they’ll call me proactively and say, Look, my firm’s you know, they’re not helping me in this at all. In fact, they’re discouraging it. I know what’s actually going on here. And I my future is in having my own clients and building my own book of business. And can we talk and of course, I’m thrilled because there again, it’s such a small percentage of the people that are willing to step up and ask for help and understand that the future for them their freedom, financially, ability to move portability, happiness, generally, is having their own book of business, do lawyers in the UK, see that as well.


Clare Fanner  [32:54]

I think that the other thing that we need to mention in this conversation is around the digital world, and how that’s changing the rules of engagement. Because increasingly, and again, our research has shown this, people will go and check you out online before they pick you as a lawyer or your law firm for over and above somebody else. And the older lawyers, dare I say it and not engage in as much with digitally generalizing again, clearly, there’s exception, whereas the youngsters, they’ve grown up with social media, you know that it’s just a second, it’s secondary to that. So they do it as a matter of course, they’re comfortable in posting stuff on social channels, they’re comfortable in having that more relaxed style that is needed through social media than perhaps the traditional, sort of more, you know, we’ve all got one tone of voice. And we always write our news articles in this way. No, that doesn’t work anymore. So they are encouraged to build their network, they are encouraged to build their own book of business. But increasingly, law firms are trying to instill a different mindset in the lawyers, which is it’s not your client, it’s our client, that goes back to that conversation piece about every client will have a broad set of needs, they might come to us for this one thing in the first instance. But if we get it right, we should be looking at seven matters over a lifetime of however many years. And there’s many books and examples of businesses moving or law firms in the UK moving in that direction, and are managing their lawyers in a different way. It’ll take time. I’m not suggesting for a second we’re there. But that’s certainly where the movement is going.


Steve Fretzin  [34:29]

Got it. Got it. Let’s wrap things up a little bit with the game changing book and the when you submit it to me, it’s called key person of influence. Tell me a little bit about that book and why you submitted it as kind of the game changing book.


Clare Fanner  [34:41]

So it’s written by a gentleman called Daniel Priestley. And he’s an Australian businessman, entrepreneur. He lives in the UK now lives in London, and I was fortunate enough to tender a full day conference that he was running about seven or eight years ago, and he just talked and all For a lot of sense, he made things very, very simple. And gave a really practical model around how we as individuals, and this is totally relevant for every lawyer out there, how we can position ourselves as the go to person, the key person of influence, as he puts it. Now, there’s many books that cover this topic for many authors. And I’ve read a couple of them. I think Daniels got a very simple, interesting, relevant, practical style in writing and telling a story that I think anybody can pick up and kind of go, I can see how I can develop my, my model how I can develop my influence. And basically, I if you like, I worked as a marketing director in a law firm until five years ago, I followed his model to set up my consultancy business to position myself. And whilst I’m not suggesting I am a key person of influence, I’m certainly a recognized person in the legal sector in the UK and one of the leading UK marketers, and it came partly from Daniel and clearly experience but highly recommend him. You can follow him on LinkedIn on Facebook, but grab is grab his book, Daniel Priestley a key person of influence. He’s actually got that for other books as well.


Steve Fretzin  [36:15]

Okay, awesome. And I think yeah, today it’s all about about you know, being an influencer is something my son would love to be on YouTube. And I think just the word influence is important. That’s the person everybody’s following. They’re watching their their, you know, they’re seeing what they’re doing is as, as something to emulate. Clear, you’ve got the business law firm marketing club, and if people want to reach out to you to talk about your services, a what do you know, what are the services you offer and be? How do they reach you?


Clare Fanner  [36:45]

Thanks for that interested. Yes. So I set up an author marketing Club, which is basically a membership organization in the UK, we we run webinars, we provide resources, we do research, our website is law firm marketing So it’s quite easy to remember. And everything we offer is available on the website, if people want to contact me, the easiest way is probably by email or on LinkedIn, I’ve got a very unusual and unique name, which means if you can remember how to spell my name Claire, with no ISO CLA or a fan or FA double N E R, connect with me on LinkedIn or email me at Claire at Fine, get


Steve Fretzin  [37:27]

Fantastic. Well, thank you. And thanks. Thanks to Moneypenny for introducing us, I’d love to figure out ways to work together in the UK in the US and kind of cross pollinate, maybe we need to do some kind of event, you know, one over definitely across the pond on you and one over here with you. And I think that can be really interesting. Because there’s a lot more to explore that we just don’t have time for I mean, I’m trying to keep this to 30 minutes, and we went way over. And I think I know why. Because we’re having fun, and we’re talking about cool stuff. And hopefully people listening are really getting a kick out of it. So thanks again for being on the show. I know that this is a beginning for you and I Not an end, I’m really hopeful for that. And we can keep you know, keep the motor running to add value for the legal industry on both sides of the pond. So just appreciate you and thanks for being on the show.


Clare Fanner  [38:14]

Thanks, Dave. And well, thanks for chatting to me. And I hope hope it’s been interesting for those listening and as you say, I look forward to working with you and indeed having you as a guest on my webinar and talking about what goes on in the US. So my UK audience can learn from you. So thank you very much.


Steve Fretzin  [38:31]

All right, cool. Well cross pollinate on that. And hey, everybody, thanks for spending some time with clarify today and hopefully you got some good tips and ideas I’ve got my usual page and notes and you know, we’re gonna continue to do this podcast if you’re enjoying the shows you’re listening to us on a regular basis. I don’t know why you’re not telling friends do it, tell some people about it and give us some good reviews on Apple just click a button on your phone and say hey, like the show. It helps us to continue to develop bigger audience and help more attorneys to be that lawyer someone who’s confident organized and a skilled Rainmaker like you are and let’s keep this you know, keep this car on the road moving forward. So he Well everybody be safe. We’ll talk again soon.


Narrator  [39:15]

Thanks for listening to be that lawyer, life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Visit Steve’s website 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