In this episode, Steve Fretzin and Jason Ciment discuss:
- Building and maintaining relationships.
- Going solo versus having a partnership.
- Outsourcing components of your business that were previously not possible to outsource.
- Top tips to ensure a successful partnership.
- You never know what relationships are going to lead to your next game-changing relationship.
- Marketing is great, but business development will lead to your best referrals and customers.
- Manage your expectations in the partnership. Both sides will have expectations, both sides will be negotiating and need to give in a little bit. But make sure to have your agreements and expectations understood before going into business together.
- If you have the right relationships with your vendors and referral sources, they can assist as you are going out on your own or with your partner.
“You have to have a vision for what you’re trying to build together.” — Jason Ciment
Get a free copy of Steve’s book “Sales-Free Selling” here: http://www.fretzin.com/sales-free-selling
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Connect with Jason Ciment:
Book: I Need More Clients: Digital Marketing Strategies That Grow Your Business: amazon.com/Need-More-Clients-Marketing-Strategies/dp/1537108352
Connect with Steve Fretzin:
LinkedIn: Steve Fretzin
Facebook: Fretzin, Inc.
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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.
[00:00:00] Steve Fretzin: Hey, everyone. Before we get to the show, I wanted to let you in on something over the next few months and starting on August 24th with the topic that taboo surrounding sales and legal, I’ll be providing some sales, free selling workshops for you to learn the basics of my methodologies. If you ever wonder what it’s like to work with a coach or go through incredible training, here’s your chance.
[00:00:20] Steve Fretzin: It’s easy to register. Just go to Fredson dot com slash events to register as my VIP guest. See you there and enjoy the show.
[00:00:36] Steve Fretzin: 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 Pretzin will take a deeper dive, helping you grow your law practice in less time with greater results. Now here’s your host, Steve Pretzin.
[00:00:58] Steve Fretzin: Hey everybody, welcome to Be That Lawyer. I am Steve Pretzin. I’m so happy that you’re here. You day after day, week after week, if you’re listening to the show, you know, it’s all about helping you to be that lawyer. Someone who’s confident organized in a skilled rainmaker. And, um, you know, if you’re like me, you want to continue to learn.
[00:01:16] Steve Fretzin: You want to continue to improve. The goal is, you know, there’s no, the goal doesn’t stop moving. It just keeps moving back and we have to keep moving towards it. But again, I think you’re either learning or you’re dying, and we have to consider so much to learn about the law, yes, and there’s also so much to learn about marketing and business development and time management, health and wellness, and this show does its best to cover all those grounds.
[00:01:38] Steve Fretzin: Uh, today, as you guys know, is no different. I’ve got a returning guest, uh, one of my favorites, uh, Jason Cimet. Jason, how are you?
[00:01:46] Jason Ciment: I love the idea that I’m returning. That’s a
[00:01:47] Steve Fretzin: pretty good thing. Yeah, not a lot of people have returned. They usually do this once and they never want to talk to me again. So, you know, appreciate your coming back.
[00:01:55] Steve Fretzin: Appreciate you coming back. It doesn’t hurt that you’re a sponsor too, you know, that, you know, I’d like to know that my sponsors want to talk to me. That’s something. Oh, that’s true. That’s true. We always start the show with a quote of the show and yours, you know, I thought I had yours figured out and as it turns out after you explained it, I don’t have it figured out.
[00:02:13] Steve Fretzin: Um, it’s plan the dive, dive the plan. And I just thought it was so interesting. And also, by the way, odd that you have a, like a diving reference in, uh, in your quote of the show. But talk to us about that. Why, why that quote and, uh, what does it mean to you? So it means a couple
[00:02:28] Jason Ciment: of things. I learned a number of years ago that.
[00:02:31] Jason Ciment: And I’m not in this society, but Mensa society people, the ones who are supposed to be really smart, it’s not just the IQ, it’s the ability to take information from one place and another place and assimilate it together to draw out better knowledge, if you will. So, I’m not a diver. I did do like one of those obligatory 1 day diving things on vacation once, but I remember learning about this mantra for divers and people who fly planes.
[00:02:55] Jason Ciment: Cause there’s a lot of steps to do it right and if you miss a step, you can die. It’s plan the dive, dive the plan. So plan out all the steps of your dive and then go and dive the plan and don’t go outside the boundaries. Now in the world of diving and in the world of flying, yeah, you have to stay within the boundaries cause it’s life or death.
[00:03:12] Jason Ciment: But in the world that I live in, in marketing and then just in general life, I think the idea is that you create the boundaries. Which includes the steps to the future, and then once you know what your boundaries are, you can then go outside the boundaries if you want to, but at least you know when you’re crossing the line, and for what purpose, because you’re diving the plan.
[00:03:35] Jason Ciment: So, your plan may allow for changes and adapting, but at least you’re creating a structure. So it’s, I’m going to get more things. I know for myself, I always joke about the difference between men and women. This should be my other quote, right? Is that men live in a world of goals, and women live in a world of expectations.
[00:03:54] Jason Ciment: Mm. That’s interesting, too. Okay. Right? So for men, I say, we have goals that can be like this, and we just have to get inside that box. But for women, that’s that point that they’re focused on. Obviously, these are generalizations. But it’s a huge difference, because it’s like the ends versus the process. So, women like the process, men like the end result, and I can keep going with
[00:04:16] Steve Fretzin: these parallels.
[00:04:17] Steve Fretzin: I was going to say, as long as you’re going that direction, you want to, you want to mansplain something else to us. You know, you can, again, we can find all kinds of, uh, of emails and phone calls we’re going to get after this, Jason. But, but it, um, it’s interesting and, you know, my son dove for a year and, or for a season, whatever.
[00:04:33] Steve Fretzin: And I just, the only thing I cared about was, please do not hit your head on the board. And sometimes we get really, really close and you hear the whole crowd of people watching go, Oh, cause it’s just like, you know, you just realized this is going to be, this can be awful in about a second. But I love that.
[00:04:49] Steve Fretzin: So really it’s about, you know, planning and then working the plan. Jason, welcome to the show. Welcome back, man. It’s so good to see you. We always have really terrific conversations every time we get on, on the horn and start talking. And for everybody that’s hearing you kind of for the first time, and you guys should all get to know Jason.
[00:05:05] Steve Fretzin: He’s just one of the top. Marketing guys in the legal game today. Give us a little bit of your background leading up to a, be that lawyer tipping point, which I love to hear, uh, kind of something, you know, unique and usual different that happened in your life that kind of directed you in a way or two. So
[00:05:20] Jason Ciment: I hadn’t thought about it until you asked the question as we were preparing for the podcast and it came up yesterday.
[00:05:28] Jason Ciment: I, someone I know quit a job where he just didn’t show up to work the next day and they deserved him not showing up, but it was a classless move. Because there were 15 people in that office and the last thing they know is this guy just didn’t show up to work the next day. So I told him, I said, I remember when I was young and I was dating and a guy told me he always took out all the girls.
[00:05:52] Jason Ciment: They didn’t just have to be the prettiest girls or whatever, because they all had friends. And you never knew which friend was going to fix him up. And he ended up getting fixed up with the girl that he married. And I say that in the world of, of relationships, which is what you and I both are building our business on, how people think of you comes down to the actions that you take around them, the things that you do for them, what you become known by and so pivot point for me.
[00:06:19] Jason Ciment: There were 2 of them, but 1 of them is a relationship, but I had a relationship with somebody in the early 2000s. I built him a website. He disappeared for a couple of years. He went to Amsterdam. I think 1 of his daughter, his daughter was living there. He comes back around 2008 and he calls me up just to say hello because we had a good relationship and he goes, you know, you should check out this organization called provisors, which is how you and I met.
[00:06:43] Jason Ciment: So I joined provisors in like 2008. And all of a sudden, my Rolodex explodes because you start meeting lawyers and CPAs and all different service providers at a high level. And all of a sudden, over the course of a couple of years, my agency starts growing dramatically because this guy felt fondly about me.
[00:07:05] Jason Ciment: Calls me out of the blue a couple years later, and he says, go do this thing, and I trusted him enough to do it, and now if I go anywhere in L. A. practically, even, I just run into people that I have met over the years. I think that was a big pivot point in my life.
[00:07:20] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. You never know where, you know, relationships are going to come from and you never know what relationship that’s going to lead to another, that’s going to lead to an organization or lead to, you know, some that could be a gaps of game changer.
[00:07:32] Steve Fretzin: So you kind of have to be out there and have your antenna up at all times. So we, I really wanted to talk to you. So we could talk about SEO and pay per click and marketing and we could, you know, do that for the next half an hour. But. I think what I really wanted to hear from you is your experience dealing not only with your own business and partnership, but also lawyers, I think struggle regularly with, with a decision to make a to go solo, right?
[00:07:56] Steve Fretzin: Like to leave the firm and go solo and do that. And it’s becoming more and more attractive and there’s reasons why we’ll get into. And there’s another part of them that says, you know what? It would be a lot more fun and a lot easier and for a variety of reasons to have a partner to just do this with someone versus doing it on his or her own.
[00:08:13] Steve Fretzin: So I wanted to kind of get your take on, you know, why solo or why partner and you know, we can certainly, you know, let’s talk about the, the, you know, those two pieces and then we can break it down into pros and cons of each, but let’s talk about why, why is it good? Why would it be a good idea for someone to go solo?
[00:08:31] Jason Ciment: So It’s funny, I was thinking to go in the other direction first, but if you start on solo, I think you
[00:08:38] Jason Ciment: to make a few decisions. Number 1 is, if you have a partner, is 1 plus 1 going to equal 2, 1. So the 1st 1 is, and that’s not just an economic decision, it’s also a Economies of scale decision sort of in terms of your time is your time going to be allocated better because the other person can take some of the load off of your shoulder on certain aspects of the business.
[00:09:04] Jason Ciment: Let’s say that you don’t want to deal with. Like, I know my dad was in a partnership for about 40 years. And he was the rainmaker in the firm and I think he managed the books at the firm, but he didn’t go to court much. He didn’t do there are certain things he didn’t do and they did. So the partnership lasted for, I think, 4 decades.
[00:09:23] Jason Ciment: I’m with my partner for 18 years already. And we’ve gone through complete staff changes. Now, we think we have the best staff we’ve ever had in all those years. We’ve gone through moves where we started in LA together, then he moved to Phoenix, and this week, literally yesterday, he moved to Minnesota.
[00:09:44] Jason Ciment: Closed the office in February, sold this house, and him, his wife, is in the car with the dogs.
[00:09:48] Steve Fretzin: What, he doesn’t like, he doesn’t like 110 degrees for 20 years? Phoenix on
[00:09:52] Jason Ciment: Monday for a funeral. Air broke in the car, so it was hot. Oh boy. But the point I’m making is that We started our business and it’s continued in a certain way that we’re each doing the things that we like to do or that we’re good at, let’s say, and the other one is able to do the things to really carry the load.
[00:10:12] Jason Ciment: So, the 1 plus 1 is a 3 in our case. Now, if I was wanted to be on my own. So, for example, I know 1 guy runs a wealth management firm and he’s got 30 something employees. He owns the majority of the firm. So, he’s given away small pieces of equity, let’s say. But the, um, decisions come to him. What he does to replace the partner is he hires the people, pays them a good salary, in order to take the load off of his shoulders.
[00:10:45] Jason Ciment: So when people say, I’m going to be solo, for a lawyer, maybe it’s easier to go solo and actually be solo, because all you need Especially now people don’t have secretaries as much as they used to anymore. So you could technically be a solo lawyer, maybe have an assistant or a virtual assistant overseas to do some paperwork, depending on the type of law that you do.
[00:11:06] Jason Ciment: You’re never doing all the work on your own. You’re just paying someone to do the work. Well,
[00:11:10] Steve Fretzin: while you, you are, if you’re not. Not thinking wisely about it. I mean, there’s a lot of solos and I’ve talked to a number of them that are the bookkeeper and they are the marketer and they are this, and they’re doing everything badly,
[00:11:22] Jason Ciment: right?
[00:11:22] Jason Ciment: You had their pay much because they’re big of opportunity. Yeah,
[00:11:27] Steve Fretzin: they don’t, nobody thinks about that. They don’t think about the billable time and the business development time. They, they just, it’s easier for them just to do the 20 an hour work stuff. And knock it out and say, well, I’ll just get it done myself, you know, because it’s easier than having to train somebody or whatever.
[00:11:43] Steve Fretzin: But the thing that people are missing the boat on is, is like today, maybe more than ever, you’ve got software, you’ve got virtual assistants, you’ve got, you know, basically like people that can just walk you through exactly how to set up the website, to set up the marketing, set up everything so you can just focus on the law.
[00:12:01] Steve Fretzin: And focus on client development, then I don’t think 5 or 10 or even 20 years ago, like that was, is easy. There was a lot more overhead and a lot more involved. And so it was a big decision, a big financial decision to go out on one zone. And today it’s a certain, it’s a very different decision. And I think a much easier decision.
[00:12:18] Steve Fretzin: It doesn’t mean it’s right for everybody. I’m just saying it’s an easier decision.
[00:12:21] Jason Ciment: I think you’re right. And with AI, it’s becoming even easier to do things on your own. And what people, let’s say the lawyers. Have to consider when they make that decision to go solo is it’s sort of like Peter Drucker. I think he was the top management consultant in the 20th century.
[00:12:44] Jason Ciment: He would walk into the companies like a GE and he’d say, what have you shelved? Right? What did you, like, what, what have you decided not to work on? And if that list wasn’t big enough or good enough, he’d punish that. I mean, whatever you would say that. Yes. I think for lawyers, you have to make the decision what’s worth your time and what’s not worth your time to outsource.
[00:13:06] Jason Ciment: And it’s so much easier to outsource different components of your business today that you couldn’t do 10 years ago, little in 20 years ago. So now it’s very easy to, especially with COVID to have a virtual office. They have a automated answering system. LawDroid is one company that I know of. I have no connection to them, but I know that’s an example where they have a answering system that will, including chat, I think, they handle phone calls.
[00:13:30] Steve Fretzin: You’ve got all… Well, I think you’re talking about Moneypenny, our other sponsor. Who handles their inbound reception and also the live chat on the website, which I have on my website, which by the way, Jason did, and I love it. So, uh, come just come at full circle on that. Well, hey, you know what I
[00:13:45] Jason Ciment: said, I have no connection to Lordra.
[00:13:47] Jason Ciment: So there you go. And now I’m 1 degree removed from Moneypenny and James Bond fan. I’m going Moneypenny. That’s it. But the point is the software exists to help lawyers go solo. So the real foundational question is. Can they build the practice on their own and generate the business? Everything else they can do, but can they, can they bring in the, uh, clients?
[00:14:10] Jason Ciment: That’s really the fundamental question. And, and, and then they have to decide, is it worth their 400 an hour rate or more, or is it a little bit less? To do the outreach and to do the business development, or does it pay to outsource all of that? Because they can buy that for 100 bucks an hour or 150 an hour.
[00:14:30] Jason Ciment: And that’s another it’s a lot of money, but not necessarily if you’re billing your even 1500 hours a year.
[00:14:38] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. And you just do the math on, you know, the lead generation, your time versus other sources of how you can, can pull business in. But obviously I’m a big fan of the, of the do it yourself, you know, go out and network, build relationships.
[00:14:51] Steve Fretzin: I mean, that’s how you built your business. Correct. My business. And I’m teaching lawyers every day. You know, that while marketing is important and I’m a huge fan and I do a ton of it, everyone knows I do a ton of marketing, that business development is at the heart of, of where the best business comes from, right?
[00:15:06] Steve Fretzin: The client referrals, the strategic partner referrals, the other lawyers that know you’re great and want to send people to you. That’s all, you know, that’s all. And by the way, another sponsor Overture. law, that’s a great way to ethically share fees and send out work to other lawyers and get it back yourself.
[00:15:22] Steve Fretzin: And so folks that are interested in that should check out Overture. law. So now all sponsors have been now officially mentioned in the first 10 minutes of the show. So I don’t have to, I don’t have to talk about it at the end like I normally do. So you know, my slate is clean. That’s all I’m saying. Hey everybody, check this out.
[00:15:39] Steve Fretzin: You’ve just had a call with a client where they need help with something you don’t do. You’ve reached out to colleagues, you’ve searched the lawyer directories and you simply tell them, you don’t know anyone that can help. Overture changes all of that. Overture is the first private attorney network designed for the country’s best independent attorneys to refer matters to one another and ethically share in referral fees.
[00:16:01] Steve Fretzin: It’s a great way to keep your clients happy and build your practice with referred clients. It’s by the founders of LegalZoom. Membership is free if you’re accepted, but act now to get priority access to referrals for your state and practice area. Apply for membership at overture. law. Overture dot L A W.
[00:16:21] Steve Fretzin: Okay, let’s take a quick break to talk about how money penny 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. Every inbound call could be a new client to intake properly or an opportunity lost.
[00:16:42] Steve Fretzin: With Moneypenny, it’s all been ensured the call will be handled exactly the way you want it every time. To take immediate action on this, write down this email and start your free trial. It’s svj at moneypenny. com. And just mention my name in the subject line Lawyers. There’s an easy way to boost your law practice partner with Get Visible, the digital marketing agency that makes you stand out.
[00:17:07] Steve Fretzin: Meet Sarah, an awesome lawyer, but a terrible marketer. Get visible. Helped her build a powerful website and boost her online visibility. Now she ranks high on Google Gains clients through ads and engaging content. Tired of feeling insignificant. Make it rain. Visit get visible.com and stand out. All right, Jason, let’s transition to partnerships.
[00:17:28] Steve Fretzin: Cause obviously you’re in a partnership and I know I’ve been in a few partnerships and I’m going to say something and I’m going to get a smile out of you, maybe get a smile out of somebody listening. But, uh, one thing that I, that I learned about partnerships is that no ship sinks quite like a partnership.
[00:17:43] Steve Fretzin: All right. I’ll give a pause for a smile for a laugh. Ha ha. Okay. In many instances, that’s true. There are a lot of partnerships. There’s a lot of business divorce, a lot of partnerships that fail. And before we get into what makes up a successful partnership, what is your take on why partnerships may not be successful?
[00:18:02] Steve Fretzin: So
[00:18:03] Jason Ciment: well, first one is load. If one partner thinks the other partner is not caring,
[00:18:07] Steve Fretzin: that’s okay. So uneven, uneven, even distribution of, of weight, right? Wait,
[00:18:12] Jason Ciment: right. So it’s not necessarily what you’re doing, but it’s the value of, of what’s being done. Yep. That makes each side feel that it’s close to fair, never fair, like a good negotiation.
[00:18:26] Jason Ciment: Each one should feel they gave a little bit. I think that, uh, the realities of life is that you’re, you’re constantly, it’s not a selfish gene, but you constantly think, well, he could do more. She could do more. It’s rarely going. I could do more. So if you feel that there’s a balance, that’s good. Right?
[00:18:47] Jason Ciment: That’s number 1. Number 2 is. Very highly related to that is the fulfillment of those objectives. So if you’re creating good output for the work that you’re doing, that’s good. So it’s, it’s not just carrying the load of doing the work, but doing the work that needs to be done. And, and that’s, that’s sort of number two.
[00:19:06] Jason Ciment: I think economics matters because if the money isn’t coming in and it’s not about a blame thing, it’s just a question of the business can’t sustain itself, it’s going to fall apart. I got an email this morning of a firm that fell apart. Small firm, just three lawyers. But they’re all happy with each other.
[00:19:24] Jason Ciment: They just decided they’re not going to be working together. So one’s going to be off counsel to the other, and the third lawyer is changing direction. So that’s an outcome that is sort of natural, because there’s no fighting. Yeah, economics is a big one, because you also have a personality difference, which is One partner may be interested in X and the other partner may be interested in Y in terms of lifestyle and say, I don’t want to be growing the firm.
[00:19:53] Jason Ciment: I know another firm that broke apart because the difference in age was 20 years or so. For about 20 years, the younger one wanted to grow fast and the older one was sort of like happy with five lawyers. And that, so that imploded, and the one that grew, wanted to grow, grew huge, and the one that didn’t, he stayed the same, and he’s still happy, he was making the same money either way.
[00:20:18] Jason Ciment: And he didn’t want more money, he was already in his 70s or 60s. So, money is one. Another one is how the staff feels. If there is staff, like if they are responding to one versus other, like I know another business where one of the partners was such a jerk and he wasn’t able to quit. So it was affecting the business and the other part of it didn’t want to be around it, right?
[00:20:42] Jason Ciment: So
[00:20:42] Steve Fretzin: there is, and that leads to a point I want to make Jason just to jump in is. You know, how well do you really know somebody before you get into a partnership? I think sometimes people feel like, Oh, well, this person does this. I do that. I think we’d work well together. You know, we’ve talked to, we’ve met a number of times.
[00:20:58] Steve Fretzin: We’ve talked it out. Let’s do this. And they don’t really know each other. They’re not lifelong friends or even known each other for like three to five years where they have spent a significant amount. It’s like going on a vacation with someone you just met. Seems like a great idea at the time, but you know, two days in, you’re like, what the hell am I doing with this?
[00:21:14] Steve Fretzin: You know, if there’s, if there’s a knucklehead who’s, you know, hitting on, you know, women in front of his own wife or something like a part of it is not really, and I’ve done that. I, I went in with a guy on a recruiting business. And I mean, I thought I knew him well enough, but we weren’t really friends like before we were just kind of like, you know, doing stuff together for maybe six months and yeah, I didn’t, you know, I didn’t, didn’t work out, you know, and, and I, we didn’t leave mad at each other, like, you know, anything, there was no big fight, but it was very disappointing, you know, that it didn’t work out, but I think if I had known him better, I think that might’ve helped.
[00:21:50] Jason Ciment: Well, that’s another aspect is that a whole expectations thing, which is going to get you all the eight male. So, if you’re, if you’re in alignment with each other, that’s another characteristic of what makes good or bad. I think that, and that has to do with vision. For the future, all that stuff,
[00:22:09] Steve Fretzin: but don’t, don’t get away from the word that you just said expectation.
[00:22:12] Steve Fretzin: That might be the most important word in a partnership is how are things laid out from a standpoint of, of setting expectations, agreeing on expectations, whether that’s verbally on my preferences in writing. So when you talk about the load, the workload or the balance or how things are actually going to play out, you can do it on the word and a handshake, or you can actually like put together, you know, as a, as a collaboration.
[00:22:37] Steve Fretzin: How this is going to actually work right with an understanding that things can change over time But you at least this way, you know what the comp is, you know, how things are compensated So there shouldn’t be any discussion or anger or arguments about comp because you agreed on it
[00:22:52] Jason Ciment: I agree with it like in my case Michael and I are so so different in so many ways But on a couple of things which I think are like they talk about the core of your body and working out Right,
[00:23:08] Steve Fretzin: like it’s all yeah, you got to take care of the core and then I
[00:23:10] Jason Ciment: have no core and you know How bad my core is he put me on a ball just to stretch and I bruised my ribs like that Jewish I am he couldn’t believe it showed him all the black and blue literally from stretching I said my god, he goes your body lost the instruction manual.
[00:23:25] Jason Ciment: He was laughing very hard. So I say that but at the core My partner and I, I mean, 18 years is a long time to be in a partnership and I think loyalty is a big deal. I, you have to have the values are the same. So like, for example, and I, we’ve noticed this more recently as, as we’re working with our team that has been growing also.
[00:23:53] Jason Ciment: And because we invested in the last year in all this project management stuff. What we’re finding is that our team will log in on vacation, they’ll log in late at night, early in the morning, because their goal is the client, right? It’s not the salary that they get, it’s not even my pat on the back, it’s the accomplishment of the job, and the demands of the job, and so for my partner and I, like, it’s something that we definitely share, we may not have the same political, religious, Food believes music, I mean, done the list, we’re just not in the same page, but when it comes to the business and, and fulfilling the deliverables, if you will, it’s very much simpatico.
[00:24:40] Jason Ciment: And I think that
[00:24:42] Steve Fretzin: I think, but that, but that’s, that’s at the heart of what makes a partnership or a business really jive is. The core values, if the core values are aligned, the mission is aligned, quiet service being number one or whatever it is, integrity. I mean, you come up with what the words are that describe what every, what everything’s all about, what the why is of the firm, right?
[00:25:04] Steve Fretzin: That’s going to align people. So even if, if I’m an extrovert, you’re an introvert, I’m a sales guy, you’re an operations guy. We’re very different people. But if we align it at that level. Everything else can work its way out most of the time. I did
[00:25:18] Jason Ciment: learn the hard way that, uh, as an example of where you’re on different pages.
[00:25:23] Jason Ciment: Is that bills still have to be paid and clients still have to pay. Yeah. Be charged appropriately. His mindset is just do the work and don’t worry about the money and we’ll just somehow match.
[00:25:35] Steve Fretzin: But that’s why you make a good team because one person’s going to drop the ball on something important like AR, right?
[00:25:40] Steve Fretzin: Every law firm or every lawyer listening is like, are you kidding me? You don’t think, you have to think about the AR. That’s. That’s what it’s
[00:25:46] Jason Ciment: not. It’s worse than that. It’s about making a deal and charging the appropriate value for the work to be done. Oh, I have to be that guy. So I got to negotiate and I don’t mean it in a bad way and even like before I feel sort of self righteous talking, oh, we have such integrity, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
[00:26:03] Jason Ciment: I don’t mean it like that. I mean, I think most firms want to do a good job. I think that there is a difference. When a firm has salespeople on commission, then the good job is not necessarily the same playing field because now the salesperson, he just wants to earn that commission. It’s not the same if the owner selling like, in my case, the commission, my commission is literally, well, you refer me another client.
[00:26:31] Jason Ciment: Well, can I deliver the result and if I fail, did I fail wildly or radically in the right way? You know what I mean? So then people don’t feel like you gave me a crap amount of work. Like you just didn’t try or you took my money with things like that. So
[00:26:48] Steve Fretzin: it could just be a bad fit from the start and everybody has the best intentions of how they’re going to work with a client and then realize the client’s crazy.
[00:26:56] Steve Fretzin: You realize the client. It doesn’t, you know, isn’t going to live up to the expectations or there’s a lot of different reasons.
[00:27:04] Jason Ciment: It doesn’t have an easy result. So it’s, but, but here’s the deal in the same way that you want your partner to be on the same page as you with expectations and goals and stuff.
[00:27:14] Jason Ciment: If you do that with the clients, it’s important for the partner. One of the struggles that we had was. I’m notoriously not a note taker. And so the question would be, and when I’m in flow, like we’re talking now, we didn’t prepare for this. We’re just going off the cuff. And when you’re in a pitch with a client, a prospect, you’re flowing.
[00:27:36] Jason Ciment: You’re trying to figure out what they’re talking about. See if you can establish a rapport. And sometimes you’ll say things or you’ll commit to things and maybe not remember them. Or do you remember them differently? So we had to, I had to do a lot of work on improving my ability to record things in my conversations, because that would make my partner super frustrated.
[00:27:58] Jason Ciment: Because he would think, Oh, the client’s asking for X, Y, and Z, and you told him you were going to do it. Whether I told him or not, did it matter? And that would just create friction. So
[00:28:09] Steve Fretzin: you need to get yourself a remarkable too. Everyone in my audience knows this is a lifesaver for note taking. Is
[00:28:18] Jason Ciment: that your
[00:28:18] Steve Fretzin: fourth sponsor that’s not paying?
[00:28:19] Steve Fretzin: No, it’s the unpaid sponsor that I keep sending people to and they’re making a fortune off of me. And I haven’t made the gumption to reach out to them yet and ask for money. But Yeah, I don’t care because I’m helping, you know, like, you know, when you give suggestions for software, you give suggestions for things, it’s not this, you know, yeah, we’d like the sponsor money, but really, I mean, this tool has made me paper free.
[00:28:43] Steve Fretzin: This tool has allowed me to take notes and when my handwriting’s terrible, which it is, I can just erase something, rewrite it. I can take everything goes into the file then. So I know all the times you and I have spoken. I know all the, all the, you know, everything that we’re talking about in this podcast, it’s all here.
[00:28:59] Steve Fretzin: And then it’s in a file. It’s, it’s in my Dropbox save. Like it’s just wonderful that it’s just a great tool. Anyway, I don’t, I digress. Now it’s legit. It’s legit. It’s legit. But, but again, I, you know, it’s like, uh, the, the, the argument’s going to be, well, Steve, it’s five, 600 bucks. I don’t want to stand out on this.
[00:29:17] Steve Fretzin: No, it is. I think it’s, I think it’s at that number. I’m talking about the Remarkable 2, not the Remarkable 3.
[00:29:22] Jason Ciment: Yeah, but the Remarkable
[00:29:23] Steve Fretzin: 2’s been out for four years already. Alright, maybe there’s a Remarkable 3 that’ll knock the price down on the 2. But, point is, is like, spend the money. You know what? You’re never gonna go back and say, man, if I just had that 500 bucks back, my whole life would be different.
[00:29:36] Steve Fretzin: You know, unless you’re just eating beans out of a can. You know, then maybe. Yeah. Well, hopefully most lawyers are charging enough. They can, they can afford a, you know, a tool that’s going to get them to be so efficient like I am. And anyway, I want to wrap up our interview with two or three of what you would consider to be your top tips to ensure a successful partnership, like things that you’ve.
[00:29:58] Steve Fretzin: Mistakes you’ve made or whatever, you don’t have to get into a whole mishagas about it, but like, what’s, what’s the top two or three things you say, this is how to make a partnership
[00:30:07] Jason Ciment: shine? Yeah, we covered a lot of it in this already. I think the first one is to have clarity between you and your partner.
[00:30:17] Jason Ciment: Going back to plan to dive dot to plan, like what is it that you’re building together to make sure you’re on the same page? That’s gotta be number one. Number two is the finances. You gotta make sure you have money in the partnership. And that you have a clear, either your money coming in or you have a, at least six months of operational cash flow so that that’s not a stressor,
[00:30:39] Steve Fretzin: right?
[00:30:39] Steve Fretzin: I think that’s well, for the lawyers listening to like, go into a partnership, but, you know, get your business development, you know, chops going because you want to bring, whether you’re leaving a firm or going out on your own, you want to have. You know, five, 10 grand a month in business coming in, even if your overheads low, just to make sure that you’ve got, you know, you’ve got some, you know, bills paid at home and you’ve got some light breathing rope.
[00:31:04] Steve Fretzin: Don’t, don’t on your own or with a partner when you’re, you know, in debt and you don’t have any money, try to be smart about or get a loan, something, but be smart about it.
[00:31:14] Jason Ciment: We had a, we have a client still for over a decade and she was in insurance and she was leaving 1 firm to go off on her own. Exactly what we’re talking about.
[00:31:23] Jason Ciment: And I built her website and I said, listen, I know you’re starting over again. And you’ll have money coming from commissions on sales in a few months. You’ll pay me when you have the money. And so it took 3, 4 months until she could pay, but she was like. She’s still a client because she remembered that. So even if you go off on your own and you’re worried about the money, if you have the right relationships with your vendors and referral sources, that will go a long way also.
[00:31:50] Jason Ciment: Right?
[00:31:51] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. And I think, I think so. Clarity, the finances, 1, 1, the
[00:31:56] Jason Ciment: 3rd, I think the 3rd for the partnership to work, you can split it into 2 avenues. 1 of them is if it’s just the 2 of you with an assistant, that’s 1 thing. But if you’re bringing on a team, then you got to make sure that the people you’re bringing on resonate with both of you.
[00:32:11] Jason Ciment: Because otherwise you create friction, so if you’re just talking about. Lawyers, most of the time, if it’s a couple of partners. That they’re, they’re just going to work on their own and maybe have an assistant or something like that, then. It’s, it’s a vision. They have to have a vision for what they’re trying to build together.
[00:32:30] Jason Ciment: Yeah,
[00:32:30] Steve Fretzin: right. Yeah. That was it. The core values, the vision, the mission, like you got to all be aligned and have a direction. Um, really great stuff, Jason. Um, we always wrap up this podcast with our game changing podcast. And you just let me know in no uncertain terms that you’re not much of a pad podcast listener.
[00:32:47] Steve Fretzin: However, you are listening to Howard Stern. Uh, and what is it? Not Spotify. No, it’s on. What is it? A nice serious radio theater. That’s, that’s like podcasting before podcasting, right? I mean, what is podcast? It’s radio, you know? So the fact is, is that, you know, talk to us about why Howard Stern, what do you like about, you know, people love him.
[00:33:09] Steve Fretzin: People hate him. I, I happen to love him. I think he’s, I think there’s some things that he’s good. Sometimes he goes out of rabbit hole. I can’t get out of, but generally speaking, I think he’s the, one of the most entertaining. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And enjoyable, you know, you know, people to listen to, but, but what’s your take, what’s your take?
[00:33:25] Jason Ciment: I think it’s two things. His skills at interviewing people, he is the best on the
[00:33:31] Steve Fretzin: planet. Now, how did I, how did I do compared to him though? Well, you, you’re not, you’re
[00:33:35] Jason Ciment: not, cause you kept it all business. All right. Right. But so the thing is people, people go to him knowing they’re going to have to open the kimono.
[00:33:45] Jason Ciment: Yeah. And so, and it’s no longer like. Stupid things. It’s much more intelligent things that are mostly relationship based stuff that he talks about, you know, what was it like growing up? What was what with your parents with your friends with whoever and it’s, uh, it’s a deep dive into human psychology and because he’s done intent of therapy for years and recognize mistakes he made over the years, he loves being the therapist or playing therapist on the interviews.
[00:34:16] Jason Ciment: So that’s one part of it, because it’s a, it’s, it’s an ability as a, not a voyeur, but you get to explore other people, especially when they’re famous people, and you try to remember that they also have normal lives.
[00:34:32] Steve Fretzin: And you get to hear what’s really going on with them. I mean, give or take, it’s, it’s, you know, maybe not quite the same as, uh, the hot ones with the, where they’re eating the hot wings and then they have to tell honest things like that.
[00:34:42] Steve Fretzin: That seems to me to be brutal honesty, cause in the middle of that type of pain. But Howard, I think does a, to your point, does a really good job of, he doesn’t just give up. He doesn’t like go down a dope, you know, you know, but what was it like growing up? Well, I don’t want, you know, that’s, I don’t talk about it.
[00:34:55] Steve Fretzin: You know, he doesn’t give up. He’s gonna. Yeah. Stick around and try to, you know, pry it open and see where you can go. That’s going to be interesting.
[00:35:01] Jason Ciment: There’s one other, two other things that he does. He also does, his team, tremendous amount of research. Yeah. For example, he interviewed Pitbull. This is recently in June and I had a lot of driving time in Montana so we could listen to interviews and he said, uh, he asked Pitbull how he comes up with songs.
[00:35:20] Jason Ciment: Now that’s a question everybody wants to know because he has a lot of Number one songs and he says, yeah, I heard his song in the Dominican Republic. I like the beat. I got in touch with the guy. I offered him royalties and the guy says, I don’t want royalties. I just want cash and Pitbull made it funny because he made it in Spanish.
[00:35:38] Jason Ciment: Yeah, because Pitbull’s famous for his pithy sayings. And he goes, so I gave him the cash and I gave him the royalties and I made him a rich man. So you’re listening to that and you’re going, that is so awesome. Like, wow, he just went above and beyond and he told the story in a good way and Howard pulled it out of him.
[00:35:57] Jason Ciment: And then Pitbull talked about how he’s created all these schools and he has financial partners that invested in these charter schools in Florida. And they have like a 97% graduation rate for kids from the hood. So you hear about. Things that are hopefully inspiring, so you, if you’re lucky, like I’m bringing it into a story right now with you, I don’t, I don’t remember a lot of things, I think that the interviews from Howard, for me at least, they resonate a lot because he’s getting to the real, the famous people, and it’s just, it can be, if you’re lucky enough, you can extract
[00:36:36] Steve Fretzin: value from it.
[00:36:37] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, those are the best interviews, you know, where you’re, you’re just authentic and real and he’s getting to the, getting to the root of things. I don’t know that we’re going to have time for the third Jason, but, um, I do. I want to not only thank you for being a sponsor, thank you for being on the show.
[00:36:50] Steve Fretzin: Thank you for sharing your wisdom. If people want to get in touch with you and hear more about Get Visible, what, what, what, what are the digits? Yeah. Oh, you
[00:36:58] Jason Ciment: can just go to, yeah. Go to getvisible. com. It’s easy to find. That’s
[00:37:02] Steve Fretzin: it. All right. All right. And Jason, Samantha C. Where it starts with a C. C R A M E N T.
[00:37:09] Jason Ciment: I’m easy. There’s no privacy in this, right?
[00:37:11] Steve Fretzin: There’s a, yeah, just, well, they’ll, they’ll find you. They’ll, and all the information’s in the show notes. You guys know that. Um, and I already did a great job of thanking the sponsors and talking about the sponsors. I want to also mention, we are giving away, uh, my first book, Sales Free Selling, and that is go to fretson.
[00:37:28] Steve Fretzin: com slash sales dash free dash selling. And that’s how to get a hold of that. And, um, thank you, everybody. Thank you, Jason. And thank you, everybody, for spending some time today with us and, you know, talking about partnerships and, uh, solos and, you know, what does it take? I think there’s a lot of people, especially in big firms, mid market firms that are interested now more than ever to possibly break off, take their book of business and, and go play on their own field.
[00:37:52] Steve Fretzin: And, uh, I think this was super helpful. So thanks, man. And thank you, everybody, for spending, again, time with Jason and I, hopefully helping you get a little closer to being that lawyer, someone who’s confident. Skilled and ara well confident organized in a skilled rainmaker almost blew my own tagline there.
[00:38:07] Steve Fretzin: Take care, everybody. Be safe. Be well. We will talk again real soon.
[00:38:15] Steve Fretzin: Thanks for listening. To be that lawyer, life-changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice, visit Steve’s website freson.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.
[00:38:36] Steve Fretzin: Show notes.