Phil Fornaro: Maker of Dreams

In this episode, Steve Fretzin and Phil Fornaro discuss:

  • Following the flow of everything in the industry.
  • Understanding who your community is leveraging them.
  • Core mistakes people make when networking.
  • Building trust and providing value to clients in legal services.

Key Takeaways:

  • People are interested in talking about what they do, but if you’re not listening, you can’t figure out what their problem is, and you can’t help them.
  • Being a giver is great, but making it reciprocal with networking partners is even better.
  • Giving your card at an event is like 1/10 for making something out of it. Making a connection and writing down information on their card with a follow-up later increases that drastically.
  • The key to conversion is to provide a solution.

“Client development and business development have resulted in my best and most fulfilling relationships.” —  Phil Fornaro

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Episode References: 

About Phil Fornaro: Philip M. Fornaro, a seasoned legal professional with 29 years of experience, serves as the Managing Attorney at Fornaro Law. His commitment extends beyond the practice of law; it’s about delivering comprehensive solutions, fostering structure, and forging meaningful connections. Philip’s ultimate aim is to enhance and optimize every situation, ensuring that everyone involved experiences profound satisfaction throughout the entire process and embraces the end result.

Connect with Phil Fornaro:  



Light Bulb Moments Podcast:

Connect with Steve Fretzin:

LinkedIn: Steve Fretzin

Twitter: @stevefretzin

Instagram: @fretzinsteve

Facebook: Fretzin, Inc.



Book: Legal Business Development Isn’t Rocket Science and more!

YouTube: Steve Fretzin

Call Steve directly at 847-602-6911

Show notes by Podcastologist Chelsea Taylor-Sturkie

Audio production by Turnkey Podcast Productions. You’re the expert. Your podcast will prove it.


[00:00:00] Steve Fretzin: Hello, my Be That Lawyer friends. Before we dive in today’s show, I have a small favor to ask. My mission in the legal industry is to help legal professionals like you take law practice growth seriously. I hope you’re finding value in this podcast and it’s aiding you in growing your law practice. Now, it only takes a moment to make a positive impact on someone’s life.

[00:00:19] Steve Fretzin: If you’re enjoying the show, please help us spread the word. A kind review or five star rating would go a long way in helping us reach more of your amazing colleagues. Thank you for your support, and now, let’s get on to the show.

[00:00:35] 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 than you think. With greater results Now here’s your host steve fretzin 

[00:00:57] Steve Fretzin: Hey everybody, welcome back to another fun episode of the be that lawyer with fretzin podcast so happy that you’re here We are going to spend a lot of time today helping you do the most important thing Which is to be that lawyer someone who’s confident organized and a skilled rainmaker And we do that by interviewing some of the most amazing guests you could ever want to hear from, including rainmakers and legal experts all over the world.

[00:01:18] Steve Fretzin: Today, I’ve got a top player for you guys. You’re going to be very excited. A friend of mine Phil, how you doing, Phil? 

[00:01:23] Phil Fornaro: Hey, I’m doing great. How are you doing, Steve? 

[00:01:25] Steve Fretzin: All right. You got that new microphone. You got your like DJ voice ready to go too? 

[00:01:29] Phil Fornaro: It’s so awesome. I don’t know how I participated in zoom for three and a half years without this thing without the microphone.

[00:01:36] Phil Fornaro: Yeah. Yeah. 

[00:01:36] Steve Fretzin: Well, the sound actually, it sounds pretty good without it, but with it, it definitely kicks it up a notch. No doubt about it. 

[00:01:42] Phil Fornaro: So, thank my my boy, Doug Sandler for that. 

[00:01:45] Steve Fretzin: All right. We’re going to give a shout out to Doug Sandler and his team out in turnkey podcast. Who’s been helping me and all the people I know that I want to do podcasts to be successful for year after year.

[00:01:55] Steve Fretzin: So shout out to Doug and his team stricken everybody. Guys are awesome. All right. So I’m super excited about not only having you on the podcast, but also you have a quote of the show, which is not only one of my favorite quotes, but one of my favorite episodes from the show Seinfeld. And that is if every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right.

[00:02:14] Steve Fretzin: That entire episode is just mind blowing, just like the most fun, funny episode, but why, why Bill, would you choose out of every quote, that particular one and welcome to the show, by the way. 

[00:02:26] Phil Fornaro: Hey, thanks. Yeah. So, you know, I’m assuming when you send out that question, you want something, you know, pretty philosophical or something from a book or, you know, something.

[00:02:37] Phil Fornaro: You know, guess what, you know, that things that inspire me are things that are funny, things that make me happy and and it just relatable. And the reason I brought that that quote up, especially talk about networking is it’s 100 percent true. Everybody tries to follow, you know, the networking for dummies process.

[00:02:54] Phil Fornaro: They get that yellow book and try to figure out how to do it. But what’s interesting, hopefully we’ll drill down on it today is, is that it’s actually the exact opposite of what people think is what’s successful in networking. 

[00:03:06] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, and I have a feeling we’re going to dig down and really give a lot of great ideas for lawyers that are maybe being ineffective with their networking and would really appreciate hearing some, some wisdom.

[00:03:16] Steve Fretzin: So let’s jump in and just share that Bill Fornaro, a managing attorney at Fornaro Law. Is a friend of mine, a client in my Rainmaker round table top Rainmaker in the Chicagoland area. And give a little bit of, of your background how you came to be Readers Digest style. 

[00:03:34] Phil Fornaro: We have popular culture, readers Digest.

[00:03:36] Phil Fornaro: I think that’s awesome 

[00:03:38] Steve Fretzin: that anybody even, does anybody know what that does? Anybody think about that? 

[00:03:41] Phil Fornaro: Yeah. That’s funny. But anyhow, most of our listeners, most people are probably listening here akin to what that means. Yeah, I’ll to 

[00:03:46] Steve Fretzin: find it. It means a shorter version of the full thing. Got it. What is that used to be a little magazine, right?

[00:03:51] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, 

[00:03:52] Phil Fornaro: digest. Yeah, it was a big deal. So, yeah, so it’s, it’s interesting is the start of my practice does not look like anything that I’m doing now. And, you know, our outside general counsel model now is, is, is basically a culmination of all the things that I’ve done for now, 29 years in November. And what I remember doing is just trying everything, you know, when I first started, it was clearly just, West suburban bar association, the bar associations, figuring out what those people were like.

[00:04:21] Phil Fornaro: But what I had to do is I, and I didn’t even know I was doing it. And now I understand it’s the core of how I network. Was to establish relationships first with friends, then with family, then with people in the industry and then, you know, learning what didn’t work, you know, the hard sell the Google ads, you know, whatever it was, everything sort of flowed from whatever market I was in.

[00:04:44] Phil Fornaro: So, if someone says, and we’ll talk about this, maybe, you know, have the same elevator speech every single time, a 100 percent go back to Seinfeld. That’s a 100 percent wrong. Yeah. You have to follow the flow of everything that is in the industry. So, for example, when the market was down, we were 100 percent the top short sale and foreclosure defense attorneys doing closings while our, our peers were at, at Starbucks getting insurance.

[00:05:12] Phil Fornaro: And it’s, it’s the idea of figuring out who are the core people, who are the people that you want to approach. That are going to help. And that sort of helped me develop and I made so many mistakes. I spent thousands and thousands of dollars on Google ads and my conversion rate was 0. 0 animal house.

[00:05:31] Phil Fornaro: Like, But that’s it. Just learning and trying to figure it out. There’s more, but yeah, that’s it. 

[00:05:36] Steve Fretzin: So then how did you transition to being the managing partner of a firm and just crushing it out in the Chicagoland area? 

[00:05:43] Phil Fornaro: So what happened was, you know, my boss, my old boss John Dvorak, who is my mentor. I love that guy.

[00:05:48] Phil Fornaro: He actually was a great network here locally. He introduced me to a lot of my contacts locally, which are the basis of all the things that I’m doing now. You know, I occasionally call him and tell him that because, you know, I love him as a person as an, as a mentor. So what converted me to something moreh, important was that I finally figured out who my community was and I finally figured out that it’s not me.

[00:06:13] Phil Fornaro: That’s the core of my networking. It’s the people that I interact with, and they’re the ones that sell for me. And it’s funny, Steve, yesterday I had lunch with Ken Levenson who’s a local attorney here and he’s in 

[00:06:28] Steve Fretzin: our round tables. 

[00:06:28] Phil Fornaro: Yeah. And, and actually it’s, you know, my, my podcast that I’m doing is called light bulb moments.

[00:06:34] Phil Fornaro: I had a huge light bulb moment from just talking to him. And I appreciate you for that organization. Cause I’ve only been in a short while and it just. Really, really opened my eyes because I never network with attorneys, you know, I only that with people that aren’t attorneys and I didn’t know, but, you know, my network brought me to you and you brought me to Ken and the rest and I appreciate that.

[00:06:52] Phil Fornaro: So, what really was cool was he says, I said, you know, I really haven’t marketed for about a year and a half because we have so much business at our law and we have attorneys on a big recruitment process. Now. But he goes, I don’t know if that’s right, Phil. I said, well, what do you mean? He said, you are now naturally networking at every step of your, your life.

[00:07:15] Phil Fornaro: It’s instinctual to you. And I go, Oh my goodness. My light bulb moment is like, Holy cow. He’s right. I’m not trying to market or network, but as a result. Of my just normal conversation. We’re bringing in business, connecting people and networking. It was phenomenal. So see, you didn’t even know you were helping me yesterday, Steve, and you were, 

[00:07:34] Steve Fretzin: well, it’s like, that’s the tip of the mountain when you, you know, when you realize it’s all been internalized this whole time and you just keep rinsing and repeating.

[00:07:42] Steve Fretzin: I mean, the guy called me out of the blue and his wife needs something. She’s an attorney and she’s in a, she’s in a lawsuit and can’t see over her, over her pay grade or over heels with it. And like, I didn’t skip a beat. I’m like, yeah, send me a couple sentences. I’m going to send that out to a bunch of lawyers and med mal and, and other areas that I think are relevant to this.

[00:08:00] Steve Fretzin: And I’ll find you a name. Like I didn’t, I don’t, I don’t even think about it. It’s just, that’s what I do. And I think there’s people that get to that point in their networking career. That it’s just instinctual. I think you’re there. I think I’m there. And I think Ken is there and Levinson shout out to Kenny.

[00:08:15] Steve Fretzin: So let’s talk you’re there. 

[00:08:17] Phil Fornaro: You’re there more than us. You’re, you’re phenomenal. You really are. It’s unbelievable. 

[00:08:21] Steve Fretzin: I’m doing what I, yeah, I mean, it’s in to your point earlier. Holy crap. If I made mistakes, I mean my, I start off my, I think I start off my networking handbook saying no one’s made more mistakes than me.

[00:08:32] Steve Fretzin: But, but ultimately it’s what we, it’s what we learn and what we improve and what we internalize that, that makes, that makes it happen. Naturally. Many lawyers are still out there struggling, making the same mistakes that we used to make. And what do you think, what are some of the top mistakes that you’re seeing other professionals make around networking, some things that they, they’re not thinking about or not doing?

[00:08:56] Phil Fornaro: Yeah. So the core mistake, I mean, it all surrounds this one thing. They don’t listen. So what happens is you go into a group of people and you’re all set and fired up. You’ve got your elevator. We talked to us before the elevator speech. Yeah. And you’re hammering it and you’re good and you got it polished and you’re awesome.

[00:09:19] Phil Fornaro: The guy’s talking about something and you’re not listening to what he’s saying. And as a result, this guy’s done with you guys. He’s talking, this guy talks too much, right? Maybe they’ll, maybe your listeners will say that I talk too much, but who knows? So I’m just being interviewed. So it’s different. I think 

[00:09:37] Steve Fretzin: you’re allowed to talk in the interview.

[00:09:38] Steve Fretzin: It’s actually appreciate it. 

[00:09:40] Phil Fornaro: Yeah, that’s, that’s part of the interview process. So, so what, what, what I learned a long time ago is when I go into a networking situation, first I talk and some people goes, oh, well, that person’s not good enough, or, you know, this isn’t the right person. I’ll tell you what, every single conversation I have is critical to my growth as a person, doesn’t matter if it has nothing to do with me getting business.

[00:10:03] Phil Fornaro: I’m listening to that person, understanding that person. And I don’t really speak until other than to ask more questions about what they’re talking about people instinctively. I think that’s the word of the show here is are very, very. Interested in talking about what they do. And it’s cool because when you absorb them and learn about them and you get things, and then your mind starts going connections.

[00:10:30] Phil Fornaro: And then the second mistake, and then I’ll pause, is that you don’t try to help them, you don’t try to figure out what their problem is, or you don’t relate or connect mentally to them, and then You don’t have to talk about yourself at all. It’s it’s the most wonderful thing. And you’ve sold that person without even trying.

[00:10:48] Steve Fretzin: Well, it’s like you just, you just basically laid down the whole foundation of networking and business development and in a couple of points. So it’s, it’s how good are we at listening? It’s how are we in a position to respond and react? When we’ve taken it all in, it’s like a good therapist, right? You spend, you know, asking questions, questions, questions, and you know, it doesn’t, the therapist doesn’t really have to talk too much, just has to sit back.

[00:11:11] Steve Fretzin: And in, when the person feels understood and listened to, and then there’s an opportunity to help them, you’re, you’re just, it’s like the grand prize of networking from a standpoint of how you just made someone else feel, which may ultimately be the most important thing. 

[00:11:27] Phil Fornaro: That’s right. That, you know, steal my thunder there.

[00:11:29] Phil Fornaro: Yeah, absolutely. Combine thunder 

[00:11:32] Steve Fretzin: and lightning together, Phil. That’s what we’re making. We’re making a storm of networking good ideas. I love it. But there’s also, you know, practical things that we need to do that some people don’t think about. And I’ll give you an example. And this has really been hitting me lately.

[00:11:47] Steve Fretzin: It’s fine to be a giver, right? I get that. And we both get that. And most people get that. Give to gain, give to gain, give to gain. The problem is, is that I’m seeing people give and give and give and then wonder when is it coming back. When in fact what they need to do or what they may want to consider doing is, That the person that they’re giving to doesn’t have the same net networking chops or acumen that they have.

[00:12:10] Steve Fretzin: So some people need to be coached and need to be helped in how they can give back. They want to give back. They don’t know how to give back. So it’s how are we coaching them to say, Hey, you know what? I’m glad that worked out for you. They say, how can I help you? And you say, well, if you ever run into somebody, no, you need to say, look, here’s who I’m looking to meet.

[00:12:29] Steve Fretzin: This is, this is who you may know. This is in your circle. And here’s how I want to be introduced. And I’m going to give you a quick example too, because I’m not, I’m talking a lot. Now, here we go. I talked to a very high level, high profile lawyer, friend of mine that I’m helping out. He helps me out. Okay.

[00:12:45] Steve Fretzin: He wanted me to send him information about what I do so he could give it to a couple people. And I stopped him on the spot and I said, look, I don’t know that that’s the best direction. If these people trust you and through that trust, they’re going to trust me that it makes sense for us to meet. If you could just say, Hey, why don’t you meet with Steve for 30 minutes?

[00:13:02] Steve Fretzin: Let him, you know, get to know him, get to know what he does, tell him what you’ve got cooking, why you want to get to a million dollars, whatever it might be. And then if they say they want to meet me, then make an email introduction. So if I had sent him the information, my guess is that it would have gone into their inboxes.

[00:13:19] Steve Fretzin: They would have reviewed it. It never would have led to, I have two meetings on my schedule for tomorrow from that one meeting with that lawyer that never would have happened if I just sent him the information, which is what he requested. 

[00:13:30] Phil Fornaro: Yeah. So that’s funny. That was just, I was just with the young attorney the other day to, to, to your point here and he was sitting there and he was, you know, talking and he was, you know, no, it wasn’t a young attorney.

[00:13:40] Phil Fornaro: What am I talking about? It was a young, it was a college kid. It’s a hockey player, Roosevelt university. And we were talking and he was, you know, he was confused and I was introduced to him. He was in the finance industry. So I called over one of my one of my buddies from chase and I said, Hey, you know, come talk to this young kid.

[00:13:57] Phil Fornaro: He’s in your industry. He goes, oh, okay, cool. So then he said, I go, I go, you know, get his card and he goes, what do you mean? Is that appropriate? I go, not only is it appropriate, he loves the fact that you’re asking for his car. And it’s important. He goes, well, I didn’t understand. I said, the conversion rate of giving your business card at an event and expecting a call back is probably.

[00:14:24] Phil Fornaro: One to 10 percent getting a card, writing down the note that this guy likes the Cubs and he’s going on a helicopter ride tomorrow, sending the note the day after that saying, how was your helicopter ride? And the Cubs lost again is so impactful to that person. That person will remember you because you made him feel good.

[00:14:48] Phil Fornaro: He made him understand there’s the feel word again that you brought up. And that’s the most important thing is the follow up after you listen and you project that you listen. It doesn’t, it doesn’t matter what it is. It’s just important that you do that. That’s why the connection is important. What you said was important always Have the person talk to you because no one’s going to talk like you do about what you know the most 

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[00:17:01] Steve Fretzin: At Fretson, we use Get Staffed Up for Marketing Person and you know how good our marketing is. Learn more at GetStaffedUp. com slash BeThatLawyer. I was in a networking, I run a bunch of networking groups and there was one I was in and we were doing a small like five person round table and The idea was that we would share what we do, who we’re looking to meet and then, you know, you know, see where it would lead.

[00:17:24] Steve Fretzin: And there were a couple of people taking notes and there were a couple of people that weren’t and I stopped the meeting and I kind of said, hey, guys, I just want to let you know the folks at this table that are taking notes. They’re going to be the ones that are going to give out connections and that are going to be helpful.

[00:17:36] Steve Fretzin: The people that are not taking notes. You’re, you’re not going to remember any of this and you’re not going to be really helpful to anybody and I’m not trying to make you feel bad. I’m letting you know if you really want to be proactive and helping others, you might want to write some things down. You don’t have a steel trap for a brain.

[00:17:50] Steve Fretzin: So, you know, and I hate to be that, you know, straightforward, but at the end of the day, I’m not going to remember cubs. I’m not going to remember helicopter. I’m not going to remember two children, six and nine years old. If I don’t write things down, it’s just like, that’s not the way brains work with the millions of messages we’re getting bombarded with each day.

[00:18:08] Steve Fretzin: So when you think about networking and how it leads to business without thinking about it, leading to business, or, I mean, I guess that would be what I’d ask you is what’s your, your like mental strategy. About giving to others, helping others, and it’ll come back. But you don’t have to think about that. Or you are thinking about that?

[00:18:25] Phil Fornaro: No, I’m not thinking about it at all. It’s sort of counterintuitive back to Seinfeld. 

[00:18:29] Steve Fretzin: There we go. 

[00:18:30] Phil Fornaro: I basically do not care if it comes back to me, if I’m helping somebody adding value, making someone feel good about themselves, making someone feel good about what they’re doing, connecting them to the right person.

[00:18:46] Phil Fornaro: It’s that joy of people getting those light bulb moments or aha moments go. Oh my god. Thank you What can I do for you? Nothing, nothing, because I guarantee you, and it’s, it’s this delayed gratification thing. Nobody understands that the more good you do for the world, the more it comes back. And I’m a big energy guy.

[00:19:06] Phil Fornaro: That’s the, the world’s circular. You’re bad to people. It’s karma, whatever you want to call it. It’ll come back bad to you, but the more you give without expecting a return gratuity or anything at all, even a thank you, I don’t even care about a thank you. I care about the reaction I get. So, if I can do more and I’m helping people, that’s my gratification.

[00:19:30] Phil Fornaro: I want them to do better. And I guarantee it, again, it’s easy to say, oh, well, you always get the business. It doesn’t matter. It’s not. Why? And if you think about it differently, then you’ll start and just try it. That’s what I tell all my young attorneys that just try something, try that and don’t ask them for business.

[00:19:48] Phil Fornaro: If it’s going to come and it could be the rich uncle that comes back to you because I heard you help my niece and thank you very much. You know, you’re a good guy cares how it comes. And it doesn’t matter because it’s all about making the world a better place. 

[00:20:02] Steve Fretzin: Well, I think and I’ve had so many conversations with attorneys about in particular, making the legal industry a better place and leaving it better than we found it.

[00:20:09] Steve Fretzin: And again, I’m not a lawyer, but I’ve invested 17 years in this, in this group, and I want to have a legacy. I want to, I want to, you know, let business development and networking in this interview continue on far beyond, you know, my years and and just help them realize that, you know, client development’s not what they signed up for.

[00:20:27] Steve Fretzin: Okay. And it’s not what you signed up for. I get it. However, it’s, you know, times are a changing and if you want to be successful long term in your career, learning, networking, learning, time management, learning, business development, personal branding, it’s sort of, you know, eat or be eat or be eaten. 

[00:20:44] Phil Fornaro: Yeah.

[00:20:44] Phil Fornaro: And what you said so many things there that I want to respond to in a positive way. The interesting thing about client development and business development and everything you just said is, is that it’s resulted in my best and most fulfilling relationships. And I’m not just talking about, you know, relationships with people that you see on the street or in the community, my clients, my strategic partners, they become my dear friends and, and they’ll do anything for me.

[00:21:17] Phil Fornaro: And it’s like, that wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t go out and interact with them and ask about their kids or go and be with them at events or. Support their organization and post about them. It’s it’s it’s huge and you’re right They don’t teach any of this in law school. So maybe you should teach a law school clerk versus an adjunct 

[00:21:36] Steve Fretzin: I have started young I have spoken at some law schools but not in any kind of formal fashion But yeah I mean, I think I think law schools are starting to turn the corner in their practice management groups and things like that but classes, but it’s It’s still, you know, a slow moving, slow moving train.

[00:21:52] Steve Fretzin: So let me ask you this. You’ve got strong networking acumen, definitely doing the givers, you know, the givers thing. And how is that then relating to how business does come back to you and how you get, so for example, a lot higher conversion rate with clients and locking up more business? 

[00:22:10] Phil Fornaro: Yeah, what I found is the key to conversion is to provide a solution and it’s counterintuitive again, you know, then Seinfeld.

[00:22:19] Phil Fornaro: The idea is That hey, well, I’m giving away my time. They could take my knowledge and then take it elsewhere. I don’t want to do this. I always want to build them for this, but a quick, you know, hey, this is your problem. Here are the solutions. Here are the steps to solve your problem. And here are a couple, couple ways that this could go.

[00:22:40] Phil Fornaro: I always call it my philosophy on problem solving. We’ll have a different event, a different podcast on that. Hopefully at some point is that I have a decision tree for them. I give them all the possible scenarios and say, this is what it looks like. We have to dig deeper into it. However, one, I can’t give you a straight answer, but these are some of the things.

[00:22:59] Phil Fornaro: What the goal is on the call is to give them a sense of relief. Give them the idea that you’re there to help them, that you don’t really care about the fee at that point. All you really care about is giving them options and thoughts that were residually my conversion rates near a hundred percent as a result of that.

[00:23:20] Phil Fornaro: And the only clients that we don’t convert are typically because of our network, where we get our clients from are ones that just don’t fit our, our outside general counsel model. So, I 

[00:23:30] Steve Fretzin: mean, but I think, I think you’re missing something that I just want to insert into what you just said. I think there’s a transference or transferal of trust when you’re getting referred people, they’re coming in sort of pre sold, like they’re gonna, they’re probably gonna hire you.

[00:23:45] Steve Fretzin: You know, if you, if you showed up in a clown suit and made funny noises, like they’re nine out of 10, they’re going to go with you. And then you’re demonstrating your expertise and then demonstrating how you help walk them through that, you know, that problem to solutions is just the icing on the cake. I think there’s some, yeah.

[00:24:04] Phil Fornaro: Yeah, see, see that? I thought it was, I thought it was really good, but it’s just, it’s just my network, which is great. It’s even 

[00:24:11] Steve Fretzin: better. So when, when the lawyer that I spoke with spoke to his two junior people about meeting with me, there was really not a lot of question that they were going to meet with me.

[00:24:21] Steve Fretzin: Now hiring me and engaging me is a different story, but that transfer all of trust from him to his underlings and to meeting with me. It’s they weren’t going to say no, because it was too solid of a relationship that the way he was talking about me. So I think a lot of it’s that where I get concerned is when, let’s say, you know, someone’s coming to you, but they’re, you know, they’re worried that maybe you’re too small, or maybe they’re, they’re worried about, you know, they’re talking with you and 2 or 3 other very successful law firms.

[00:24:50] Steve Fretzin: And, you know, now it’s a little bit of competitive situation. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Where, you know, having a really good system for how you run that meeting will win the day more than maybe someone else who’s just doing an aggressive pitch about this is why our firm so great. This is why I’m so great. And, you know, that kind of you know, the pitch meetings that people talk about.

[00:25:10] Phil Fornaro: Yeah. And it’s the, and that’s why I tell people, I said. No, I encourage you to go talk to other law firms and I, and one of the key takeaways I always, I always say, I said, if there, if your discussion with them is better than your discussion with me, and you don’t feel the same way, I encourage you to go to the other law firm.

[00:25:30] Phil Fornaro: And I say on top of that, I said, and I would appreciate just as a Curtis, you came through a good referral source, or this is how you came in. I would appreciate if you would give me that attorney’s name because we have a lot of conflict and I would love to give that attorney some referrals. And it’s true, because I can’t find a lot of attorneys that do what we do that approach these things in the way that we approach them, especially on the transactional side.

[00:25:56] Phil Fornaro: You know, a lot of litigation attorneys we, we deal with on a daily basis, but the transactional, you know, we want to and I think you brought that up earlier today. We want a community of attorneys that are smarter. And, you know, if it happened the other day, and I’m sorry, I could go on 1 more tangent here.

[00:26:12] Phil Fornaro: 1 of the 1 of my clients said, well, we saw a trucking agreement. That was a little bit different than yours. It had these provisions. I go. Can you connect me with the attorney so I can send my trucking agreement to that person and hope that they’ll send me theirs. So we have a better trucking agreement to protect all of our clients in the trucking industry.

[00:26:33] Phil Fornaro: And it’s not, I’m going to beat that person. We want the agreement because we’re protecting our clients. 

[00:26:38] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. 

[00:26:39] Phil Fornaro: Again, it’ll Ken. Sorry. 

[00:26:40] Steve Fretzin: There we go. Really great. So let’s hit one more point and then we’re going to wrap things up with our game changing book. The ultimately the, the key to success. And I think the kind of wrapping this, this up is that we, we need to build a network, we need to build a network with the right people, the way to do that is to meet enough people to.

[00:27:02] Steve Fretzin: Decide that there are kind of people ask enough questions be a good listener help them selflessly and good things come back to us and also when we meet with perspective clients that were again listening and putting them in a position to kind of walk them through a buying decision to make sure it’s a good fit.

[00:27:21] Steve Fretzin: And if it is great, if it isn’t, well, good. And you’re hopefully you end up with a great lawyer outside of me. But what I think you’re also saying is that generally, they just go with you. 

[00:27:30] Phil Fornaro: Yeah, if it’s okay, I’d like to sort of expand on something that you said along with this networking side of things and everyone’s client focused and network focused.

[00:27:41] Phil Fornaro: It took me, I don’t know, 27 years to figure out who my people were and who would feed into my, my model, my business model where I can help the most people, not just clients, just help the most people. I found out that accountants and financial planners and insurance brokers, commercial and industrial insurance brokers were my people.

[00:28:04] Phil Fornaro: And that to your point earlier makes the conversion rate, the trust factor even better. So the concentration on those strategic partners is, is equally as important as going, you know, and hitting the streets talking to people. 

[00:28:19] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. And if you’re not in a position to articulate when you’re networking, who those targets are, you may then be wasting time.

[00:28:26] Steve Fretzin: So if, if insurance and financial planners and, and, and such. And you’re not openly telling people as you’re networking that those are the people that you want to meet, then they don’t know. And so they just, they think you want to meet other lawyers or they think you just, they’ll keep their eyes open for you.

[00:28:40] Steve Fretzin: And I did air quotes cause that’s a. A BS line that everybody gives I’ll keep my eyes open. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Well every day that without sharing that intention of who you really want to meet and who are your people? It’s very hard for people to to get you in front of those folks So I just think that’s a really good place to end because that advice is so freaking sound That people should be writing that down.

[00:29:04] Steve Fretzin: FYI Phil, holy mackerel, game changing book. Buy back your time. Who’s that? Dan, Dan, Martel, 

[00:29:11] Phil Fornaro: Dan, Martel, Martel. 

[00:29:13] Steve Fretzin: All right. What is that? Buy back your time. 

[00:29:15] Phil Fornaro: Yeah, that’s a game cheater. I I’m a, an avid reader and you know, everybody hates when I read books because then I immediately implement whatever’s in the book and start chasing me and they go, Oh no, here he goes again.

[00:29:28] Phil Fornaro: But that book is a rock star and it will help you. And basically the book, you know, is somebody summarize it just quickly is, is that you are in your business all the time doing things, learning things, implementing things, but there are probably hundreds of things you do on a daily basis that you shouldn’t be doing buyback.

[00:29:51] Phil Fornaro: Your time basically says you figure out. What those things are. And it’s the Phil Fulton delegate and elevate that he always talks to me about is you figure out what you can delegate. Once you delegate something, you’re freed of it. And then someone else is doing it. Likely if you hate doing it, they’re doing it better than you, because they love doing it.

[00:30:14] Phil Fornaro: And that’s sort of the shocker of the, of the book is, is that, Hey, someone likes to do things I hate, so why not give it to them? Because they love it. 

[00:30:23] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. 

[00:30:24] Phil Fornaro: So the idea is you, you figure out what your business. Project, so let’s say you make 100, 000 dollars a year of profit out of your business. You do a mathematical problem and determine.

[00:30:35] Phil Fornaro: That’s in the book and says, okay, you can spend 25, 000 dollars on a person that’s going to go ahead and do all the things your emails, your calendaring, your scheduling, whatever it may be. And that’ll free your time up to do more of the things that you need to do for your business. And in this situation, it’s freed me up to do business development and client interaction and doing podcasts with Steve Frutzen.

[00:30:58] Phil Fornaro: So there we 

[00:30:58] Steve Fretzin: go. Yeah. I mean, it’s, so it’s, it’s time management, maybe one Oh one or two Oh one, we can decide what level ultimately. There’s, as you said, a lot of things that are way under the lawyer’s pay grade, and yet they’re still doing their bookkeeping. They’re still making copies. They’re still doing admin, still doing basic marketing, and it’s a huge mistake, huge mistake.

[00:31:20] Steve Fretzin: So I try to get all my clients to A, you know, do their business development, build their high end hours, and then think about how they can delegate just about everything else. And that’s not easy to do, but it’s, it’s the right thing to do. So I think check that book out, everybody, buy back your time. Want to take a moment before we wrap up though, with thanking our sponsors, of course, rankings, IO, Lawmatics, and Get Staffed Up, all amazing friends of the show and Phil, if people want to network with you, they want to kind of get a real flavor for the way you’ve been doing things.

[00:31:51] Steve Fretzin: What’s the best way for them to reach you? 

[00:31:53] Phil Fornaro: Yeah. LinkedIn always works out, you know, it’s under my name, Philip Fornaro. Love to network with people. If something reverberated, you know, with you, I’m glad to help you. Just just call me. I’ve never refused a phone call or an email or I will get back to you.

[00:32:06] Phil Fornaro: It’s important and just do those things. And maybe this is a good starting point. Steve for some of these people that are. Having difficulty networking i’m an easy lead just call me and you’re going to get a return call and chat 

[00:32:19] Steve Fretzin: and there’s a good chance that you’re going to find someone quality to introduce them to because you’re going to do what I do which is you fair it out like what’s what you know what are the real connections that are going to be meaningful to people.

[00:32:31] Steve Fretzin: And make them happen maker of dreams is maybe where we’ll call it. Yeah, I like it maker dreams. Okay, bill. Thanks so much, man. Not only do I appreciate you as a friend, I appreciate you as a part of my rainmaker roundtables and just doing a killer job on this podcast and really sharing a lot of wisdom. I know the people listening right now are are are nodding along with me that this was this was well worth their time.

[00:32:53] Steve Fretzin: Learning from you today, but thanks, man. 

[00:32:55] Phil Fornaro: No, thank you. I’ve learned, learned a lot from you and thank you for all your efforts to help me grow as an attorney. 

[00:33:01] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, well, listen, it’s all about, it’s all about partnerships and all that. So everybody take heed, take warning, make some changes, lots of improvements.

[00:33:10] Steve Fretzin: Go back and listen to past episodes of this show. I mean, there’s so much so much knowledge and information That’s going to be helpful to you in your career and phil is just the best example of that today So thanks everybody for spending time with phil and I today on the be that lawyer with fretzin podcast Take care.

[00:33:25] Steve Fretzin: Everybody. Be safe. Be well. We’ll talk again very soon.

[00:33:32] Narrator: Thanks for listening To be that Lawyer life-changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Visit Steve’s websitom for additional information and to stay up to date on the latest legal business development and marketing trends, trends. For more information and important links about today’s episode, check out today’s show notes.