In this episode, Steve Fretzin and Rachel Steininger discuss:
- The cost of learning how to run a business on your own.
- What it takes to scale your law firm and how it differs from your early days of practicing law.
- The secrets to working on your business.
- Avoiding the Curse of the Competent.
- Personalize the strategies that you have based on where you want to be and who you want to represent. What works for someone else may not work for you.
- Do the thing that maximizes your value in any given hour. Taking time to do business development will maximize your value long term, not just today.
- Start utilizing the tools that are out there and embrace that technology…but make sure it is the right tool for your law firm and get the right training on it.
- It is about doing more than just the tasky stuff. While checking off a to-do list can feel like you’re accomplishing things, it is not necessarily moving the needle forward in your business and creating a business that works for you.
“We need the business to be the foundation and then we need to approach the systems and the people in the same way because one thing about a law firm is it’s a people-reliant business. We don’t need more locations. We don’t need more machinery or equipment. We need more people – because people are the real value driver. When you have good people in a law firm, you’re going to have a successful law firm.” — Rachel Steininger
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About Rachel Steininger: Rachel Steininger is the founder of Upward Acceleration, a business consulting and coaching firm focused on getting small and solo law firm owners out of the day-to-day grind so they can own and grow their business without it owning them. She helps put these law firms in the best position to grow successfully and sustainably as they build trusted relationships, create accountability systems and a high trust/high talent team without the micromanagement, and optimize their business processes for profitable long-term growth.
Connect with Rachel Steininger:
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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] Rachel Steininger: People are coming to me a couple of years in and that dream that they had is not turning out to be the reality. They might be doing okay on business development. They know they need more help. They know where to go, right? But if they need the help on. They’re feeling like, okay, the revenue is coming in, but it’s not actually turning out to be the freedom and the possibility or the profit that I thought I was going to get.
[00:00:28] 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 Bretzin, will take a deeper dive, helping you grow your law practice in less time with greater results. Now, here’s your host, Steve Bretzin.
[00:00:50] Steve Fretzin: Hey, everybody. Welcome to Be That Lawyer. I am Steve Fretz and your host is the announcer just mentioned a second ago. And this show, as you guys know, it’s all about helping you to be that lawyer. Someone who’s confident, organized, and a skilled rainmaker. We are sitting in the heart of the summer here in Chicago and, uh, it’s just a wonderful time to, you know, work with lawyers to help them grow their law practices.
[00:01:12] Steve Fretzin: If you’re hearing about Fretson for the first time, uh, we work with lawyers in two ways. One is a very thorough and involved MBA style coaching and training program. We also work with Rainmakers through our peer advisory groups called the Rainmaker Roundtable. So if either of those sound good to you, please don’t be afraid to reach out and, uh, get a 30 minute consultation with me.
[00:01:32] Steve Fretzin: Uh, also if you haven’t checked out, would like a free copy of my first book, sales, free selling to understand my philosophy on why I hate sales, just like you hate sales, then you can go to, uh, frets and. com slash sales dash free dash selling and grab a free copy of that book. And that is enough of me.
[00:01:51] Steve Fretzin: More importantly, I’ve got Rachel waiting in the wings to do a great interview. How’s it going, Rachel?
[00:01:55] Rachel Steininger: Great. I’m so excited to be
[00:01:57] Steve Fretzin: here, Steve. Yeah. Yeah. You seem like you’re shot out of a cannon today. I love it.
[00:02:01] Rachel Steininger: Energy’s
[00:02:02] Steve Fretzin: high. I’m ready. Right. You gotta, you gotta bring my, I just ran a, a two hour, uh, networking event through ProVisors, uh, here in Chicago and gave it, that all my energy.
[00:02:11] Steve Fretzin: And for some reason, you know, it was down. Now it’s back up because, uh, you’re helping me with that. You’re helping me get my energy back up. Appreciate that. We’ve got our quote of the show and this one I think has come up before and I think the reason is is because it’s just so smart. It’s just so good.
[00:02:26] Steve Fretzin: If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. That’s an African proverb. Share, share, share, share. Why is that your quote of the show? I
[00:02:37] Rachel Steininger: love this quote because I think all of us and especially when we’re talking about, I know it wouldn’t apply to me, to you, to lawyers, we’re all high achievers, right?
[00:02:45] Rachel Steininger: And it’s very easy to just go do something ourselves and do it on our own, but really the better results, the longevity, it’s more fun when you have other people involved, when you have the right people around you, something is so much more fun, so much more impactful. And I just think. That when we start looking at the human aspect of what we do and involving that, oh, man, we really can take our results the extra mile.
[00:03:10] Rachel Steininger: We’ve really
[00:03:11] Steve Fretzin: can and I, and I just know that the way to get ahead is to fail or make mistakes and learn from them. But sometimes the reality is that people aren’t able to see what’s in front of them. They’re not able to see the force through the trees or however we want to say it. So, you know, going going.
[00:03:28] Steve Fretzin: Further together, that might be mentors and coaches that might be partners that might be a, you know, a team helping you advance in your relationships, helping you advance versus, Hey, I just, I’m going to just try to figure it out all by myself.
[00:03:40] Rachel Steininger: Yes, it’s so easy to get in this isolation chamber. I’m feeling like we’re operating in a solo and that our problems only belong to us and we personalize them.
[00:03:48] Rachel Steininger: We start knocking ourselves down in the process. And that really trips us up, right? It’s not just the fact that other people can bring in outside perspective. They can bring a levity to the situation that’s otherwise very serious or bring an outside perspective. It’s that when we’re doing things on our own, we often get trapped in our own ways of thinking and doing and not seeing the reality that other people out there are having similar problems to us, that we’re not alone and that there are others to help us solve these situations and to start really bringing out the best that’s in each one of us.
[00:04:19] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. I was talking to an attorney the other day who said, you know, I’ve been focused on business development for, for 10 years. And I evaluated that lawyer on so many different levels from planning and execution, marketing and everything else. And what I identified and shared with him, he wasn’t real happy with my language on this, but it was like, I think you have one year of experience 10 times because he was doing the same stuff for 10 years, and it really wasn’t getting him results.
[00:04:42] Steve Fretzin: It really wasn’t getting him where he wanted to go. And I was like, so that’s, and that was my problem in sale coming up in sales was, I think, you know, I just had managers telling me sell, sell, sell Brett’s and go get them, you know, stuff, uh, you know, a square peg in a, in a, in a round hole. It never felt right to me.
[00:04:58] Steve Fretzin: And so I think I needed to kind of become a student of the game. And to make those mistakes and learn. And that’s really what makes someone a great lawyer, makes someone a great business developer is, is that that change, right? That can occur.
[00:05:10] Rachel Steininger: Well, and understanding that we can all grab the latest tactic or technique and try a new thing out and then.
[00:05:18] Rachel Steininger: Hey, sometimes it doesn’t work right off the bat because you don’t have that experience, right? You just you’re just starting out, even though it feels like you should be able to get further along, but I think also it’s um, it’s choosing the thing that you really want to be vested in. Right? What is the form of selling and business development that works really well for you?
[00:05:34] Rachel Steininger: What is the practice area of law that works really well for you when we’re dealing with a business owner? What is the aspect of the business you love to do? What do you dislike doing? Because yeah. Nobody is going to be motivated to get the 10 years of experience on something they really don’t like doing.
[00:05:50] Rachel Steininger: So play into what we really love. And once you’ve decided you love it, or you’re willing to put in the effort that love the love in the subject matter, expertise tend to go hand in hand.
[00:06:03] Steve Fretzin: Well, Rachel Steineger, you are the founder of Upward Acceleration, and we’re going to get into some heavy, heavy, you know, BD talk today and helping lawyers to really be their best versions.
[00:06:15] Steve Fretzin: Give us a little background, how you, you know, came to be and how you got into legal and the whole mishigas. Yeah,
[00:06:21] Rachel Steininger: so before my whole coaching and consulting experience, I worked in corporate, I worked in investments, which is actually a really interesting place to start because I think it frames so much of what I think about with anybody that I’m working with today, which is how do we maximize that ROI and learning when these are some basic building blocks of how we have.
[00:06:40] Rachel Steininger: Value that can be compensated in our business, both in the short term as well as long term. And so I had this amazing experience, but what I describe it as for anybody working as an employee right now, in any form or fashion, you get to be an entrepreneur before you’re an entrepreneur. And I got to work on an amazing team.
[00:06:58] Rachel Steininger: I had a boss who I’d say, Hey, I think we should run a client conference. And you go, great, Rachel, go do it. And so I’d run that. I ran a lot of product initiatives. And so learning that from this experience of needing people to do things in order to get things done who did not report to me, I had no authority, no hire, fire, pay, promote, and yet we still needed to get things done and having these experiences of going to somebody and say, Hey, let’s bring in, I worked in institutional investments, large dollar amounts.
[00:07:29] Rachel Steininger: Hey, let’s bring in this 2 billion portfolio. This person wants to invest with us. And I need you to do this 1 task, 5 minutes a day. No, when somebody would just say no, and then you have to find a workaround. You can’t go back to the, uh, the 2 billion dollar investors. They, uh, you know, they don’t feel like doing this thing.
[00:07:46] Rachel Steininger: So finding those workarounds, how even that challenge of being an entrepreneur in a large organization and then how to shift right? I got to a point where. I wanted to make change more immediate. And yet those lessons from having worked in that environment came with me of how do we bring other people involved?
[00:08:05] Rachel Steininger: How do we make a people reliant business more efficient? So every moment that we’re doing the business development, we have confidence that we can bring it in and service it. We have confidence that more revenue isn’t going to also mean more stress and less profit. So that was my background was working in this institutional environment.
[00:08:25] Rachel Steininger: And then I Shifted out of corporate. I was helping a friend launch a business. I realized how much I just loved the playground, so to speak of solving business problems. Like when you love solving problems, business problems, I think are the most fun to solve. So I ended up it evolved. I had had great working relationships with the general counsel and my corporate career, great working relationships.
[00:08:49] Rachel Steininger: And then I’d gone through a contentious divorce in my personal life. And so when I started, my first law firm client was a family law client. And when we started chatting about their business, what was great is they’d start explaining the process and try to explain to me how it worked. And I was like, no, I know that I’ve been through this.
[00:09:08] Rachel Steininger: And we got to focus right on the core value of what they did as opposed to all the, the process.
[00:09:13] Steve Fretzin: And is that, is that when you transition to working more with lawyers?
[00:09:16] Rachel Steininger: Yes. So that really kicked off that work. It’s been very organic of working with lawyers of that has led to, you know, referrals to another referral.
[00:09:24] Rachel Steininger: And so at this point, I would say 80% of what I do is with law firms.
[00:09:29] Steve Fretzin: So let’s talk about that. When you think about law firms and kind of where they sort of missed the mark in their development, what are sort of like the top three things that you’re seeing day to day that they’re coming to you for that you’re just saying, wow, this is really not like it should be.
[00:09:48] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. I think a
[00:09:48] Rachel Steininger: lot of people, especially when they go to start a law firm, what they’re looking for read on, they’re looking for flexibility and they’re looking for that financial opportunity in that container running your own business. You have more of it, right? You get to keep more of that profit. And one I find is people are coming to me a couple of years in and that dream that they had is not turning out to be the reality.
[00:10:12] Rachel Steininger: They might be doing okay on business development. They know they need more help. They know where to go, right? But if they need the help on, they’re feeling like, okay, the revenue is coming in, but it’s not actually turning out to be the freedom and the flexibility or the profit that I thought I was going to get.
[00:10:29] Rachel Steininger: And what I find with them is that complexity of owning a business adds this extra channel of work, right? Every lawyer needs to think about How do I do my work? Well, how do I have the subject matter expertise and apply that for clients? But also how do I generate the business? And so those two streams really happen no matter what the vehicle is that you’re working in.
[00:10:50] Rachel Steininger: But once you own the law firm, you have this whole extra track of owning a business. And we’re fed a lot of different ideas about what we should be doing. You know, Oh, go try this thing or go try that thing. Or you should be working on your business. And nobody ever really explains what that means.
[00:11:05] Rachel Steininger: Nobody’s taught somebody how to run a business. And in law school, and so what I find is folks are coming to me feeling burnt out. They’re feeling overwhelmed. They’re even questioning whether they want to do this anymore and they know there’s got to be a better way, but finding the time and carving that out.
[00:11:23] Rachel Steininger: Really difficult to do, and so I’m treating the financial results. Through the systems and the people as opposed to the direct selling part of
[00:11:31] Steve Fretzin: it. Right. But it’s this, right. And the systems and the people and the delegation and the business aspect that again, not only are they not taught in law school, they’re not taught, you know, even if they work at a law firm and they decide to go on their own.
[00:11:43] Steve Fretzin: So they really need to understand. What are the resources available who’s going to teach me how to run this business? Because if you just try to figure it out on your own, yes, you can do it. And many have, but, but what is the cost? The time cost, the actual cost of hiring bad vendors or bringing in an associate too early or whatever it might be, because you don’t really understand what the progression should be and how quick it should go.
[00:12:08] Steve Fretzin: And who do you really need? Or it’s like the top three or four kind of focus points to get things organized.
[00:12:14] Rachel Steininger: Absolutely. And I think, too, that we’re given so many tactics that we can try. And maybe you talk to your buddy from law school and they’ve started a practice. They give you some good advice. But what works for them is not necessarily what’s going to work for you.
[00:12:27] Rachel Steininger: And so finding a way of personalizing the strategy that you have around where you want to be in the marketplace. What do you want to represent when you go to hire? Are you just hiring a warm body? Are you hiring somebody who looks good on paper? Are you hiring that person that’s going to be a great fit?
[00:12:44] Rachel Steininger: For your business and that kind of differentiation that’s discernment. Isn’t something that just happens, actually, it’s actually a skill and there’s an actual process behind it that we can follow.
[00:12:55] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. So, I mean, it’s great that I teach lawyers business development and focus on helping them grow, but many of them will hesitate to talk with me or hire me because they’re already overwhelmed with not only the work, but also everything that’s involved in growing a business and or operating the business, as I should say.
[00:13:13] Steve Fretzin: So what, what are the things that, that they have to understand to make. Everything tick and work together, because that’s really what’s missing, I think, is, is that that either lack of knowledge and then lack of execution on what, how does this run like a business? Because it is a business. It’s not. You know, it’s not play time, right?
[00:13:33] Steve Fretzin: It,
[00:13:34] Rachel Steininger: I think, first of all, the ones that I see that are doing it successfully, they’ve really learned what, what it means to work on your business. So let’s define that first. I think it’s important to say it’s not just doing the tasky stuff. The tasky stuff is boring. I don’t know anybody who really likes doing it.
[00:13:49] Rachel Steininger: It feels really good because you’re checking off a to do list. And so it can feel like you’re accomplishing things, but it’s not really moving the needle forward. When I think of somebody working on their business of creating a business that works for them, as opposed to them. Feeling like they’re carrying it all on their shoulders, right?
[00:14:02] Rachel Steininger: You’re talking about folks who know that if I bring in more, it’s just going to overwhelm me. And so before they go and get the business development, they need the confidence that they can say to a client, Hey, we’re not going to drop the ball here. We’re going to be able to keep going and to do that. We need to make the business the foundation.
[00:14:18] Rachel Steininger: So this is where I see the more successful attorneys and what I encourage my clients to do is instead of you carrying it around on your shoulders, let’s create the business as the foundation and okay. Think of it as if you are, uh, you built the open faced sandwich upside down, so you flipped your avocado toast upside down on your hands.
[00:14:36] Rachel Steininger: You know, you can, you can lift weights as much as you want to try and hold this avocado toast up. You can try sticking more things in the middle, but it’s gonna be a mess, and things are gonna fall through the cracks. We need the business to be the foundation. And then we need to approach the systems and the people in the same way because 1 thing about a law firm is this is a people reliant business.
[00:14:54] Rachel Steininger: We we don’t need more locations. We don’t need more machinery or equipment. We need more people because. People are the real value driver. When you have good people in a law firm, you’re going to have a successful law firm. But people rely on that. It’s hard for a lot of people to do because now we have to master the delegation and the communication, the hiring.
[00:15:13] Rachel Steininger: And people do, they get burnt. They hire people who, who lied to them, who don’t show up, who ghost them, right? We’ve got some bad experiences out there. So figuring out how to. Handle the employee part of it and then the last part of systemization and how do we systemize this? So we really truly can iterate and improve on that business foundation and bringing this all together I call it an execution engine really looking at what do we really want out of this firm?
[00:15:38] Rachel Steininger: How do we figure out our optimal action plan? How do you bring in the right people and then how do we systemize it and improve from there? Yeah, so what I see That’s what I see the more successful people doing, and that’s what I help my clients to do so that when each new dollar comes in, we flip that sandwich back over.
[00:15:55] Rachel Steininger: It’s stable. We can add more layers if we need to, and now we can grow.
[00:15:59] Steve Fretzin: So it sounds like what really differentiates the folks that are able to work on the business versus in the business is going to be systems and process and people that, right, can do it. And I
[00:16:11] Rachel Steininger: guess I didn’t actually define on the business.
[00:16:13] Rachel Steininger: I look at on the business as the thing that is driving the value long term, right? We have billable hours. That is an immediate revenue hit. We have sales, which is that fairly short term revenue increase. When you take, let’s say you’re making 400 an hour and you take two hours out of your time, you lost technically 800 in that moment.
[00:16:34] Rachel Steininger: And I think this trips lawyers up sometimes because they’d rather have the immediate 800. And let’s be honest, clients and revenue are in your face kind of urgency. But when we can take those two hours and turn them into 800 saved next week and the week after that, and the week after that, and the week after that, how have we maximized long term ROI?
[00:16:54] Rachel Steininger: We’ve just made ourselves. 800 times 50 weeks out of the year. So now we’ve made 40, 000 in our two hours as opposed to 800 in our two hours. How can we maximize that every time we go to work on our business? That’s how I want people to think and lawyers to think about when they do have to take away from the billable hours or the sales.
[00:17:15] Rachel Steininger: Let’s get them off the Hanson Braille and let’s figure out how we permanently get you value from those two hours you’ve taken away.
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[00:19:11] Steve Fretzin: Some of my clients have figured out that. If they focus 100% on business development, and I’ve had some, a number of them on the show that actually produces even like significantly more than an hourly rate, meaning they’re bringing in 25, 50, 100, 000 matters that they can feed off to their team.
[00:19:28] Steve Fretzin: And that’s really the best use of their time, not actually billing 600 an hour, which you would think is counterproductive. Like, Hey, if you’re doing 600 an hour, you should just be billing all the time. And that’s not necessarily the mindset or the reality of, of how profits work. Yes.
[00:19:43] Rachel Steininger: And that’s the key is to find what is the thing that’s maximizing your value in any given hour.
[00:19:48] Rachel Steininger: And I think it’s almost a scarcity trap. A little bit of it is mindset a little bit as that urgency of I’ve got to make payroll or I think it’s also we have this confidence. It’s sort of all spent a lot of time in school, especially anybody who’s gone to graduate school. And so there’s this feeling like I check the box.
[00:20:07] Rachel Steininger: I’ve gotten the rubric. Like, I hit my 600 an hour. And yet it’s all the things that are not on that rubric that will actually create the long term value. And so, yeah, you’re exactly right. For some people, I think this is 1 of the options when somebody is scaling is Is my highest value in being a full time business developer as opposed to a lawyer or doing mostly business development and having other people that I channel the law practice to and, and that depends upon the person to, are they going to want that, but some people will want that.
[00:20:38] Rachel Steininger: Some people want to work on the business and people want to just practice law.
[00:20:41] Steve Fretzin: All right. So there’s someone listening right now, and this could be someone at a big firm. It could be a solo. It could be someone with a small firm. Okay. Yeah. And right now they are not following the execution engine, right?
[00:20:55] Steve Fretzin: They’re doing everything themselves or mostly themselves. They’re billing hours. They’re handling administrative, they’re handling HR, they’re handling, you know, they’re the one setting up the insurance, like whatever it is, they’re doing it all because that’s the way lawyers, many of them are wired. And what would you say are like the top three things that lawyers need to stop doing and either figure out a way to not do it, delegate it.
[00:21:18] Steve Fretzin: Higher around it. What are kind of like the top three like no no’s, if you will. So do you mean
[00:21:25] Rachel Steininger: tactical things that I would look at? Some of the first things that I look at? Yeah,
[00:21:28] Steve Fretzin: the first things you look at, you’re evaluating a lawyer law firm and you’re saying, oh my God, the lawyer’s doing this.
[00:21:34] Steve Fretzin: Bookkeeping. Yeah, bookkeeping. I was going to say, that’s always top of the list. Oh my God, that’s the worst. Stop doing bookkeeping. Yeah. I mean,
[00:21:41] Rachel Steininger: bookkeeping and, you know, any kind of manual payroll calculations, please stop doing that right away. Uh, I, I just, that’s one where it’s not your zone of genius.
[00:21:50] Rachel Steininger: Let’s we’ll take it somewhere else. Another 1 that I see is not using a practice management system, right? 1 of the reasons that I just like that. Well, I want people to use practice management systems because it creates a more scalable law firm. I don’t like writing call reports like I’ve used and systems my whole career and.
[00:22:10] Rachel Steininger: You know, I don’t like doing it, but once you’ve done it, you’ve created it’s in a robust system. I have talked to lawyers where they’re using spreadsheets to manage their client information and spreadsheets are so easy to mess up to move a cell accidentally and you mess up all your client data. And so then they bring somebody in and they’re like, person’s not paying attention to detail.
[00:22:30] Rachel Steininger: No, you gave them a system that’s not built for, like, it’s just, it’s too prone to human error. So I look for things like that. So if you’re trying to manage everything in a spreadsheet, utilize the tools. There’s great technology out there. AI is, we could have a whole conversation about AI. Start utilizing the tools and embrace the technology.
[00:22:50] Rachel Steininger: Well, and I
[00:22:51] Steve Fretzin: would just add something real quick to that. And that is, you know, get the technology, but make sure that the technology is right for you so that you’re not investing in technology that really isn’t a good fit. You got sold a bill of goods and then it’s not being customized to you. You’re not really getting appropriated, proper training.
[00:23:06] Steve Fretzin: Like there’s a lot of ways to, for that to get screwed up fast. So really make sure when that you, yes, you need to get that management system, but make sure you’ve got the proper fit and proper training.
[00:23:17] Rachel Steininger: 100%. I see so many who they’re using the spreadsheet and they’ve been paying for the practice management system, right?
[00:23:22] Rachel Steininger: They’re paying schools. And again, this is sort of that. Yeah, I’m glad you brought it up because I think it’s one of those things where we can be like, Oh, there’s this new thing. Let me go do this. This is going to solve all my problems. And let’s be honest. That’s what sales and marketing does, right?
[00:23:36] Rachel Steininger: Because we’re going to solve all your problems. But the reality is you have to fit it into your own situation, but there’s some big ones. And I think that one’s 1 of them to me is is you can’t expect people to come in and think exactly like you think have the same attention to detail like you have. And so.
[00:23:52] Rachel Steininger: Having that expectation, and I think that would put me into, like, the 3rd thing I look for is. Is really what is somebody’s willingness to delegate? And even solo attorneys on their own, there’s still advantages to having somebody who helps you as a legal assistant or in a paralegal role or an admin.
[00:24:09] Rachel Steininger: There’s so many different ways that you can hire. I think 1 of the things that catches people is what I like to call the curse of the competent. We are better at doing our jobs oftentimes than the person we’ve hired in. Sometimes we’re not. We can learn a lot from the people we hire in. But being conscientious that there’s always in a process, I like to have people say, okay, even if it’s something as simple as creating a draft, okay, tell me, what are all the steps involved in that?
[00:24:36] Rachel Steininger: And where is your critical value? So that’s a really easy step. I think for anybody to take is to look at the entire process before they get started. You only have to do it once and saying, I’m really good at revising or I can come in for a 2nd round, but all these other steps. Thanks. If I just back my process up two days, I can start delegating it out to people.
[00:24:56] Rachel Steininger: And now I come in for higher values.
[00:24:59] Steve Fretzin: Well, and keep in mind too, with delegation that it is. There are different levels of people and experiences that will allow you to delegate it a hundred percent from day one. And there’s other situations where you have to micromanage it for a day, a week, a period of time, and then start to loosen up the grip.
[00:25:18] Steve Fretzin: And eventually through training and through, you know, experiences, failures, and learning, somebody can be that fully delicate. Like my marketing guy, Sergio, is amazing. People that see my marketing… Rave about it. And so do I guess what? He wasn’t perfect from day one. It was something that we had to work together on.
[00:25:36] Steve Fretzin: How do I want it? How do I now sounds like me? He actually responds in social media. People think that I’m writing that post. I’m not. But he’s done such a great job of evolving to be, you know, kind of my shadow in how I write and how I handle social media that, but that took time. We have to be patient and give people proper time and training.
[00:25:58] Rachel Steininger: Exactly. I could not agree more. I, I look at it as. You’re looking instead, not for did somebody get it right the first time, but what were the warning signs that somebody’s not going to ever get it right? Right? So you had Sergio who asked you questions and then went and iterated what he did to consistently improve and that’s the sign of an A player who’s going to get there as opposed to.
[00:26:22] Rachel Steininger: I didn’t tell them 3 times and I had to, you know, they didn’t do what I said. If somebody is really just not listening, then, you know, those are different warning signs, but somebody not getting it right on the 1st time. That’s. Training that could be that you delivered the training or the instructions in a way that didn’t land with them.
[00:26:37] Rachel Steininger: And so we have a lot of communication, a lot of different ways of approaching delegation that will make you more effective. But you’re exactly right. It doesn’t land on the 1st time. I mean, do any of us do it perfectly on the 1st time or you have to pay? You have to pay a lot of money for that person who will, but still somebody marketing is a great example.
[00:26:55] Rachel Steininger: Hey, You can’t have somebody read your mind. It would be great. Make our whole lives easier if somebody could read our
[00:27:01] Steve Fretzin: minds. And very awkward. One of the things I love about Sergio too, is when he does make a mistake, um, a grammatical error, or he posted something he wasn’t supposed to, or that I needed approval on, anything like that, okay, I could get really mad at him and yell at him, but you know what he does?
[00:27:18] Steve Fretzin: He takes ownership of it, and he apologizes right away and says, Look, this was my mistake. You had told me XYZ. I didn’t do it. That won’t happen again, but I really want to apologize, you know, Steve. I know that this was, you know, this was my bad and I’m like Sergio, man. Don’t worry about it. It didn’t like end my business.
[00:27:35] Steve Fretzin: It wasn’t like a, a tipping point in the negative direction. I just so appreciate his thoughtfulness and, and ability to take that ownership. And I think that’s something we want to look for in, in a, in a good employee.
[00:27:48] Rachel Steininger: Oh, yeah, 100%. I mean, it’s yeah, it’s wonderful when you get those people and you’re like, okay, they have the competence.
[00:27:54] Rachel Steininger: They have the I think the confidence to to admit that they made a mistake because we all make mistakes. I have great embarrassing stories about my career. Sometimes those are some of the best moments where mistake was made. We learn from it. And when you have one of those people on your team, you want to want to take good care of them.
[00:28:12] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. Absolutely. No doubt about it. So kind of wrapping things up in, in the last couple of minutes here, I mean, what is the, we, we, all right, so we have, we have the, the bookkeeper, we have the practice management, we have, you know, you know, the delegation in place, anything else that brings it all together that will help build a sustainable law practice, because that’s ultimately what Folks are looking for is, is how do I, how do I keep this engine running and going a little faster every year?
[00:28:44] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, what
[00:28:45] Rachel Steininger: I think the engine does a really good job of doing is making this holistic because when we look at things in their parts, I’m only looking at the employer. I’m only looking at hiring. I’m only looking at my systems. I’m only looking at my technology. We can run a drift. I’ll just share one of my embarrassing stories.
[00:29:03] Rachel Steininger: I, uh, back in my investment days, brought on an account. We’d spent 9 months preparing to bring on this relationship And we built out an SOP. If anybody’s ever written an SOP, not fun to write.
[00:29:17] Steve Fretzin: And for everybody, it’s listed as standard operating procedures, right? Just for the layman.
[00:29:22] Rachel Steininger: Yeah, this is your procedure, right?
[00:29:24] Rachel Steininger: You’ve written it all down. You’ve given it to everybody who needs to have it. And then somebody doesn’t follow it. It’s the most frustrating thing in the world. Anyway, this, a person involved basically had the equivalent of typing a negative sign instead of a positive sign and it cost us 250, 000 on that one thing.
[00:29:41] Rachel Steininger: So huge error. We’ve gone through this whole thing. Somebody, obviously something was missing and you’d think we checked all the boxes. We had the operating procedure. We had all these discussions and yet 250, 000 down the drain basically wipes out all of our revenue for that client for the next year or so.
[00:29:59] Rachel Steininger: Wow, a couple of years later, I, you know, that that’s the sort of thing you never forget a couple of years later. I am. This is where the actual embarrassing part is is a couple of years later. I have a new relationship come in and it’s it’s the same kind of risk profile as that earlier 1 where you could have that kind of error.
[00:30:15] Rachel Steininger: But about 6 to 10 times greater and we’re going to have this 1 person have to manually enter certain things every day. So again, we’re exacerbating that risk. We ended up finding a little way to bridge and get the data from 1 point to the other. And so this person’s job went from an hour that it was going to be never actually spent the hour down to about 5 minutes a day.
[00:30:36] Rachel Steininger: Double checking a couple of months and talking to this client. And the client goes, we love the relationship manager that you put on our account. The time my title was relationship manager. That was my role. I know they’re not talking about me. Dave, we love Dave. Dave is amazing. And Dave was the guy who was doing the five minute double check every day.
[00:31:01] Rachel Steininger: And with his so called extra time, he was calling the client. He was talking to them about the markets. He was talking to them about their weekends and their kids and all these things, right? They loved him because he was adding all that extra value. And so a little embarrassing for me. I was not the one.
[00:31:17] Rachel Steininger: Yeah. who they love. But uh, what’s great when we’re talking about the business development standpoint is they had started at, I think 1.5 billion. They went to $6 billion in about 18 months. Like they loved, and a lot of that had to do with, they love this relationship. But I looked at, this is where, when we look at things holistically, when we look at both the systems, And the people part together, we create dates.
[00:31:40] Rachel Steininger: We create people who go the extra mile. We create Sergio’s right when you are giving him this strong foundation and now he can be the best person. He can be on that role and that’s I think what bringing us all together does. So that would be my main piece of advice is stop looking at all the little tactics and that and figure out what’s that strategy.
[00:32:01] Rachel Steininger: What brings us all in holistically? Because If we can have firms full of A players like Sergio and like Dave, like the business development actually becomes very easy because you’re just delivering an amazing.
[00:32:15] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. I think the client experience and I, you know, had Jerry Madman on my 300th show and he talked about how business development, marketing, all that’s super important.
[00:32:23] Steve Fretzin: But if you don’t have a good client experience, it’s like, it’s all going to come around and haunt you. So you got to have all those pieces together and, and, um, I’m so happy that you were able to come on the show and talk to that. Let’s go to the game changing podcast. And you had a unique one that I was really interested in.
[00:32:39] Steve Fretzin: I’m going to listen to it and check it out. It’s called the email marketing show. What’s that? What’s that? I’m assuming it’s about email marketing. I could be wrong. It is. That’s
[00:32:46] Rachel Steininger: all about email marketing. But that’s you guys who run it. Rob and Kennedy are a mind reader and a hypnotist and they’re hilarious.
[00:32:52] Rachel Steininger: So first of all, if you just want the comedic value, go and listen to them. They’re great people. I’ve met them in person. They’re fantastic. But the podcast itself, they’re talking about different email marketing. Techniques and tips and ways to nurture that relationship with your client. So let’s say somebody comes in for a consult, but doesn’t sign up, you’re nurturing them after the fact, or maybe you have some sort of value add piece that you want to give somebody right off the bat, something to help them understand who you are and what you do, or, or let’s make, let’s make this a specific example.
[00:33:25] Rachel Steininger: Let’s say you’re in family law and you want to say, here are the top five things to consider in negotiating a custody agreement or parenting agreement. And you have that on your website. Most people collect those email addresses and they do nothing with them. But these guys talk about how once you collect that, that is a new way of creating somebody, bringing them into your world, indoctrinating them essentially into who you are and what you do.
[00:33:48] Rachel Steininger: And now you’ve built a personal relationship. So even before revenue exchanged. You created this client experience from, so I love them. They’re, they’re fantastic and funny and, and a lot of value to add. I really would, if you’re interested at all in expanding the email marketing side, that’s who I would check out.
[00:34:04] Steve Fretzin: I’m going to check that out for sure. And I, I do love, obviously love the funny as well as is educational. So that’s a nice combo for me. And, uh, people want to get in touch with you, Rachel, learn more about, uh, Upward acceleration and what you do for lawyers, um, and for helping them grow their law practices What’s what are the best ways for them to reach you?
[00:34:22] Steve Fretzin: Sure
[00:34:22] Rachel Steininger: I’m on instagram as well as on linkedin at rachel steininger And then you can also visit me on my website upwardacceleration. com
[00:34:30] Steve Fretzin: Very very good. And I want to take a moment to thank our sponsors We’ve got of course money penny who’s helping you just crush it on not only the um Intake process using their virtual receptionist, but also you’re doing the live chat on your website.
[00:34:44] Steve Fretzin: And of course, get visible, uh, who’s just, uh, cranking it out. They’re doing some great work for me and great work for attorneys all over the country. And of course, we’ve got overture. law. Um, you know, overture law, just crushing it, helping attorneys make money and hand out work and in an ethical way, they’re just the rock stars in their space.
[00:35:02] Steve Fretzin: Um, get involved with them now before it’s too late. You can get your, your own state and practice area locked up. And, uh, you just have to check out overture. law. And as you guys know, if you’re interested in picking up the book, sales, free selling, uh, for free and, uh, understanding what that methodology is all about, what am I teaching my clients?
[00:35:20] Steve Fretzin: Check it out. It’s, um, fretson. com slash sales dash free dash selling to get that. Rachel, thank you so much. This was a blast. I knew it would be, and you did not disappoint. And, uh, just thank you so much for sharing your wisdom.
[00:35:36] Rachel Steininger: Thank you, Steve. I’m so excited to be on here today and I’m really appreciate the opportunity.
[00:35:40] Rachel Steininger: So yeah.
[00:35:41] Steve Fretzin: And I think more to come. I think there’s a lot of synergies and ways that you and I can add value for each other, helping lawyers to be their best selves, actually to be that lawyer, someone who’s confident, organized and a skilled rainmaker. See how I pulled that off. Not too bad. Very good. Not too bad.
[00:35:54] Steve Fretzin: All right, everybody. All right, everybody. Take care. Be safe. Be well. We will talk again real soon.
[00:36:04] Narrator: Thanks for listening to Be That Lawyer. Life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Visit Steve’s website fretson. com for additional information and to stay up to date on the latest legal business development and marketing trends. For more information and important links about today’s episode, check out today’s show notes.