Scott Simmons: Effective Business Development for Lawyers

In this episode, Steve Fretzin and Scott Simmons discuss:

  • Selling and following up without upsetting people.
  • Getting out of the race to the bottom and reframing old ways of thinking.
  • Dueling banjos of business development.
  • The power of “how can I help?” and becoming more than just the lawyer.

Key Takeaways:

  • What you’re really competing against is lawyer apathy, not other lawyers.
  • You care more when they are your clients than you do when they are handed to you. There is a huge amount of fun in winning the work.
  • Just start with 30 minutes. If you keep repeating that is going to be huge compared to doing nothing.
  • Be nosy. If it is something or someone that interests you, keep asking questions. People love to talk about themselves and their business.
  • You cannot serve everybody. When you narrow it down, your messaging becomes clear.

“AI is just going to keep getting better and better and better. And this idea that lawyers continue to be document drafters and researchers if we carry on down that road, that kind of apathy, that will be the end of the profession. Reframing who we are and how we do things, that’s absolutely vital.” —  Scott Simmons

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Episode References: 

About Scott Simmons: Scott is a toolbox for turning lawyers into rainmakers.

After a successful career in law where he faced similar situations to the lawyers of today, he discovered a love of coaching and training that has seen him coaching young lawyers on how to build their own careers, and more senior executives to become rainmakers.

He offers bespoke training and coaching to legal professionals at all stages of their career and has developed The BD Breakthrough Blueprint, a digital education course aimed at helping lawyers take their first steps towards becoming 21st-century trusted advisors.

Scott is a husband and father and an avid movie lover, so do not be surprised when he includes a BD analogy relating to ‘Jaws’ or ‘When Harry Met Sally’ into any training or coaching session.

To get your copy of The BD Breakthrough Blueprint, head to legalbalanceinstitute.thinkific.com..

Connect with Scott Simmons:  

Website: https://legalbalance.co.uk/

Book: https://legalbalanceinstitute.thinkific.com/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@legalbalance

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/scottsimmonsbdm/

Connect with Steve Fretzin:

LinkedIn: Steve Fretzin

Twitter: @stevefretzin

Instagram: @fretzinsteve

Facebook: Fretzin, Inc.

Website: Fretzin.com

Email: Steve@Fretzin.com

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.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

[00:00:00] Steve Fretzin: Hello, everyone. Have you ever wondered how much more business you could be generating each month? Well, you can take the Be That Lawyer challenge to find out. If I’m unable to help you find the money that’s been evading you, I’ll pay your hourly rate for the time invested together. Just go to Fretzin.
[00:00:15] Steve Fretzin: com to sign up. I’m challenging you. Now enjoy the show.
[00:00:23] 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 Fretzin, will take a deeper dive helping you grow your law practice in less time with greater results. Now, here’s your host. Well,
[00:00:45] Steve Fretzin: hey everybody. Welcome to Be That Lawyer.
[00:00:47] Steve Fretzin Fretzin I am Steve Fretzin. I am so happy that you’re with us today. As you know, Fretzin works with lawyers. Individually to help them either become a rainmaker or if they’re already a rainmaker to make them the best possible rainmaker They can be untapped that potential and all that this show is all about helping you do that We are the be that lawyer, uh show so it’s all about being confident organized and a skilled rainmaker I’ve got an amazing guest for you today.
[00:01:11] Steve Fretzin: Uh Scott. How you doing, buddy?
[00:01:13] Scott Simmons: Steve, what an absolute pleasure and an honor to be here.
[00:01:17] Steve Fretzin: Wow. It’s my pleasure too. And we were introduced by Rob Hanna, who, who we, I think both agree. We, we just, we just think the world of, is that, is that the case?
[00:01:25] Scott Simmons: I, I, I think Rob may be one of the kindest, sweetest, most genuine people I’ve, I’ve ever met.
[00:01:31] Scott Simmons: And what he does for the legal profession and the way he goes about it is, you know, there’s, there’s just no one like him.
[00:01:37] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. Now, does it bother you that he’s a Reds fan and you’re a Spurs fan? Is that, is that a problem?
[00:01:42] Scott Simmons: Well, it bothers me because they won a cup yesterday. They did. That
[00:01:46] Steve Fretzin: was amazing.
[00:01:46] Steve Fretzin: Last minute header.
[00:01:48] Scott Simmons: Yeah, it does, but, but, but, you know, Rob and I, we tend to, we tend to message each other. Well, I tend to message Rob when something goes wrong for Liverpool. He leaves me alone and I tend to wind him up when something’s gone wrong for them.
[00:02:02] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, well, here’s some inside information. We’re talking about Premier League soccer, everybody, or football, if you’re not from America.
[00:02:07] Steve Fretzin: And I’m a huge fan of that sport and that league in particular. And, and, uh, yeah, so Liverpool has been amazing and, and Arsenal, I mean, not to go off on a tangent, but holy mackerel, are they playing out of, out of this world?
[00:02:20] Scott Simmons: Yeah. Again, again, you know, they are Spurs biggest rivals, so I’m not going to say anything pleasant about them at all.
[00:02:28] Scott Simmons: Yes, they are absolutely, Absolutely. Yeah.
[00:02:31] Steve Fretzin: Here’s the thing about me. I, and this, this is since the downfall of the bulls and the Michael Jordan era, I’m, I’m more of a fan of good, of good sports that I am about particular players or particular teams. So like when I watch two teams go at it, I’m just looking for great soccer.
[00:02:47] Steve Fretzin: I’m looking for great defense. I’m looking for great off. I just want to see amazing plays and well thought out, you know, set plays and all that. And as long as that’s I,
[00:02:56] Scott Simmons: and I’ll tell you something when you watch Football, soccer, and you don’t have sort of skin in the game when you don’t spot either the teams, you can really just sit back and just enjoy the game as a Spurs fan.
[00:03:09] Scott Simmons: It’s it’s difficult to watch a game and actually enjoy it. Um, so even though we aren’t playing really, really well playing beautiful football, really, really attacking football, it is fun to watch. Um, when you don’t have when you’re not when you’re, you know, when you’re not supporting either the teams.
[00:03:25] Scott Simmons: It’s just, you get to enjoy and look out for those really good players, those really good players.
[00:03:30] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. So should we get rid of the Be That Lawyer show and start the Premier League show? Is that, is that a thought you and I might have? Maybe we’ll do it with Rob.
[00:03:40] Scott Simmons: We, we, we probably, we’d probably do it as the, as the sort of worst podcast, you know, the worst people to do it with, you know, with, with that kind of fans, I tend to find are, are the worst for talking about the worst talking about, because they all know better.
[00:03:56] Scott Simmons: Fans know better than the managers, than the owners of the club. They all know how it should be done. ’cause they don’t, you have to get out there and do it.
[00:04:04] Steve Fretzin: Right, right. There’s no, you don’t have any skin in the game either. So, hey everybody, we’re talking to Scott Simmons. He is the founder, BD coach of Legal Balance.
[00:04:12] Steve Fretzin: Where are you based out of? Because is it, is it Gibraltar?
[00:04:16] Scott Simmons: So yes, yes, originally, uh, the UK, but we moved to Gibraltar, uh, during the pandemic. We used to live here years ago, always said we’d come back. And the lifestyle here is just, it’s just fantastic. And particularly post COVID, What we’ve found time and time again, no one cares where you’re based, as long as you’re getting the results for them and you’re helping them grow, no one has ever said no, no thanks, Scott, you’re, you’re based in Geroza.
[00:04:41] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, it’s, it’s become very easy for me to work nationally and for me to work internationally. I just picked up a lawyer from Saudi Arabia, which is amazing. Would you have something that you always say to your clients? Do you have like a quote of the show, something that you, and I hate to put you on the spot, and normally I have that teed up, but I’m sure you’ve got about 10 in your pocket.
[00:04:57] Steve Fretzin: Yeah.
[00:04:58] Scott Simmons: So a quote that I always, a quote that I always use is, and, and funny enough, I saw it better. I saw it better recently than I have said it. Um, and I, I read in the book recently and it said, it said, um, you know, we all wanna sell, but we wanna sell without upsetting anybody. Yeah, and I thought that that was a, I thought that’s a brilliant quote because I always say to people follow up is everything and for lawyers and we’re going to, I suppose we’ll talk a bit more about follow up.
[00:05:30] Scott Simmons: I always say follow up is everything and lawyers come back to me and say, but won’t it, won’t it irritate people, won’t it upset people? And that comes back to a question of mindset. But the difference that you make when you do follow up is absolutely huge. And since reading that book and then explaining that concept, you know, we want to sell, but we want to sell without upsetting anybody.
[00:05:49] Scott Simmons: And it’s impossible to do that really gets people thinking about, actually, when somebody follows up with me, I’m much more likely to respond to them. And that one works incredibly well when I’m getting people to improve their, their BD skills, their sales skills. That one is the one that really kicks people off.
[00:06:09] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, I don’t want to go down on a tangent here because I want to get into your background a little bit, but I think what we’re also saying with that quote is there’s a competitive nature to sales, meaning it’s I make money based on me selling you something, right? That’s so it’s in my best interest to sell you something.
[00:06:25] Steve Fretzin: It’s in your best interest to be very careful about who’s selling to you because you don’t want to make a mistake or get taken for a ride or whatever we want to call it. So the goal of BD today, and this is the theme of sales, reselling, and the theme of what I’ve, I’ve spent some time researching on you, Scott, is how do we do it in a sales free way?
[00:06:43] Steve Fretzin: How do we make it a collaboration versus a competition against you? Who’s going to win on this competition?
[00:06:51] Scott Simmons: Oh, a hundred percent. And one of the things I love is speaking to and sharing ideas with other BD coaches and consultants. You know, the stuff that I’ve learned through. Listening to your, your podcast and reading your stuff and, and the conversation that, that we’ve had, you and I.
[00:07:12] Scott Simmons: You as, as you’ve just said, you know, there, there’s people that you can work with around the world. Okay. You and I, the chances of you and I even, even competing for the same business are so incredibly, incredibly remote. It might, if it happened once in our entire lifetime, it’s probably the above the average that it would, it would be.
[00:07:30] Scott Simmons: But what you and I can learn from each other can be absolutely. Not just game changing, but life changing for us both. And so the idea that we would look at every single other coach, consultant, trainer, whatever it is, as competition, I, It’s so utterly, it’s so utterly pointless because the benefits that we can bring to each other massively, massively outweigh the chances that we might ever compete for work.
[00:07:55] Steve Fretzin: Well, let’s, let’s go, let’s take a step back and then we’re going to take a step forward. And for those listening, you guys, this is going to be an opportunity for you to, I don’t know if you want to take notes or not, but like, we’re going to be going through and giving you a ton of takeaways and tips today on effective business development for lawyers.
[00:08:09] Steve Fretzin: So, and before we get to that, obviously, Scott, I mean, how the heck, you’re not a lawyer, right?
[00:08:13] Scott Simmons: I used to be, but not anymore.
[00:08:16] Steve Fretzin: So how does that transition happen? Give us that background and leading into that, be that lawyer tipping point.
[00:08:20] Scott Simmons: So, so firstly, thanks for asking, asking that question. Um, I started off, I started off at a small high street firm in the south of the UK.
[00:08:33] Scott Simmons: Um, and, I was, I had, um, I had a head of department and a mentor who from the very beginning said to me, Scott, you know, what’s most important here is the, is the client, their experience, their journey with us and everything should revolve around that. Everything we do should revolve around that. And I could see how much time and effort he put into that.
[00:08:58] Scott Simmons: He would always sit with clients. It was, it was, it was residential conventing, residential real estate. And And, and he put so much time into, into speaking with clients and working with clients. But the thing was, was that he was, he was ill a lot on average, I would say it was out of the office about two days a week with stress related stomach problems.
[00:09:18] Scott Simmons: And when I started, I was, I was in my early twenties, I had pretty much no responsibilities. So I was happy, I was happy to work, you know, as many hours as was asked of me, but very quickly I could see what was going on, why he was so unwell. It was because we were offering this premium service and charging very, very low fees.
[00:09:42] Scott Simmons: So what the, what the outcome was, was, was that we were having to, we were having to complete so many transactions a month to hit financial target. What was suffering not only was this idea of, you know, this, this thing of, of, of putting time and effort into clients, but actually I could see why he was, he was so ill.
[00:10:02] Scott Simmons: So about six months in, I started talking to the various stakeholders in the real estate process. And I came up with an idea It’s not exactly groundbreaking, Steve, but what I came up with was what if we stopped, stopped doing work at the bottom end of the market, found a place from which we would start in terms of, you know, uh, transaction value.
[00:10:29] Scott Simmons: And then massively increase our fees for all of those and we would get ourselves out of that race to the bottom. Because prior to that, what we were doing was somebody would phone up, we’d give them that they tell us the how much they’re paying for the property or how much they’re selling the property for, we’d give them a price immediately.
[00:10:47] Scott Simmons: And if they hesitated, they for a quarter of a second. The instant reaction from us would be, but if you come with us today, we’ll drop the fee to this price. So we had this menu price, and it meant nothing. And then on those sort of odd occasions where someone would say, yeah, I’ve called them down the road, we’d instantly go, well, our normal price is this, but if you come with us today, we’ll drop it to that price.
[00:11:08] Scott Simmons: And I could see that that was just, and every time we, every time that happened, we were lowering our fees, lowering our fees, lowering it race to the bottom. I took this idea to my boss and I said, our job’s going to be to explain to people why we’re charging the fees that we’re doing, because we don’t take on as much work.
[00:11:26] Scott Simmons: It means that we can spend more time on your matter. We can spend more time getting to know you, understanding why you’re buying these properties or selling the property that you are. And it would mean, and I had the figures kind of worked out on this, you That we could complete X number of fewer transactions each, each month.
[00:11:43] Scott Simmons: And my boss loved it. He put me up in front of the partnership. He let me lead with this idea and they said, okay, look, 12, 18 months. Let’s just see how it goes, see what happens. And we then took this to the market and we went back to every stakeholder said, this is what we are doing. Everyone, everyone was so incredibly positive about it.
[00:12:07] Scott Simmons: And we said, we’re not going to pay referral fees. We are not going to get involved in that. We’re going to, you’re going to recommend us because we’re going to do a really good job for you. And we’re going to do a really good job for your client. And because we’ve got fewer transactions to do, we’ll get the jobs done more quickly.
[00:12:25] Scott Simmons: From our side. We will get them done more quickly. The turnaround will be great. We’ll be quicker within 12 months. My boss had increased his fees while doing around 50 percent less work. It was back in the office. It wasn’t ill. And that for me, beyond everything else that we achieved. So bearing in mind, you know, high complaints dropped through the floor, client satisfaction through the roof, our, our reputation had grown from being a small, very local firm.
[00:12:53] Scott Simmons: to being regional, being really regional. And we were getting recommendations from, you know, from places that had never ever heard of us before this. And it just kept growing and growing and growing. But that point about my boss, no longer being, no longer being ill was the one that stuck with me most because he meant an awful, he meant an awful lot to me and what he taught me.
[00:13:17] Scott Simmons: And that Just, just made same up and I’ve taken that into the rest of my career.
[00:13:24] Steve Fretzin: Okay. That’s, is that, that’s what drove you into saying, Hey, this worked for us. I can help others in a similar fashion. So actually what, yes,
[00:13:32] Scott Simmons: so that’s, that’s, that was what focused business development in my mind. Actually, what led me to legal balance was I ended my career.
[00:13:40] Scott Simmons: in a firm doing corporate work back on the billable hour and Steve, you’ll know that I absolutely despise the billable hour. I ended up leaving the profession because of really bad burnout and lack of support. Um, and that then meant that I got a lot of opportunities to just focus on business development and that was in 2012.
[00:14:03] Scott Simmons: And ever since then, I’ve been focused on business development and helping law firms. And having a sense within all of that, teaching lawyers to become rainmakers was absolutely vital to the future of the profession. And I think we’re seeing that at a faster pace now, you know, with AI and technology more than ever.
[00:14:26] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, and earlier you mentioned something about, you know, you and I really aren’t competitors and I, I could say the same about a number of the lawyer coaches in the U. S. who I’m friends with, who are also, we call it co opetition, the, the, the, the real competition and you tell me what you think of this, uh, that I believe is lawyer apathy, that’s who we’re competing against, right?
[00:14:46] Steve Fretzin: It’s, it’s lawyers that don’t want to get their head up from their computer, from the billable hour, from the, uh, You know, the, the work that’s being handed to them to say, Hey, I’m going to put in a little or a lot of effort to build something of my own.
[00:15:01] Scott Simmons: That apathy is apathy is what causes is first is what causes clients to leave us.
[00:15:08] Scott Simmons: I don’t have apathy thinking, you know, either I just. You know, I just don’t really care anymore, or, you know, this, these clients will always stay with me. I don’t have to work. I don’t have to work at keeping them. They’ll always be here. Yes. But the
[00:15:19] Steve Fretzin: And you care more, and you care more when they’re your clients.
[00:15:21] Steve Fretzin: I mean, that’s the thing. Like, when you have your own clients, you care and you want to do well by them, maybe more so than if they’re being handed, the work’s being handed to you.
[00:15:28] Scott Simmons: Right. So that’s the key. That’s the key to this. And I think there’s a huge amount of awareness that needs to come into this.
[00:15:35] Scott Simmons: There’s so much fun in winning the work anyway, there’s a huge amount of fun in that, and it’s, it’s that realization that AI is just going to keep getting better and better and better. And this idea that lawyers continue to be document drafters and researchers, you know, if we carry on down that road, that kind of apathy, it will be the end of the profession.
[00:15:58] Scott Simmons: So reframing who we are and how we do things, that’s absolutely vital.
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[00:17:58] Steve Fretzin: So one thing I wanted to do today was to, you know, you’ve got a great deal of experience in this. I have some great, I believe, great deal of experience in this. And the three areas that I’ve identified that lawyers struggle in, guess what? It’s everything, but it starts with like, there’s some, right.
[00:18:13] Steve Fretzin: They’re not effective at planning how they’re going to do business development. They’re not effective at execution of business development, and they’re not effective at following through. So if we talk about a story, a beginning, a middle and an end, which I talk about pretty regularly, those are the three areas that lawyers need to be successful in.
[00:18:29] Steve Fretzin: And if you skip one of those parts of the story, um, the bad things happen. So I want to have you and I go back and forth. We’ll call this the dueling banjos of business development. Where you and I work together to try to give a number of tips and takeaways to the, to the, to the folks listening who want the, the, so the nice thing about my audience, Scott, is they’re listening to the show because they’re interested and because they’re coachable and because they care about business development, if they didn’t care about it, they wouldn’t listen to the show.
[00:18:56] Steve Fretzin: They go, they go listen to, you know, some tutti frutti show, which are fun too. So let’s talk about. Planning. What is like one of the top things that you work with lawyers on or a tip that you could give around planning that helps lawyers to be successful? And let’s just go you, me, you, me. We’ll just go back and forth and then we’ll move to the next subject.
[00:19:16] Scott Simmons: Absolutely. You know, the first tip I say to everybody. Just put 30 minutes in your diary. Start with 30 minutes in the diary and whether that is, I mean, to be honest, everybody could find, everybody can find and make 30 minutes a day. Everybody can, no matter whether you’re under the billable hour, value based pricing, subscriptions, whatever you’re under, you can find 30 minutes a day.
[00:19:39] Scott Simmons: But even if you said, Steve, 30 minutes a week, 30 minutes a week is two to two and a half hours a month. It’s four to five hours in two months. Just keep repeating that six to seven and a half, eight and eight, eight, whatever it is, right? If you keep repeating that, what you will achieve over a two, three, four month people, uh, period.
[00:20:00] Scott Simmons: It’s huge compared to doing nothing. So for me, before you get into any of anything else, just put 30 minutes into your diary.
[00:20:09] Steve Fretzin: That the issue that lawyers have with the 30 minutes it’s in some cases it’s time management issues, which that’s a whole other show. Okay. But it’s, it’s that they don’t know what to do for the 30 minutes because they don’t have a plan.
[00:20:21] Steve Fretzin: They don’t have. I would keep it as simple as this, Scott, and tell me what you think. Get a list of 20, 30 names. These are clients. These are your referral partners. These are friends that you want to get together with. And just get out in that 30 minutes, 3, 4, 5 emails to get meetings scheduled. That’s the proactivity that’s going to end up ultimately getting you business or getting you at least in front of good people that could throw more business your way.
[00:20:46] Scott Simmons: So now we’ve got now we’ve got the start of what are we going to do with that 30 minutes, right, right, because if you don’t give yourself, if you don’t give yourself that 30 minutes, right? Well, when are you going to get that list together? So now we’re talking about that, that 30 minutes is going to help you now create that list.
[00:21:04] Scott Simmons: Okay. And from that list, I always say to, I always say to clients, start, if you’re in a business that has got other practice areas and a database of clients, start with your existing client base. Yeah. Start with your existing client base. If you firstly, if you have existing clients that you could do your own existing clients that you could do more work with, like you say, pick up the phone, ask them how they’re doing the idea that you have to come away with every from every phone call with work is a big.
[00:21:37] Scott Simmons: Issue for lawyers because it’s
[00:21:39] Steve Fretzin: a pressure. It’s a pressure. It’s a huge pressure. So
[00:21:41] Scott Simmons: you don’t want to think of that phone call as I need to come over. I just want to have a conversation. I want to see how they’re getting on because the more that you the more that you look at it as I just want to find out what’s going on.
[00:21:54] Scott Simmons: I think leads to the next thing, which is you ask. Good questions, right on.
[00:21:58] Steve Fretzin: I was going to see you’re just like, it’s like, we’re, we’re brothers from another mother. Right? So like, what, let’s give, let’s give, we’re both kind of looking pretty good. Great. I think as well. Similar as well. Similar, but so what are we?
[00:22:12] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. Come up with a couple of you and I together. So lawyers that are saying, all right, I’m going to get a list. I’m going to get the 30 minutes. I’m going to get these meetings with my clients. What are a couple of questions that I should prepare ahead of time that will help to pull out you. The business or pull out the opportunity, or how do I sort of manage that meeting different than a normal meeting where we just talk about the matter?
[00:22:32] Scott Simmons: Okay. So once you’ve, once you’ve gotten, once you’ve gone past the whole, hi, how are you? Right. Then you’re just saying, how’s business? Yeah. How’s business going? And the, you know, the whole open question thing, you’ve just asked a question that is going to get them talking. Five, ten minutes and as they’re answering that question, it’s going to open up a load more questions.
[00:22:57] Scott Simmons: I always say this. So clients just be nosy, just be nosy. If it interests, if it’s the sort of thing that interests you, because they’re a client who interests you, just keep asking questions. People love talking about themselves. They love talking about the work that they, the businesses that they’re building, just ask and keep asking and keep asking.
[00:23:17] Steve Fretzin: Okay. So, so be curious, be interested, be nosy. Let’s get a little more, a little more clear. So, you know, tell me what’s been, you know, tell me what’s been going on. What are the plans for the future? What’s keeping you up at night? Um, what can I do for you outside of the traditional work that we do together?
[00:23:36] Scott Simmons: Okay. So that one then, that one is the, that one’s the key. That’s, that’s the question that you’re coming to at the very end. So once you’ve asked, how’s business going? What’s the plans for 2024 and 25 and 26? Okay, what, what can you see that might be, that might hold you back? All of those sorts of questions, uh, uh, you know, what, what, what are the, you know, we, are we any closer to retirement?
[00:23:58] Scott Simmons: What are your plans there? Right. The question that you are building Tuesday, which, which you, which you uncovered there is how can I help four simple words that create a massive difference for the client? How can I help? Why? Because all of a sudden the client’s thinking, wow, he has, he’s, he’s, you know, he, she has called up because they genuinely want to help.
[00:24:21] Scott Simmons: Right. Right. Where lawyers go wrong, I think, Dave, is that they look at it and they go, well, I have to come away with this. I have to come away from this with work. No, you don’t. If the client says to you, well, I can’t think of anything legal, but I’ll tell you what, we’re having a few problems with this.
[00:24:38] Scott Simmons: We’re having a few problems with our With the employees or something. With employees, with this. Right. So your business may not be able to help with either of those or any of those. But you’ll know people who do. How many lawyers have got this book of contact and we don’t utilize it because all we’re thinking about is the work that we can get.
[00:24:58] Scott Simmons: If you look at it and you go, well, the client has said to me, they’ve got a problem with this. I can’t help, but I know someone who can. All of a sudden you’re doing two things. You’re creating in the mind of the client that you are their go to person, which means you become their trusted advisor. And secondly, the person who you refer the opportunity to looks at this and goes.
[00:25:18] Scott Simmons: Actually, do you know what? Steve’s referred some work to me. He refers work to me regularly. I better look after Steve because he’s, I’m probably not the, probably not the only expert in this that he could refer work to. So I probably need to be looking after him and thinking about how I can refer work back.
[00:25:35] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. And you’re becoming more of a consigliere, more of a counselor and less of just a lawyer handling matters. And that’s going to deepen the relationship as well as the likelihood that they might say. Thank you. That was so helpful. You just changed the course of, you know, of our team or change the course of how we collect or whatever it is that you’re helping with.
[00:25:56] Steve Fretzin: And what can I, how can I help you, Scott, or Lawyer A, or whatever it might be, and that’s your opportunity to say, thank you so much, I appreciate that, here’s who I’m looking to meet, or here’s what would be great for me if, if you can help, and now you’ve got a quid pro quo, now you’ve got a, they feel great helping you, because, but, but then you’ve got another challenge, which is, Many attorneys don’t know how to articulate who they want to meet or who, how, what kind of business they’re looking for.
[00:26:23] Steve Fretzin: And so the, the, the GC general counsel, the, the owner, they want to help the lawyer, but they don’t know how. And then the lawyer is unable to coach.
[00:26:31] Scott Simmons: Right. It’s so interesting because it seems like you and I, Oh, no, no, I, I knew this from the very
[00:26:36] Steve Fretzin: start that we were, we’re on exactly the same wavelength, which is why I knew this was going to be a killer show.
[00:26:42] Scott Simmons: Right. Okay. So as you were talking, I was saying, yeah, the problem that lawyers have is that really and truly they don’t know who, who they want to be talking to. Right. Okay. And so this then goes back to who is our ideal client type? Um, Lawyers really struggle with this because the minute you say to a lawyer, well, who’s your ideal client?
[00:27:01] Scott Simmons: Well, my ideal client would be, would be businesses, uh, you know, SME businesses who are maybe startup to scale up and you’re like, okay, well in the UK alone, that’s probably about as most of the six and a half million companies that are active in any, you know, in the UK. So we need to narrow it down a bit and, and then they’ll go, well, you know, if I narrow it down, I’m like getting rid of like a huge section of the market.
[00:27:26] Scott Simmons: Well, then the conversation is, yeah, but you couldn’t, as we talked about before, you, you couldn’t serve that entire market in a hundred lifetimes. So why are you worried about that? What you need to do is to get very clear about who you want to be working with, because with the, you know, where it doesn’t matter, by the way, there is startup scale ups, medium size, big.
[00:27:49] Scott Simmons: Whoever you’re working with, they’re not going to be the right fit. You’re looking for businesses that are a good fit for the way that you work, and the price that you charge based on the value that you bring, and, and who you really enjoy working with. There’s, there’s a lot to, there’s a lot to unpick there, and we probably don’t have time for that.
[00:28:08] Scott Simmons: For today, but when you narrow it down, your messaging then becomes really clear. And so, you know, who you’re going off, you know, you’re targeting. So you can find that in your existing client base. You could find it on, you know, prospective clients, but you’re able then to speak their language, which help, you know, what the, what, what gets them up in the morning, what their challenges are and goals.
[00:28:32] Scott Simmons: Your win rate goes through the roof. Your win rate, because of all of that. You are that niche specialist. So everyone looks at you and goes, yeah, these guys, they service our industry. They service our type of business. They’ll understand us. We better work with them.
[00:28:52] Steve Fretzin: So again, coaching, coaching your clients on who you want to meet or how to introduce you to make sure that it’s seamless is so critical.
[00:29:00] Steve Fretzin: And, um, a simple thing is like, think about like you’re dealing with a general counsel, that general counsel is running that, you know, running, you know, running, you know, the, the, the team or that organization. How many, how many general assistant general counsels or underlings have left and where have they gone?
[00:29:15] Steve Fretzin: Are those organizations that you should be brought up? Right? So start closest to home with where that general counsel, that CEO, that president lives. You know, works, um, spends time golf, the golf club, right. We’re in the same box together and, you know, at the spurs or whatever it might be, like, these are the things that are going to be, make it easy for introductions to happen.
[00:29:36] Steve Fretzin: And, and Scott, let’s wrap up with, um, with a couple of follow up elements. So we talked a little bit about some planning, the 30 minutes, we talked about some execution questions and, and, and how you actually generate business from clients. And then what’s the, how do we follow up?
[00:29:50] Scott Simmons: Right. So follow up. Uh, it follow ups massive.
[00:29:55] Scott Simmons: I’ve worked with clients who when I’ve gone and gone and started working with them, one of the earliest questions I’ll ask is how many proposals proposals have you got outstanding? And they might say to me, they’ll have a look and they go, Oh God, we’ve got like 20 and I’ll say, how, how, how far do they date back?
[00:30:11] Scott Simmons: And I’ve had a client say to me, 18 months. I’ve gone. Yeah. Okay. Fine. Well, that’s no longer, you’re not really, that’s not really an open proposal. I’ve got, okay. Let’s narrow it down a bit. I’ve got, okay. Once you sent out the proposal, when did you follow up? And I’ll almost, almost every time they might get follow up,
[00:30:31] Steve Fretzin: they’ll call me.
[00:30:32] Steve Fretzin: They’ll call me. If they know. All
[00:30:33] Scott Simmons: right. Right. Call me if I need it. Yeah. And you’re like, yeah, okay, fine. But think about how, I know I always say this and think about how busy you are, right? You’re really busy. If somebody contacts you and you’re really busy, you are in your mind and in your calendar and everything else.
[00:30:49] Scott Simmons: You’re working out your priorities, and if that is not considered to you immediately a priority, you will put it on the back burner. Okay, the only way it becomes more of a priority is if that person who’s reached out to you creates the set of circumstances to make it more of a priority to you. And the way that they’re going to do that is by reaching out to you again and reaching out to you again.
[00:31:10] Scott Simmons: Why? Because if they’ve contacted you. Or if you let’s let’s take it to the client. If you have, if you have put proposal out, it means because it means that they’re thinking about how important this is. What we need to do is make it a priority for them. And if you don’t follow up with them, they won’t think it’s that much of a priority.
[00:31:32] Scott Simmons: You want to help you want to help them get better results. You’ve got to get out of this mindset of, are we bothering them that you have to forget? It’s all about how can you help them get better results? And you can’t help them get better results. If they don’t press, you know, press the button on, on, on the go ahead.
[00:31:49] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, they have a problem. You have a solution. Okay. They need to execute for the solution to happen, but they get busy and they push it down. And the priority isn’t where it used to be, but it needs to be because it’s a problem. It’s a legal problem. So one thing I would always say is if whenever possible wrap up a meeting with the next step So you have right so you have a proposal that’s going out and they’re going to get it on friday Schedule a time to go through it with them on friday Like don’t just send it to them and then hope like hope’s a terrible thing I mean it worked out in shawshank redemption for andy dufresne But if for real life people hope is a terrible thing we want to have right what’s going on next and You And in schedule that time to walk them through the proposal.
[00:32:34] Steve Fretzin: And if that’s not an option, then say, Hey, how do you want me to follow up with you? If, if I don’t hear back from you by Friday or by Monday and get their permission to follow up now, you now they’re telling you, here’s how I want you to follow up. So you feel like less of a pest and more of someone that’s executing on good followup.
[00:32:52] Scott Simmons: Right. And, and, and two things. Firstly, right. It may have been, it hope may have played a little part for Andy Dufresne, but it was also a tiny little hammer and 20 odd years of hammering away. Not one, it’s a tiny hammer. Yeah. A couple of nice posters. Right. So, right. The, the, firstly, there’s, there’s that. It is a case, it is a simple case of.
[00:33:14] Scott Simmons: Your follow up could make the difference for
[00:33:17] Steve Fretzin: them too. It’s not just about bringing in the business. It’s it’s they have a problem that has some time related to it. That has some urgency related to it. And if they don’t execute, it can get worse. Like you’re not really, you’re not really putting the client first.
[00:33:30] Steve Fretzin: If you don’t follow up.
[00:33:32] Scott Simmons: And, and, and this is right. So some clients will say to me yet, but if we, particularly litigators, I’ll say to them, why wait for the problem to happen and for a client to come to you with a problem, why not get out in front of that saying to the client, Hey, do you know that if you deal with this now, it won’t be a problem later on and, and.
[00:33:50] Scott Simmons: They’ll say to me, yeah, but hold on, if I do that, that’ll mean I’ve got less litigation work. And I always say to them, no I won’t. They’ll always be litigatious. Yeah, be proactive. You’re standing with The clients who you help get out in front of problems will completely change. They’ll come to you over and over and over again, because they’ll see you as a proactive, trusted advisor.
[00:34:14] Steve Fretzin: Scott, we can make this an hour show without even like batting an eye, but we’ve got to keep it to about 30 minutes. And I think we’re wrapping up. You, you gave me a game changing book and you gave me a game changing podcast. And I want to do the book because you, you just, I saw you light up like a, like a, like a firecracker.
[00:34:29] Steve Fretzin: When, when you mentioned this book, it’s eat their lunch. Can you just 30 seconds on what that book is about?
[00:34:36] Scott Simmons: Right. So the idea is behind it is that, but it’s written by Anthony Adorino, most fantastic, um, sales, uh, coach and, and speaker. And essentially what the idea is, is that. It’s, it’s designed around this idea that consultative selling where you are helping clients wins you more work.
[00:34:57] Scott Simmons: And the idea is that yes, there is competition out there. And if I win the work, you don’t win it and all of that sort of thing. And I express that to my clients, that that’s the idea behind it, that you want to win the work. The idea behind it is this idea that we are not salespeople. We’re not Wolf of Wall Street.
[00:35:15] Scott Simmons: We’re not selling stuff that people don’t need. That’s It’s consultative. It’s that idea that we are working with our client to help them get better results. And when we work like that, we become a completely different type of advisor to our clients.
[00:35:31] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. And I think you and I both see that with our clients, when we train them.
[00:35:35] Steve Fretzin: On how to do business development consultatively and putting the, putting the, the other person first and how do we walk them for a buying decision, not convince or sell. And that’s what, what we’re both teaching for a reason. That’s how people want to buy. So I
[00:35:50] Scott Simmons: think, I think the key for any lawyer is this mindset change.
[00:35:55] Scott Simmons: When you realize that you, as you’ve talked about so often, it’s selling without selling, when you reframe it as, as, as helping, you’re still going to need the BD skills. You’re still going to need the sales skills. But it’s selling without selling, as you often talk about. Yeah. And it is that idea that if you reframe this, you can achieve so much more for your clients and for yourself.
[00:36:19] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. Spot on. Spot on. Hey, um, Scott, as we wrap up, we’ve got to thank our sponsors because we love them. Uh, Green Cardigan Marketing, of course, Lawmatics, and Get Staffed Up. All amazing friends of the show. And, um, thank you so much. If people want to get in touch with you, whether they’re in the U S UK, Spain, wherever, how do they reach you?
[00:36:38] Scott Simmons: Right. So you can find me every single day on, on LinkedIn. I’m on there seven days a week. I’m I’m messing around with there. You can find my stuff, uh, www. legalbalance. co. uk. We’ve got our brand new digital education course, the BD breakthrough blueprint, which you will find on. legalbalanceinstitute.
[00:36:58] Scott Simmons: thinkific. com. Um, please, you know, go and have a look at that. We’re so proud of that, Steve, and what it could do for lawyers to get them started on the road to becoming rainmakers. It’s so simple. You know, 20 years of what I’ve learned has gone into that. Could not be prouder of it, but you’ll, you’ll find me over, you’ll, you’ll find me all over the, all over the internet.
[00:37:21] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, I appreciate that so much. And again, you know, I think you and I both agree that while it’s great for us to get clients and work with most motivated client, uh, lawyers in the, in the world, we also want to help everybody, right? We want to, we want to just put content out that’s going to be valuable, whether they engage us or not, that’s great.
[00:37:36] Steve Fretzin: But. It’s also like an industry that is in a desperate need for transformation. And so I’m just so pleased that you’re on the same journey that I’m on. And you and I are definitely going to keep in the loop. A hundred percent. One hundred percent. Okay. Hey, thank you so much, Scott. And thank you everybody for spending time today on the Be That Lawyer podcast.
[00:37:55] Steve Fretzin: Um, you know, helping you to be that lawyer, somebody who’s confident organized in a skilled rainmaker. Take everybody. Thank you. Take care. We’ll be well be soup. I don’t know what the hell I’m saying anymore, but take care Safe be well, and we’ll talk again real soon. Bye. Bye
[00:38:14] Narrator: Thanks for listening to be that lawyer life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice Visit steve’s website Fretzin. com For additional information and to stay up to date on the latest legal business development For more information and important links about today’s episode, check out today’s show notes.