In this episode, Steve Fretzin and Stuart Baum discuss:
- Marketing missteps and mistakes that lawyers make in building their firm.
- Making business development fun.
- Leveraging what you are good at and what you like to do.
- Stop being selfish and learn to be a resource.
- The only failure is a failure to learn from your failures.
- There are a lot of ways to do business development. Do it your way and find success doing the things you like.
- If it takes you more than five minutes to find two or three people in a good friend’s network that you can connect to people in your network, then you’re overthinking it.
- Enjoy what you are doing, and enjoy helping others. People can see that enjoyment. If it feels like work, people will feel like they are work.
“Think about moving from being a vendor to being a partner. If I care about your business and I’m helping you be successful, you think about me as somebody who’s gonna sit by your side and help you grow your business.” — Stuart Baum
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink: https://www.danpink.com/books/drive/
Connect with Stuart Baum:
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Show notes by Podcastologist Chelsea Taylor-Sturkie
Audio production by Turnkey Podcast Productions. You’re the expert. Your podcast will prove it.
Narrator, Steve Fretzin, Stuart Baum, MoneyPenny, Jordan Ostroff, Practice Panther
Stuart Baum [00:00]
Yeah, you’re talking about moving from being a vendor to being a partner. If I care about your business, and I’m helping you be successful, you think about me as not as somebody that can bring you a doc without typos in it. And the truth is, they probably wouldn’t even know it’s a good doc for five or 10 years until it’s put to the test. You think about me as somebody who’s gonna sit by your side, and help you grow your business.
You’re listening to be that lawyer, life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Each episode, your host, author and lawyer coach, Steve Fretzin, will take a deeper dive, helping you grow your law practice in less time with greater results. Now, here’s your host, Steve Fretzin.
Steve Fretzin [00:46]
Hey, everybody, welcome to be that lawyer. I hope you’re having a lovely day. As you know, I’m Steve Fretzin, the host of this show, and it’s all about helping you to be that lawyer, someone who’s confident organized in a skilled Rainmaker. And if you haven’t heard about Fretzin EQ, you should just go to my website fretzin.com. But we only do two things. We help lawyers that are highly ambitious to take things to the next level. We also run mastermind groups for high functioning, performing attorneys rainmakers, helping them just collaborate with each other to continue the journey and continue their success. If you have any interest in either of those two things, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me and my email email@example.com. Or just go to my website and fill out the contact form. And that’s enough about that. I’ve got my good friend Stuart waiting in the wings here, Stuart, how are you?
Stuart Baum [01:31]
I’m doing great. Thank you, Steve, for having me on today. Yeah, you’re ready to have some fun, always ready to have some fun. That’s the whole purpose of this podcast, isn’t it?
Steve Fretzin [01:39]
It’s I think some I think it’s, I would say 25%. Fun, I would say 50% education. And then 25%, I’ll leave I’ll leave up to the listener to figure out what that other 25% is that’s up to them. But obviously have to take a moment to thank the sponsors legalese marketing, helping make things simple for you with basically it’s like outsourcing your marketing and letting them do your newsletter and your social and all that stuff you don’t want to do, you’ve got money, Penny doing the doing the the virtual reception, and also they pop up on my website, if you want to check them out. That’s a live reception on my website, which is pretty cool. And of course, practice Panther who’s helping you automate your practice management and make sure that you’re being efficient with your time. So we’ve got them. Stuart gave me one of the best quotes I think I’ve ever had submitted on the show. And I’m going to have him tell me why he likes that quote, I already have a way that I like to use it, but it’s experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted. And you’re not sure who came up with that you think Randy polish?
Stuart Baum [02:39]
Yeah, that’s what it says on the internet. But I also was told it was Dorothy Parker and other people. So give Randy the quote, because, hey, he got the internet.
Steve Fretzin [02:47]
That’s it. He got the Google. So talk to me about that quote, because I think it’s been fantastic.
Stuart Baum [02:52]
Yeah, well, people, you know, it’s sort of like, do you have dinosaur arms? Are you willing to try things or not try things and people are so afraid of trying and failing. And one of things I say a lot is, you know, you don’t learn anything. When you succeed, you only really learn things when you fail. And the only failure is a failure to learn from your failures. So, you know, and also looking at it, those of us who are older at the consulting game, the reason we’re good at it isn’t because we’re, you know, innately amazing. And everything we do is we we’ve tried a lot of stuff and they didn’t work. So we’re going to show you all the stuff that didn’t work, so that we don’t make those mistakes, we make a brand new mistake, or with luck, you don’t make any mistakes, and you get to the finish line.
Steve Fretzin [03:30]
So this is here. I’m gonna ask you the toughest question that I’m going to ask you on this interview. You ready? And how do I show that that quote to my teenager, and get them to
Stuart Baum [03:40]
No, no, yeah, I don’t go there. No marriage counseling, no family child. Let’s just stick to the things I’m good at. I will I will stick to my knitting. All right. All right. Well,
Steve Fretzin [03:50]
I just maybe I could break it up when it take him fishing, because at least then he knows, you know, Dad’s dad’s on his team, his fishing, if you will. Is he in college yet? No, he’s a sophomore in high school.
Stuart Baum [03:59]
Okay, he’s gonna be a lot, you will become a lot smarter after he graduates College, and he’ll realize that your experience has value and he’s pointing to
Steve Fretzin [04:06]
it’s interesting. I was talking to my good friend and I won’t mention his name, because I’m going to use what he told me about it. He said, he had a son who was arrested, he had a son who got terribly hurt. And in a bit of bad accident, he was kicked out of college, I think two or three times. And he’s now a, like a rocket scientist doing the most incredible work in the world. And it’s like, so there’s hope. You know, there’s there’s bad things that happen. And again, if if we can take those bad experiences, negative experiences, just learning experiences, and do better from them. Wow. I mean, that’s really what makes up every success story. Ever.
Stuart Baum [04:42]
Yeah, I mean, yeah, there’s so many examples of it. And we do that a lot with coaching is like what didn’t work? What did we learn from what didn’t work? Should you do something different or should you do something, you know, do that a little bit better? And that’s what we learned. That’s how we hone our skills. You know, if you take the first shot and it goes in, you just think you’re great at it. You got lucky
Steve Fretzin [05:00]
Yep, yep, that’s awesome. And Stuart bomb, you are the president of larger pond. And I’ve known you How long have we known each other since the hoard Marcus and birthdays, so we’re going back.
Stuart Baum [05:11]
We’re about three or four months ago, because we’re not at all. Yeah, more than a dozen years, but I
Steve Fretzin [05:17]
don’t want to age ourselves too bad too late. And I just, I’ve just, I’ve known you in the space a long time. And I was excited to get you on the show to you pick your brain on business development and marketing for lawyers. It’s what you and I have focused on for a good portion of our, you know, adult, you know, lives and talk to talk to the to everybody about your background, and how you got into working in legal.
Stuart Baum [05:41]
Yeah, um, so I mean, you know, I call myself a pure marketing person for most of my career, because I worked in big agencies, creative writer, director, things like that, you know, very on the creative side of big agencies biggest in the world at one point. And then when I moved to Chicago, I started doing marketing, consulting, and then started doing help, I will help people fix their marketing, what’s working and not working. I was with one client and came in and realize what wasn’t working wasn’t their marketing, they were getting all the blame for it was sales and business development. So they said, Hey, you seem to have a good idea there. Why don’t you help us fix that? So I started working on that. And I realized this is where the rubber meets the road. So I started doing business development, professional service firms bumped into a bunch of law firms that needed it. And that’s how I got into that, but and so the pivotal moment was recognizing that marketing gets blamed for a lot of things that aren’t their fault. It’s what happens to the leads next. And it’s easy to always put in marketing or sales. Some of the time is the issue. Right?
Steve Fretzin [06:41]
It was there was there some form of a B, that lawyer tipping point in your career as it relates to what led you to the success you’ve had?
Stuart Baum [06:50]
Yeah, so that was one of the things when I was talking to some of the more successful rainmakers, I tend to be somewhat analytical, though it might not appear that way. And I wanted to see what they did that made them successful. And most of the people in the corner office with a big book to businesses, you know, I’m just being me, I don’t do anything special, I just be me. So when I asked what being me is, and started documenting it, they’re doing a lot of the same things, in the same way with the same numbers. So there was a law firm I was working with that said, you know, before I was working with them, they came to me and said, Can you apply that we will be your guinea pig to that model. It was phenomenally successful using that model, say, Okay, let’s see if we can get people to start doing the things that everyone said isn’t really a plan, but seems to be everybody’s unwritten plan. So that was a tipping point in the legal space. Okay.
Steve Fretzin [07:39]
And so then, you know, obviously, I got pulled into this space in the recession of 2008, and started working with lawyers, because they really, and every lawyer has said this or thought it dozens and dozens of times, you know, hey, we don’t learn business development, marketing, branding, any of that stuff in law school in generally, unless they bring us in, in law firm level. And so what are the main sort of challenges that you’re seeing? And let’s keep it relevant to now what you’re seeing now, like in the last year or two, as it relates to the missteps and mistakes, or the frustrations that lawyers have around growing, growing a law practice?
Stuart Baum [08:12]
Yeah, I mean, I would say that one of the biggest things I say, is the young lawyers that are coming up, as you say, they don’t really have the basis for that they’re not something they really teach them in law school. They’re told early in their career, you know, be a good practitioner, get get the docs, right, understand what you’re doing. And that’s important. Because I mean, if you’re bad at it, that struggle at law firms, and then they’re told one day, they get in there, like, Hey, you got to develop business. Now. There’s two really big mistakes at that very moment. The person that tells them generally tells them if you do what I do, you’ll get what I got. And they also tell them, Don’t worry about enjoying it, do it. And so I think one of these you and I are going to talk about today, and I hope we do is how do we make this more fun? Because I really believe that business development can be fun. And I one of the things I say occasionally is like kale and cardio. If you told me that in order to get my vitamins, I have to eat kale. Yeah, I’m always going to be a sickly person. A lot of obstacles I love. Kale is not one of them. All right. If you go out to lunch with me and you serve kale, it’s not going to be a pleasant lunch for you either because you don’t want to watch somebody forced, or they don’t enjoy. Now bring out an artichoke or broccoli. I’m one of those weird people that actually like broccoli, yeah, Brussels sprouts. Now we’re going to have a good time because you’re gonna feel good about it, we’re going to enjoy it. But if you’re forcing me to eat kale is not going to work for me. And there are a lot of vegetables so that sort of the cardio thing to like your doctor were of that age with a doctor say get more cardio. If the Lord or the corner offices, Steve, you got to get cardio by getting up at four in the morning and get on your bike and riding 30 miles and then coming back and taking a shower at 445 in the morning or five or however long it takes right there. I will never know. You know, I don’t know if you’re going to do it and you’re certainly not going to look forward to it and Get out to it. But you know, if there’s car you enjoy running, whatever it is, I happen to like rollerblading, I will happily get up and do that walking the dog, I will get cardio, but I’ll get it my way. And I can be successful my way. So two big mistakes is do it, do what I did, and you’ll get what I got, and just suck it up. They don’t. There’s a lot of fun things you can do to get business development done that are successful for you.
Steve Fretzin [10:24]
And I took some time. This is before podcast days to interview some managing partners in around the Chicagoland area. And it was so frustrating because I would ask them what they tell their associates what they tell their their members to do to build business. And you just got to get out there. Yeah, okay, you just gotta get out there. You just gotta you gotta network, you got to build relationships. And that’s as far as it ever goes, as it relates to their advice. And what works for them doesn’t always work for everybody. So I think what you’re sharing is, you got to find what works for you. And you got it, you got to find your angle your Avenue, and it’s not the same for everybody. So, so that might be something to dissect further. And how does a lawyer dissect, you know, the kale in the cardio to figure out where the business is? I think that’s something that they’re probably would love to hear from us and from you.
Stuart Baum [11:13]
Yeah, I mean, there’s a, a sort of structure called on the hedgehog theory, which I don’t know how it got its name, but it makes sense when you think about it, is it’s a triple Venn diagram of what are you good at? What you enjoy? And how can you make money will you get paid for doing and in the center of that triple Venn diagram is what you should be doing for your career. Right? I do the same thing for business development. What are you good at the business development? What do you enjoy doing? And what works to bring in referrals and also help your network around you? Those are the things you should be doing. So back to the kill thing. If you said, Stuart, you got to eat kale to get your vitamins. Instead of oh, I don’t like kale, I’m going to choke it down. Just go out there, find that kale and choke it down. I’ll say, Well, what are the vegetables are available, they’ll get me the same vitamins. So if you are in the corner office, Steve in the corner office and said, Stuart, I want you to do do podcasts, and, and roundtables because that works. And that’s what works for me. So go do that. I’m not going to be successful, there’s no way I’m going to be as good at you with that. And if but if you said, hey, you know, go invite some people you think are well connected, that you actually like hanging around, get a bottle of wine and talk to them for 45 minutes and see how you can help their career. And then do that again, a couple more times, I can do that. And if drinking wine turns into money, and for me, it kind of does. Now I can have a successful career and not have to worry about getting another referral next week, what I have to do get up is invite a couple of people out for a glass of wine. That’s easy for me, and I enjoy doing it. It happens to also be successful for me. Yeah.
Steve Fretzin [12:49]
So I think each lawyer needs to figure out that enjoy the enjoy thing. But I think the good ad is really important. Meaning that you love to speak and you’re actually very good at speaking public speaking, how can we leverage that you’re a great writer? How do we leverage that you like people, okay, what networking groups are going to be best. So we just have to find the right direction. And also I would add to this, you know, and this might go to the money, where’s the money, but you know, there’s a lot of lawyers avoiding what I call the most people call the low hanging fruit. So the analogy that I give is like there’s a table full of money, just stacks of $100 bills on a table, and they’re just walking around it all day. They’re not walking into it, because they’re not thinking strategically about, you know, where that low hanging fruit is. What’s your take on that and trying to identify the best methods to get business when there’s 100 to choose from?
Stuart Baum [13:37]
Yeah, how many hours you have here? Yeah. So when a couple of years into working with law firm, one of the lawyers there Managing Partner firms said to me, you don’t have to be good as a lawyer business development, you have to be 10%. Good. You do 10% Of what all the things you should think about. And do. You’ll be really successful. years later, he came back to me, he’s like 5%, most lawyers just changed his answer. You just have to do 5% And more than the other lawyers who aren’t developing business and you will. I think one of the things that people miss is when they’re sitting across from people like right now I’m looking at you. And I’m sitting here thinking, What can I sell, Steve? That should not be what I do for two reasons. One, nobody likes being sold things. But people love buying things. So if I just talk about things that I can do, that I’m good at that I’m successful at stories where I’ve helped other people, you’re thinking about, Do I need that? Do I have anyone on my network that needs that? And when I think about my relationship with you, it’s not really my relationship with you. It’s how do I help your network? How can I help the people around you? So an easy trick is to look at Steve and say, Who does he know that I think I can be helpful to? Or who does he know that I think people I know should meet. So if I connect someone from my network to someone for your network, and they meet you and I look good, and they’ll think about us for the next thing they have, and sometimes they’ll come to us and say so what do you actually do Stuart besides connect me to that Aren’t those people that is a really low lift is unbelievably rewarding. And if it takes you more than five minutes to find two or three people in a good friends network that you can connect to people in your network, while you’re overthinking this,
Steve Fretzin [15:12]
yeah, it’s a lot a lot of the networking best practice is when you’re sitting across from someone that’s, you know, like I said, I’ll live let’s say, I’m interview, I’m talking to someone else in legal and I’m, I’m listening to them, tell me about the software they have and who it helps and all that. And I just start jotting down names. Yeah, like, it’s not about anything other than I’m just starting to figure out who this person is going to get business. For me, that’s great. These clients of mine are gonna get value from the software that didn’t even know existed, they’re going to be thrilled with me, it’s a three way winner. And I’m the one who I’m the one who said it, you know, set it up. So, so that’s a big part of what I think makes a successful networker, and it takes the pressure off, too. It takes the pressure of the sale, selling, convincing all that crap off the table, which we need to start doing better.
Stuart Baum [15:58]
So I’m going to tee up something I started I mentioned earlier. So when I talk to a lot of successful business developers about what would they do in the making successful? I asked for numbers. And they say they basically I keep my good friends close, right? I think about their careers. I tried to help them out. That’s what they’re doing. They’re looking at them and saying, Hey, here’s somebody who’s close to me, not he, if somebody asked, Who do you know that does this? It’s those conversations, you’re talking about saying? Okay, how can I help Steve? How can I help Steve? The magic number here is eight to 12. Generally, 50% of people’s lawyers, referrals come from either directly or indirectly eight to 12 people. If you have fewer than eight, it’s not enough. And if you have fewer 12, you really can’t focus on how can I help them? How can I connect their networks to mind all those things? And really, the simplest thing to do is to write down those eight to 12 names, every quarter looked out and say, Have I had a good substantive lunch conversation drink with them? Have I helped them Have I done anything good for them? Period, not that hard, you know, then you have an extra network of 25 to 50, that you know, and you bump into, and then your greater network of about 100, whatever. But really, the magic number is eight to 12. And if these are people you enjoy being with, and you actually care about their success. Now it’s a matter as the venue, you go golfing with him, you go drink it with him, you go for a run with them, you meet him at a conference, you tee them up for a panel on your speaking. Do you add them to your podcast? I mean, that’s what you do. So it’s it’s the mechanics? Yeah. So you liked them? Because they’re the vegetable that you enjoy? Then it’s a matter of how do you consume it? Do you? You know, do you bake it, you boil it, you fry, whatever it is, I’ll not,
Steve Fretzin [17:41]
I’ll take that a step further stewar to because I think the problem that lawyers have is they don’t really have a mindset about how to get that eight to 12. So what I try to explain to them is, think of yourself like a baseball Scout, where you’re out trying to find the best players for your team, right. So in this case, instead of players that would be strategic partners, referral partners, so you’re out meeting, the lawyers that that are most closely related to the work you do the CPAs that continually work with with entrepreneurs that have the issues that you saw, and they’re coming across those problems. And it’s a matter of, can they refer you? And are they are they a good referral partner? Like? Do they follow through and do basic level stuff? And number two is, did you qualify them, that they would be open and interested in that relationship? And by the way, a great question that I teach my clients is to ask at the end of a networking meeting, maybe not in the first meeting, but maybe in the second meeting, you know, in an average year, how often are you coming across these kinds of matters, these kinds of deals, and the guy says, in 10 years, I’ve never come across that and I never will, that’s very different than oh my god, I’d probably hand out 20 of those a year. And I don’t even know who I you know, I don’t even care about people, I’m handing them off to meaning, you know, they’re not reciprocating, they’re not making any effort, I just need to give them to somebody. So that could be a big part of how you develop that eight to 12. And then you just have to your point, then you got to drink, you got to golf, you got to whatever it is to make sure they’re happy. And in my case, I like all that social stuff. But quite frankly, if I’m referring a marketing agency, or if I’m referring a software company, my interest is hey, can they send a couple of people my way here, and they’re, you know, some interested highly motivated attorneys my way. And if we can have that relationship, then, you know, it’s icing on the cake.
Stuart Baum [19:23]
Yeah, no, I mean, you’re 100%. Right. Again, one of the things about und doing similar things. I mean, I don’t think we overlap too much, but we do overlap a bit. And there’s, you know, we’re, I’m not going to be for you, but there’s if you’re looking for a business development coach for your lawyers, there’s 1000s of people that use I’m not the only one out there, and we all have different names where you know, whether you call them angels or promoter partners, or what are power partners or promoters or whatever it is, is the same thing. And there is a little bit of calculation that does go to these, you know, does it talk a little bit of the fun out of it? No, but it makes it maybe a little bit but it but it makes it directional. The thing is A is similar to you, as I say, do they have access? Right? Are they able to meet the type of people that could be valuable for you in your network? You know, if they’re a monk sitting on top of, you know, Mount Everest, probably not going to bump into people you want. That doesn’t mean you can have friends, be friends with them, invite them over for barbecue on Sundays. But this isn’t really where you want to do your marketing time, because we only have so much time in the day. So if you’re going to spend two hours or three hours a week doing marketing or networking, you know, your friends on Saturday, Sunday is fine, but then call up this person because they have access. And more importantly is do you have access that can help them so that there’s a two way street here? Because if you live at the end of a one way call to sack, what do they do? It ain’t going anywhere, and it’s not going to go anywhere. It’s going to be two years of wasted time for both of you.
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Practice Panther [21:20]
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Steve Fretzin [21:28]
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Jordan Ostroff [21:57]
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Steve Fretzin [22:18]
You know, one of the things that I when I talk about low hanging fruit, whether this is a strategic partner, or this is a client or a friend who’s just wired in is is most lawyers have either a fear and angst anxiety about asking for things or asking for an introduction. If you have a strong relationship, and you’ve added value for other people first, okay, and this is maybe over a year or two okay, or more longer? What’s your language or advice as a relates to making that ask again, in a non salesy way? What’s your what’s the language that you give to lawyers and feed them to us to make that reasonable?
Stuart Baum [22:57]
Yeah, so I mean, there’s two angles on this is one of the one of the visual, we get what you asked for, we know that in life, right, and I’ve got stories around that, like, if you don’t ask for something, you’re not gonna get anything, you’re only gonna get what get what people give you. If you and I are having a real conversation about how we can help each other becomes easy. If I say, Hey, how can I help you? And you give me this? And you don’t ask me? How can I help you back? That’s a one way street. And if you ask Stuart, how can I help you back? Is there anyone on my network, you want to know that I don’t need to ask, I don’t need to sell, you don’t need to make the ask. It’s inherent in the conversation. And it’s a relationship, we have that relationship, we’re here to help each other grow the business. The other woman I say, and I get criticized for saying it, but I do it anyway, to stop being so selfish. If you and your network can help the person you’re across from, why aren’t you doing that? If you’re, let’s say your lawnmower broke down, and I happen to know how to fix that lawnmower. So I just sit here and say, well, sucks to be used to eat too bad, you’re suffering. Or as I say, You know what, actually, I can fix those things. I don’t know why I can just fix that lawnmower, you know, give me 20 bucks and pour a beer and I’ll get that thing fixed for you. And you’re like, Oh, you saved my life. That’s great. So why are you being selfish and not helping them and their net worth, this is not about you, it’s about helping them. And if you’re not good at it, don’t offer it if you’re good at it, shame on you for not offering because they need your help. They want it off their plate. They want to move on to other things in life too. So that generally resonates with some really angry stares. But also some people come up with like, you know what, that changes my perception. I can help them. You can you’re good at it. You’re a great guy, right? You’re a quality person at a good value. Why not share that?
Steve Fretzin [24:36]
Yeah. It’s like not right. I’m not sharing a top doctor. If your uncle had, you know, had an injury or something you WHY WOULD YOU? Of course you would.
Stuart Baum [24:44]
Yeah. And then one of the we talked about HMB hoard marks and Brooks I’ll go there. My first entry to h4 Marxan Berg, was they asked me if I could help with something and I said, Look, I could but I’m probably not the best person. I’ll show you somebody else. Got him. Somebody else that worked. came back to me decor when he’s he’s like, I got another thing. Maybe you can help with this. I’m like, yeah, like, hate to say it, but not really my goals, I’ve got somebody else that will be great. They came in and did that. And he came to me a third time. He’s like, I’m tired of asking the wrong question. And he’s like, who do you know that can do this? I’m like, actually, that’s me, man. He’s like, great. Come on, and do it. So your question about how do you ask is you become a resource for them and eventually get around to something that you can actually do for them? Yeah,
Steve Fretzin [25:25]
I tend to I tend to take the I have some more direct approaches to that lawyers get frustrated by when I tell them this as well. But one of them is if you’ve done great work for a client, and you’ve saved the day, you’ve won the case, you’ve you’ve saved the money, you’ve you’ve been efficient, you’ve been very responsive. You have the social relations, like everything’s there. Yeah. Sometimes they just like you said, if you don’t ask you don’t get. And so a lot of times, it’s just the language that lawyers need to pull out of their rear end to get it out of their mouth. And so something as simple as you know, you know, Harry, you’ve been very, you know, you’ve mentioned a number of occasions how happy you are with the work I’ve done. And you know, quite frankly, I know that you’re wired in with tons of CEOs all over town. I wonder if they’re, if there’s one or two that you think I should be talking to? Would you would you be opened up to having that conversation? And of course, Harry’s gonna say yes, I mean, what else? Is he going to say? He’s not going to be a female, it turns out he’s that selfish? First of all, you it’s not that it’s you didn’t have the relationship, you thought you didn’t do the good work, you thought 99 out of 100 times, Harry’s gonna come to the rescue if you just ask about it like that.
Stuart Baum [26:27]
Yeah, I mean, it’s interesting, cuz I just who’s talking to Laura this morning, and I gave the following advice. So is, you know, you met this person, they think you do good work. And you say, hey, look, forget for a second, I’m a lawyer, your to do list is 200 things long. Forget about the top three, what’s number four, through eight on your to do list that you would love to just cross off and get the list? Let me know what they are. And I probably know someone who can help you, I promise you, one of those is something you can do. And he just didn’t think of you. And here’s the number seven is this, like, you know, I can do that? Oh, I didn’t know. Yeah, you don’t know my entire menu of offerings, because you haven’t been studying it. Right. And especially when you’re at a law firm, and you really know your peers and what they do in the value where they are, when you said when I say I can do that, what I really mean is, hey, I’ve got this great person at my firm that can knock that out of the park for you, would you like an introduction? And they’re like, get number seven off my to do list that’s valuable to me, and make me have a little bit less angst. So I feel like I accomplished something. Hell yeah. Make that intro right now. So to your point, it’s not that hard. It’s that you have to have done good work and have enough relationship and not be so selfish.
Steve Fretzin [27:36]
Well, let me let me wrap things up with one final question before we get to Game Changing books. And that is, what would you say are the top two tips for developing the strongest relationship with a client to enable the referral process to enable them to want to, and be open to you know, sending more work your way or sending friends your way? Because that’s ultimately, you know, the kind of the, you know, the best place a lawyer could be is getting referred by clients who already think, you know, the lawyers. Terrific. Yeah.
Stuart Baum [28:08]
So again, back to my detailed spreadsheet process. But I’ll give you a couple from I mean, it’s a checklist of three or four things. So it’s not that compliment card. The first one is actually care. And I know that feels we all say hey, we care about our business, but then we really care really care about them being successful. They’ll feel it. Right. Yeah. And I’m going back to the other one is, is to enjoy what you’re doing and enjoy helping them. People can see that enjoyment. Yeah. And it’s like, they always talk about you can hear the smile on the phone. If it feels like work, they’re gonna feel like it’s work. So have that calm conversation with them. And again, you know, that, yeah,
Steve Fretzin [28:46]
I have a client who had to take basically a couple months off from really engaging with me because he was transitioning from one firm to another. And our time in our in my program is about eight months, and he’s he’s past that expiration date. And he said to me, you know, what do we do from here I go, Well, where are you? And he goes, you know, and I was one attendee because I’m like a six or seven as far as understanding your concepts and executing it and have a lot of praise. I said, then Greg, why don’t you just stay in for a few more months, like you’re not going to charge your for it just I want you to walk away, knowing what to do and how to do it and actually having some successes in your under your belt before we kind of move on to the next thing. And if you didn’t pick up on my you my interest in his success and my interest in his character, He’s clueless because, you know, that’s my number one priority is the success of my clients. And if they don’t feel they need to feel that all the time, and it’s real and that being fake about it, that but that’s, that’s how we need to be in order to not only you know, get that reputation of being good, but also getting the reputation of caring and understanding and I think it just makes it very easy for people to refer you when you when you’re really being authentic like that.
Stuart Baum [29:49]
Yeah, you’re talking about moving from being a vendor to being a partner. If I care about your business, and I’m helping you be successful you think about me as not as somebody that can bring you a doc without typos in it. The truth is, they probably wouldn’t even know it’s a good doc for five or 10 years and told to put to the test. You think about me as somebody who’s gonna sit by your side and help you grow your business. So when I asked, Hey, Steve, do you know, you know, do you go Sarah over there? Would you make an introduction? You’re like, why wouldn’t I? Thanks for making that easy for me instead of Is there anyone in your network? So I say it seems so obvious care, but what I mean is care about their business and care about their growth. Don’t just care about doing a good job and getting your check. Yeah,
Steve Fretzin [30:28]
that’s one of the reasons I got out of working with the law firms. I only work with individual attorneys now. And it’s not because I don’t care. It’s because they were sending me their troubled children. They were saying I want to trouble children, send them off. That’s alright. So we’ve got to we’ve got to understand, we got to be that lawyer moment here. I don’t want the troubled children that Stewart’s expertise. Alright, so All right, you so like, I even have a graphic that shows like, if somebody isn’t motivated and driven to go after business, I really that’s not that I don’t teach that I don’t work with that. I need someone that’s highly motivated and ambitious, and but just doesn’t have the skills. He doesn’t learn the skills. That’s where I succeed. And I’ll still motivate them. I’m still like that, you know, I’m not Tony Robbins. But But yeah, someone who’s who’s got no driver interest at a law firm to grow. And I don’t know what what do you tell them to to get that? How do you make that that move? Because I’ve struggled with that? Yeah, so I can’t fix lazy. Oh, you can’t fix lazy Oh, okay.
Stuart Baum [31:25]
I’m good, but I’m not. It’s lazy, generally. So I will be happy to be the person they bring those troubled children to, then I will, if they’re lazy, we can’t do anything. But I’ll get to like, what are your goals in life? What are your struggles? What are the other things you could do to be successful. So generally, they get, they get boxed in there, their goals are different than the goals that are forced down their throat. And when we can flip both of those lenses, then they these, these people can start to really excel back to the kale thing, eat your kale, and then you’ll get what I got. I don’t want kale and I don’t want what you got. Okay, so what do you want, I want this, I want to spend more time with my family, I don’t want to have, you know, the $8 million. I want to have a $2 million book, spend time with my family. And they’re pushing me hard to do that. So we can get to the bottom with it. Help them see all the things that are possible, find the things that they enjoy that headshot theory for their business development, then they can get up to the level where now they’re no longer quote unquote, problem, children. And I’ll hand it back on Tuesday.
Steve Fretzin [32:25]
Okay, well, I mean, maybe I misspoke with me. So what I mean by problem children was lack of desire, lazy, unmotivated, uninterested, you know, they just they have no, they have no interest whatsoever in business development. So how am I going to fix that? Right? That’s, yeah, I’m not a cheerleader. That’s not my job. I mean, I can I can walk on coals if someone needs me to like Tony Robbins. But that’s not really what I’m doing. I motivate the people, they’re already motivated. It’s my job to keep them motivated. And when things get hard to bring them back up to the level they need to be to think about things clearly. But I found like working with 10 attorneys, maybe maybe two or three would actually do the work and step up. And the other seven, were kind of just showing up dead behind the eyes. And it was very frustrating to me to take a check in to take, you know, to take your whatever to be involved engaged in that. So I stopped.
Stuart Baum [33:15]
Yeah, no, I mean, it’s again, it’s like, it’s got to be a no hostages moment. And so if a law firm where there’s 10, quote, unquote, trouble children, and you can get to them and find a few in there, or sometimes there’s two or three of you just I mean, no one’s 100% successful. There are people I’m like, I just can’t make this work. Yeah. Unwilling to do what it is. And they really the base, they don’t want to be successful, or they want to be given work, do the work from home and not actually go their book. Yeah, you can’t do that. But you know, but I would say that when law firms write off people they think are high opportunity that are paying off. I don’t know why. I would say my batting average is about 66% of getting them suddenly, like Oh, suddenly things are working
Steve Fretzin [33:59]
well only because you’re getting them to enjoy look at the fun look at you like you’re taking them down a path that’s going to be more reasonable for them than what they thought it was. Which is you know, pushing a rope.
Stuart Baum [34:09]
Yeah, it’s like okay, if you try if all you’re surfing is kale, half the kids aren’t going to eat and the other half will to get down and maybe one or two will enjoy it. By
Steve Fretzin [34:16]
the way everybody listening to this that enjoys kale. Yeah, if you day that’s that’s your debt your jam. That’s okay. You spend the angry note the kid Yeah, the kitchen. Here’s a more important question for why did it take them so long to figure out that if you bake brussel sprouts with like olive oil and salt that they taste good, as opposed to boiling them? Like that was a thing for 1000s of years, they just boiled brussel sprouts and No one ate them.
Stuart Baum [34:38]
Yeah, and he presents that is an example I use.
Steve Fretzin [34:42]
They’re delicious. They just had to cook them differently.
Stuart Baum [34:45]
You bake them and you sprinkle a little bit of bacon on that. Oh my god, but then like then you can’t like there’s no amount you can serve that. Like, so you’re right. It’s the delivery mechanism.
Steve Fretzin [34:56]
It’s alright, well, let’s let’s wrap things up with the game changing but Stuart, this has been a lot of fun. I want to I want to finish strong. So it’s drived by Daniel Pink.
Stuart Baum [35:05]
Yeah, I mean, so I’m a huge Daniel Pink fan. What I like about him is is not just a fable, it’s not just lots and lots and lots of qualitative data. You know, he, he puts in real data quantity data in there and says, Okay, well, this is it. Let’s take a look at examples of this a little bit unintuitive sometimes, what I like about driving back to me, and this is sort of full circle is people do things for intrinsic reasons, not extrinsic reasons, I want you to be successful. And I’ll give you 50 bucks, if you do it, some people are going to take the 50 bucks and do the thing. Someone will show up and do the thing mediocre and get their C level. Others like I’m not interested. So it’s what’s the reason they’re doing it? What are their value set? And how do they get out of it. And he does a really good exploration of this on that. And it’s kind of game changing when people read it, and they come back and they go, okay, get inside the person and look out, see what they’re seeing what makes them tick, and don’t like, if you’re not going to do it for 25 bucks, you’re not going to do it for 100 bucks. What’s the number that makes you do it is not the goal here? The goal is Steve, why do you want to do it? How can I help you get to that? Because it might not be money. And I’ll tell you this is almost never money.
Steve Fretzin [36:16]
Yeah, people think it’s money, like, you know, taking a job at a different firm. But it ultimately goes back to an unemployment Desinger what’s the you know, just not enjoying their people not enjoying the culture, the environment they were in wasn’t ideal. If it was, they wouldn’t have left for money unless it was some insane number. And then they’ll probably come back a year later and realize the mistake they made.
Stuart Baum [36:35]
Yeah, and we like being successful. We like having fun. And if we can have fun and be successful, those are intrinsic values. I’m enjoying talking to you. I want to talk to you again. So I didn’t enjoy it. Give you 50 bucks to come back. I’m not sure I would do it if you say hey, come back for free or refer somebody here it’s like absolutely, because I’ve enjoyed it and you’ve made it pleasant. How’s that for a pitch for your for your podcast?
Steve Fretzin [36:59]
Very good. Very good. Stuart you’re awesome man. I appreciate it what what how do people find you if they want to get in touch
Stuart Baum [37:05]
simple Stuart at larger pond like bigger lake but larger pond.com or go to my LinkedIn and click message and I’ll get back to you you know, or go to your or go to your local bar sit there with a glass of wine here that’s good enough wine
Steve Fretzin [37:22]
that I was gonna say no who likes a larger pan is my fishing teenager oh man help pay kills for oil every everywhere we go in my car he now he’s driving but but he was always looking at the little map the GPS so there’s water there’s water, there’s water, anything bigger anything bigger than a pool he’s thrilled about it was fun at night. But yeah, it was thanks so much, Stuart. I appreciate you sharing your wisdom I got just so many great takeaways that hopefully you all listening got as well and just hopefully we can continue to have you back on soon. I’d love to get you get you know pick a different topic we could probably go on for another few hours.
Stuart Baum [37:54]
Yeah, we’ll schedule that for three hours over a bottle of wine. Like Like hey,
Steve Fretzin [37:59]
Thank you Stuart. Hey everybody, thank you for spending time with Stuart and I today another opportunity to learn about different ways to be successful as a lawyer and more importantly you know the the importance of you know enjoying what you do as much as you know if you enjoy practicing law great are there some things you can enjoy around business development that are going to make it fun and easy and and not just such a such a pain? That’s really the key to success for most people. So in whatever you’re doing so again, you’re helping you to be that lawyer someone who’s competent organized in a skilled Rainmaker. Take care everybody be safe be well, we’ll talk again soon.
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 and marketing trends. For more information and important links about today’s episode, check out today’s show notes