I came across a terrific (and short article) in Attorney at Work by Tea Hoffmann on “Developing a What’s Next Mindset” that I passed along to the lawyers with whom I work because I like how it drives home the point that lawyers should always be thinking about the next step in trying to turn a prospect into a client. I also like how it drives home the point about how thinking strategically and carefully about the next steps in the sales cycle can lead to more business – a lawyer and his/her advisors must always be planting the seeds for how to engage with the prospect and how best to “pitch” the story of the firm and its services.

As the article notes, “typically it takes up to eight interactions, done over the course of six to 18 months, to convert a prospect to a client and only 20 percent of your prospects will become clients.” Now, this is a generalization of course, and it can take much longer or much shorter for a lead to become a client – but you get the point that the buyer journey to client is oftentimes quite long with mnay touchpoints along the way. The author also goes on to say that a what’s next mindset is great for lawyers because they tend to be deadline driven and laser focused – so this gives them motivation and the opportunity for goal setting.
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It’s great to have a large number of connections on LinkedIn, but if the relationship never leaves the site, what’s the point? Create connections that matter, remember to always focus on the quality of the relationships – not the quantity!

Here are five tips on how to easily turn online connections into offline business:

  1. Build

Lately, I’ve been receiving a lot of LinkedIn requests from people I don’t know, which I don’t accept, because, well I don’t know them and they’re usually trying to pitch something to me.  But one caught my eye because his name was listed so unconventionally. 

DRUM ROLL – he included a grape emoji before and

A few thoughts on LinkedIn:

Today, most people do not send an email when they move jobs, instead they use LinkedIn to notify their professional network. It’s up to you to do the due diligence to find where they landed and add that info to Outlook and your CRM.

LinkedIn gives you great reasons to

In this article, I provide 16 easy ideas to incorporate into your social media, business development and branding efforts for professionals at all levels because it’s never too late or early to shake up your marketing efforts, and the new year is a great opportunity to start fresh and add new activities to our business development and marketing mix.

A word to the wise for young professionals – you should build your network before you think you’ll ever need it. Your peers will be tomorrow’s business leaders. And a word to the wise for seasoned lawyers who don’t think they need to spend the time on business development – today it’s not enough to just be a great lawyer.

You need to market yourself as well as churn out exceptional legal work. One day your steady stream of work could dry up or something unexpected could happen where you need to rebuild your practice.

Also, you never know who can turn out to be a client, referral or future employer. I always tell the lawyers with whom I work to never underestimate the importance of every person and connection. Be friendly and kind to everyone. Because you never know. Read the full article for the 16 tips
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If you could hear directly from your clients about what they want and need, wouldn’t you jump at every opportunity to listen? And even better act on it?

With that in mind, I try to attend as many events featuring in-house counsel as I can, even if what they largely say is the same, because I appreciate their insights especially when it comes to what they value most when working with outside counsel. And every year, what they say they need and want most from their outside counsel – transparency, responsiveness, cost-sensitivity, understanding my business, anticipating my needs and providing value-added content and educational add-ons – continue to be a challenge for some firms and their lawyers to consistently hit the mark in all areas.

A law firm’s most precious assets are its clients, which are the source of both today’s business and tomorrow’s referrals. Therefore, you’d think that firms would strive to integrate the voice of their clients into all they do. But not all of them do, or maybe they try but just can’t.

Law firms always need to remember that their clients do not need to work with them. They need to want to work with them. And it is all within the power of law firms (and their lawyers) to achieve true client satisfaction and long-term loyalty by providing the highest-quality legal services, quickly resolving client issues, being a fierce client advocate who anticipates and solves problems and adding consistent value throughout the client lifecycle.

In today’s competitive environment, law firms must adopt a client-centric perspective in everything they do in order to remain competitive. Every single touchpoint matters and will be remembered, and a misstep can be very costly.

Here are some ideas from recent panels featuring the voice of the client that I hope inspire you on how to enhance attorney/client relationships at your firm: 
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What if I told you that there was a cool visual way to view and then request new connections to your LinkedIn network and it was so easy that all you had to do was to hold up your smartphone and scan a QR code?

Well, it exists – pretty exciting, right? (it’s a relatively new feature that was introduced in June 2018) and many people don’t know about it, because LinkedIn doesn’t always do a great job of letting its users know when it makes enhancements to its platform. Take full advantage of this nifty tool and impress the lawyers with whom you work and your colleagues. 
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I am often asked by friends, industry colleagues and lawyers about how they can become stronger social media marketers both for themselves, their lawyers and their firms. I always say that that it’s not hard to do if you are committed and resourceful – it just involves being more clever and creative about the content and visual assets that you do have. It also involves a significant time commitment to stay top of mind in order to effectively engage with clients, prospects and other key influencers to strengthen your brand and to generate real business. If you’re willing to do those two things, mastering the techniques is easy. Now let’s get to work! 
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It’s never been more important to stand out from your peers in this crowded, saturated market. Becoming totally immersed in your clients and prospects by learning as much as you can about them is one way to separate the good lawyers from the great lawyers.

This requires time and effort by asking smart questions and conducting thorough research (for example, by setting up free Google alerts on your top clients/prospects so that you are informed about important news about them, and using social media tools such as LinkedIn to learn about job moves and updates of your important connections). Today, most people just don’t send emails announcing their new positions anymore – it’s now up to you to do research.

Being aware of major developments and news affecting your clients’ organizations enables you to better anticipate their needs and it shows that you care. In this case, knowledge is power.

So how do you put this into practice? 
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You may not always have a steady stream of referrals to give out to your referral sources, and here’s what to do when you feel stressed out about that. Here’s a great article by Sue-Ella Prodovonich on referrals and how to pay them back when you can’t refer them work at that time.

As she says, “referrals are the lifeblood of most professional services firms.” Think about idea of mutual reciprocity and being helpful. Invest in your relationships in a way that provides something of value to them and you will strengthen the relationship until you can make an introduction that may lead to a referral. Remember that referrals are never guaranteed – but you can certainly make connections and go out of your way to help people. No one forgets when someone goes above and beyond for them. Read on for Sue-Ella’s tips. 
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