Action During Hard Times – Just Do Something
Humans are inherently egotistical. We would like to think that the world revolves around us, both personally and professionally. As lawyers, we have lunches with referrals and meet with clients. Because they are our sources of networking, income and general business survival, we think about them constantly and would like to think that the feeling is mutual. But guess what? About ten minutes after those conversations have concluded, you can bet your bottom dollar they have already forgotten about you.
Don’t take it personally. It’s really not you. It’s them. You see, they have their own lives, worries and concerns, of which you really don’t factor in. They have moved onto to worrying about that alarming skin rash or lump under their arm, their relationship and family issues, or their own concerns about income and survival.
Unfortunately for you, round about the same time, you have hit a dry spot (and maybe your bottom dollar does depend on them). Business is slowing, clients are not calling in, and you are contemplating a future of saltine crackers and ketchup. Never fear. You can easily recall the attention of former referrals and clients with a few simple steps that will assuage your fears of slack business and return their focus to you.
Make a list and check it twice. Sit down and draw up a list of all your former referrals and clients. Don’t leave anyone out (except perhaps clients who did not leave happily). Regardless of how recent your relationship with these former referrals or clients may be, put them on that list and make sure everyone has been included.
Pick up the phone and punch the numbers. Yes, email is easier and maybe even quicker, but it does not leave the same impression or allow for the same connection. Just pick up your phone (which has probably been silently sitting during this dry spell anyway) and use it!
Talk for 2 minutes. That’s it, really. Two minutes. You don’t have to talk for longer. With referrals, see how they are doing. Inquire about their businesses and when they naturally return the question to you, tell them the truth. “Things are slow right now. If you have anyone you can send my way, I have the time and would love the opportunity!”
With former clients, let them know that you care about how they have been since you worked together. Let them know this is a follow up and that you are available for any of their future needs or questions. Also, subtly remind them that you are available to help with the needs of any of their families or friends who may need advice.
So there you have it. It really comes down to one thing. How willing are you to pick up your phone and spend a few minutes reconnecting with former referrals and clients? You will find that lawyers who are willing to take the time to make connections and calls will suddenly find business picking up again. Hard times will end and down time will be a thing of the past. Lawyers who find reasons why they just can’t take the time to reconnect will find that business continues to be slow and times to be hard. It’s a simple concept really, and Newton said it best: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Take action and things will happen; do nothing, and you will sit around waiting for calls the never come. My advice? Start doing something immediately!
Jared Pierce hung his own shingle right out of law school and has spent every minute since then discovering the joys and difficulties of chasing success. Anyone who has ever met Jared will tell you h