Your team is integral to your firm’s success and you want to consistently use them effectively to service your clients. To be successful, you want to act like the manager of a baseball club. Compare your lawyers to baseball players and think of your client matters as specific ball games. Like ball players, when your lawyers are well-positioned and prepared, they will effectively carry out their responsibilities on their projects.
How should you wrap your arms around being innovative? Focus on your innovativeness as a direct relationship to your productivity and efficiencies, talent development, and career progression. The net result will be that you and your firm are trusted and respected, and your client service executed successfully. Sponsoring and supporting innovativeness does not require that you and your firm do a clean sweep of all your products, services, and processes for the sake of change. Nor do you need to categorically adapt new and, potentially, untested procedures across the board.
Client exposure is sadly another area where many of your colleagues are elbowed out in favour of those with the loudest voices or biggest books of business. Too frequently, your firm rolls out the same people on different pitches, simply because these lawyers have been used on earlier pitches and have institutionally become the go-to team. Regardless of your firm’s size, there is depth of talent, which you want to expose and share with current and prospective clients.
At any given time of the day, you are typically on either side of the communication equation: the speaker’s side or the listener’s side. Regardless of your position, you want to take care with your communication so it will be received and acted on effectively and appropriately. You communicate without care when you empty out your words, raise your voice louder, or repeat the same message if you feel your listener is not understanding what you want them to do. Instead, take care with your messaging and stay focused on not only what you communicate but how you are being perceived by the person with whom you are interacting.
Happy New Year! And what better time than the new year to commit to regularly contacting your internal colleagues and showing genuine interest in them and their business. You get that this is a key way to build relationships with your clients. It is now time to leverage your client development skills and focus your attention on your internal colleagues.
Do you know where your money is currently leading you? Now is the time to take stock of your practice accomplishments to determine if you are on the business track you want to be following. Look at your year’s hours, break them down by matter, type of work and client and determine how you have been spending your time. If you spent more than 60% of your time doing a certain type of work, how newsworthy is that for you?
Your communication or leadership style is your personal stamp. The more aware you are of how your communication values contribute to your success as a leader, the more likely you will be to succeed. There are two interconnected values you want included in your leadership stamp: using judgment and being accessible. Sound judgment helps you earn and maintain trust. As so much of what you do depends on messaging and ensuring that your signals are clear and targeted, it is vital that you use sound judgment with each communication.
If you are someone who prides themselves on getting work but then has a tough time delivering, you may be a procrastinator. You are easily distracted. You thrive in crisis-mode and continuously put out fires of your own making. You are constantly in a time crunch and get a rush from being able to complete tasks at the last minute. Knowing that you can usually get away with doing things just before they’re due, you will continue to procrastinate until something horribly goes wrong and you get exposed.
Cross-selling is all about leveraging. The key value in cross-selling is to unite with others to go after the same target. You can leverage and deepen your client relationships by introducing your colleagues and their expertise to your key clients and leverage and deepen your colleagues’ relationships by introducing your expertise to their contacts.