Quick Tip for Lawyers who want to Build Business

Time is money. In the lawyer world, this doesn’t only ring true for committing to the billable hour focus. This is true for working ON business as well as IN it.

If you were to look at your daily task list, somewhere near the bottom you would no doubt find things like – call Mike about having lunch to discuss some referral options, RSVP for the chamber after hours event, return a call/email to ABC prospect.

Why are these tasks at the bottom of the list?

Other than the need to work on the billable hours for the cases you are working, they lead to sales, and sales, for most lawyers – and many other professions, creates anxiety. What creates anxiety we put off until the last minute or never get to. But without the pipeline, we can’t carry our weight in the practice group and firm. And although we are responsible professionals, we respect what others bring to the table, we just may need a quick tip in how to create a pipeline for ourselves.

Quick tip for pipeline building

Plan with SMART goals.

Smart goals means Specific, Measureable, Actionable, Realistic and Timely.

So for instance, “build  business” is a goal, but it isn’t measuraeable, is foggy in action, and doesn’t offer a deadline.

SMART goal – Schedule 8 appts per week by each Friday afternoon

The above is specific with a specific task, we can measure whether the goal was met, it is action-based, it (depending on the person) is realistic, and it is timely, or focused on a recurring way to consider our behaviors.

To build a pipeline, start with a SMART goal focus. It may need tweaked based on reality and timeliness, but without a starting focus, we have nothing to create action around. Another SMART goal for pipeline building to consider is follow up with 10 people per week from my network.
Or attend 2 networking events per month.

Start with a goal, run with it for at least 6 months to measure its value and tweak the reality of it. But stick with the goal.
For those of us who are not used to thinking of building business, we tend to forget or overlook its value until we need it. In reality, business building – like relationship building – is a constant. It is an activity – like eating or sleeping – that needs to be a part of our daily routine vs. whenever we have time for it.

Try this on your own for 6 months. Or work with someone willing to give you  SMART goals that fit your needs. Don’t give up. Treat them like they are foundations to your law practice. Because, guess what – they are.

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On July 5th, 2011, posted in: business building, goals by