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LawBiz® TIPS – Week of February 26, 2013

LawBiz(r) newsletter

This last week was a glorious week for me in cycling camp and a unique week for Tucson. Tucson had a blizzard, meaning that it snowed. Where was the sun they promised? The car was covered; I didn't need to use a shovel to dig out, but I did have to scrape the car windshield to get rid of the ice and snow to drive on. Riding in this weather makes me appreciate my home town that much more ... no snow ever and minimal rain ...

snow in Tucson Technology makes this travel possible, wandering the globe and still providing coaching and consulting services to my clients. Oh what fun! Ed signature

How Do You Rank?

The legal profession seems obsessed with rankings - in Martindale-Hubbell, The Best Lawyers in America, Chambers USA, SuperLawyers, and countless others.The gist of all these rankings is that they purport to "objectively" portray a lawyer's skill, service and ethics. However, there is one ranking that indisputably proves how good any lawyer or law firm is at practicing law: how you rate with your current clients. The skills of a lawyer and the way in which services are delivered to the client are the ultimate measures of professional effectiveness - when the measuring is done by the client.

This is not an issue of how competent your clients think you are. Competence is actually a pretty low benchmark. You can very clearly see where you rank on the criteria your clients really value by rating yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being the top) on these three measurements:

  • How fast do clients pay you? If the client pays each bill every month like clockwork, you rate high. If, however, the client owes a great deal of money and shows very little inclination to pay it, your rating is low. You truly have a good relationship with your client only when the client's account receivable is up to date within 30 days. Delinquent accounts at 90 to 180 days indicate that the client is dissatisfied, doesn't respect you, or may be considering disciplinary action.

  • How many referrals do clients make to you? Asking clients for a testimonial does not equal a business referral. Most clients value confidentiality and subconsciously are reluctant, even when they do give permission, to be publicly identified. The real indicator of how you rate with them is how many relatives, friends and business colleagues they personally refer to you. A client who is named on your website but who makes no referrals is actually giving you a low ranking.

  • How often do clients talk with you? Not enough law firms ask their clients how they are doing, and thus never figure out that their client is unhappy. The best answers come by visiting the client periodically. Don't be apprehensive about what to say or do in making such visits; the real goal is to get clients to talk about their business and to listen to what they are saying. If clients tell you their hopes and plans, they rank you high as their lawyer. If the conversation is short, ask quickly how you can improve - or risk losing that client.

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In this issue:

How Do You Rank?

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Video: Time Management

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What Clients Are Saying:

"On a personal level, I'm not scared any more. The recession reduced my wife and me from a comfortable two-income family to a one person income and a capital drain. When I first called Ed, I truly was counting the months until we would have to put the house on the market... The things we have put in place and will continue working on guaranteed my business picking up."

Northern California

"Ed was coaching me during our firm reorganization when disaster hit! Key personnel departed and I was panic-stricken. Not only did he honor his commitment to 24/7, but his advice enabled me to refocus my priorities. Now, I'm eating, I'm sleeping, and I'm smiling thanks to his guidance."


Ed Poll, LawBiz® Management   |   |   |
©2013 LawBiz® Management. All rights reserved.

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