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LawBiz® TIPS – Week of July 9, 2013

LawBiz(r) newsletter

One half of the year is gone .... Are you one half of the way to your goals? If not, why not?

It's still hot here; seems it always is on July 4th .... Hope you had a stress-free holiday. I had a great bike ride before the holiday traffic shut us in ... But it was a wonderful day, very relaxing. And I watched part of the Tour de France.
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When Is It Time to Say No?

At the root of marketing anxiety for lawyers is the fear that there are so many potential clients, so little time to reach them and so many options for pursuing them that the only way to avoid leaving an effective marketing tactic undone is to try to do everything. Such lawyers may attend frequent networking meetings, write regularly for newspapers and blogs, speak frequently to community groups, join nonprofit boards and always be "up" on social media. This involves a lot of time, energy and expense. Is the return worth it? That's something each lawyer must answer individually. But don't be afraid of coming to the conclusion that it might be best to say "no" to constant, always-on marketing.

I have frequently said that multitasking is a virtual impossibility. We can do one thing at a time successfully, not many different things at the same time and do them all well. This is a particularly relevant warning for lawyers. Those who reach the pinnacle of success in practicing law are able to do many things ... but do them best when they focus on one thing or just a few things at a time. This is particularly true for marketing. When you consider a new opportunity, you may find it easy to see positive potential and to overlook the costs in terms not only of direct expense, but in terms of time taken away from client service and practice management. When making that investment, it may become apparent that saying yes to one opportunity by implication means saying no to others that might be more valuable.

Two examples illustrate the power of saying no when it comes to business development:

  • Not every new client is worth taking on. Clients who will not agree on fees, sign a fee agreement or pay a retainer should be suspect. Clients who insist that their matter is "life and death" will often be future sources of last minute emergencies that at best are irritating and at worst can result in errors under pressure. Saying no to a potential client who will demand constant, unrealistic or instant attention can benefit a practice enormously.

  • Not every new client is worth pursuing if existing clients are behind on their bills. A lawyer's best option at some point may be to "stop marketing" and focus on collecting the accounts that are overdue. By not undertaking any marketing initiative for 30 days and focusing the time otherwise needed on the collection of accounts receivable, the amount of money brought in could be the equivalent of many months' revenue.

As the song says, saying "no" may not always get you what you want ... but sometimes it will get you what you need.

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In this issue:

When Is It Time to Say No?

3-Dimensional Lawyer
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Video: Specialize or Die!

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What Clients Are Saying:

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"I have been working with coaches for the past couple of years concerning my business, and the thing that I particularly like about working with Ed Poll is his 25 years of legal background. He has a keen insight into the ramifications of practicing law and he seems to be genuinely concerned about my business."

Attorney at Law
Birmingham, AL

Ed Poll, LawBiz® Management   |   |   |
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