The Power of Business Relationships in Legal Marketing

thom singerHere is a shrewd observation by author, blooger, speaker and consultant Thom Singer of Austin, TX:

Lawyers work hard.  There are constant pressures to serve clients to the best of your ability while also meeting the billable hour requirements to satisfy your firm's expectations.  Family, friends and other commitments fill in all the rest of your time and this pushes the importance of developing business relationships down to a "nice to have" activity.

When I work with attorneys on developing their personal and professional brands I always ask them to create a list of the three lawyers whose practices they most admire (inside their firm and beyond).  I tell them to look for a mix of legal skills, financial success, and industry respect.  It never fails that the people who top these list have very strong networks of business relationships.  Others like them.  They also have very dynamic books of business. 

This exercise eliminates the argument that there is not time to cultivate powerful business relationships, as the most successful in the profession often have found a way to balance both the long hours of work with creating meaningful connections with the people who can and will refer them clients.

Many lawyers have lost potential clients to competitors who they do not believe have their same top level of skills.  They get angry that the clients often make choices because they "like" people, not because of the facts on the spreadsheets.  That is how the world works.  If you are a good lawyer, but have a reputation of being a jerk you will still get business.... but you are leaving money on the table. Those who have the mix of skills and a likable personality will win more business.  

There are some who take pride in their gruff personalities as a badge of honor, but most around them know they are not getting and keeping all the clients they could have.  If you are a successful jerk, good for you.  If you want more business, and you are jerk... hmmmmm.... maybe there is a connection.  I suggest you try to build more friendships along the way and see if that helps your bottom line.

Thom Singer is a business consultant, speaker, and the author of eight books on the power of business relationships, networking and presentations skills. 

Visit Thom's website at http://www.thomsinger.com
Read his  blog at: www.thomsinger.blogspot.com
Take The Quiz: www.networkingquotient.com
 

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