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Article in FCDR

Burdine & Brown Sept. 5, 2023

I recently read an article in the FCDR dated Wednesday, August 2, 2023. The title of the article was “To Grow Your Business, have a master of business development strategies.”

The author of this article, a rather young lawyer, gave eight categories where a lawyer in a small firm could increase his business.

I am pleased to say that I have implemented all eight of these strategies and more. My success is due, in part, to these strategies. The key is how do we define success.

Let’s look at his eight strategies:

  1. WIN-this one is easy. The author says that nothing gets you more loyal clients than if you are successful in handling their cases.  I will say that when clients refer other clients, the first thing they say is “he won my case, he helped me greatly.”

  2. Take your client’s matters personally- we like to say in our office “that we treat our clients like family.” This is shorthand to say we will help and take on work for our clients personally.

    I think that when your lawyer just looks at your case as a “ho hum” win or lose, it does not matter, then you need to find another lawyer, a lawyer that wants to win your case!

  3. Be Authentic-The only way you can be authentic is to meet with and talk to your clients. What is in their heart. While I am not a counselor, I can surely see what worries and preoccupies the client. This is most prevalent with injured clients that suffer with psychological overlays. Be quick to talk to that client about referring them to a “sympathetic ear-psychologist” for treatment. It is tough to start that conversation, but the client will appreciate it.

  4. Execution-putting wisdom to work is key. The other day, Carmen and I had an opportunity to attend a small gathering of lawyers I had never previously met. We attended with the goal of meting other lawyers and letting others know the kind of work we do (and I hope I do it well). We met two lawyers with a ton of experience.  Had we stayed at home we would have lost out on possible referrals from these lawyers. The author quotes Woody Allen, comedian, who also once said: “80% of success is just showing up.” How true. To be successful you need exposure and execution.

  5. Build a Brand-The author believes that we must be known for being special, unique, personal. To say, “I have been a lawyer for 44 years,” will not get you anywhere. To say, “I have been handling workers’ compensation cases for 44 years only representing the injured worker in Atlanta”, now that helps to build my brand.

  6. Stay in front of your clients and prospective clients-Do not neglect your clients. Both Carmen and I enjoy handling our clients’ cases. I have discovered that an “an eyeball to eyeball” meeting uncovers so much more than an email or a text or phone call. This takes being available. You cannot always be travelling and vacationing (as many lawyer’s do)if you want to grow your practice.

  7. Identify and Define your Target Market-This segment sounded to me like it was the “build a brand” with just a few different words. It was not very helpful.

  8. Never Stop Growing- I know a number of lawyers who have been in practice for 20-30 years. Most have seemed to reach the point of exhaustion. They are not pushing, competing, trying to build new business. This is a fatal flaw. That lawyer winds up with an increasingly smaller practice. The motivation of building a practice is gone and that attitude shows! Their attitude turns into a “let’s earn money” instead of caring for their clients. I do believe that when a lawyer or business owner finds that they really don’t care anymore about their clients, it is time to hang up the shingle and quit. I am honestly telling you I am far from that point. I relish the competition, the desire to win, to make a difference for each one of my clients. 

  9. Lawyering is very competitive with the big firms advertising on TV, billboards and everywhere in between. I will never be that lawyer or even close to it. But there is no one better than me in what I do. And that you can count on.

But now, I must tell you where I receive any wisdom I might exhibit: From the Holy Spirit. Here are a few paragraphs with great meaning taken from the Best Book Ever Written, so much more than the with ways to grow your business. 

  1. Guard your thought life -1 Corinthians 6:18

  2. Learning the secret of contentment-Acts 20:33

  3. Commit my way and work for God-Proverbs 16:3

  4. Follow the path of the righteous-Psalms 24:3-4

  5. Guard my speech-Proverbs 4:24

  6. Love the virtue of humility-Proverbs 11:2

  7. Practice the courage of obedience-Joshua 1:7

  8. Pursue a lasting legacy- Galatians 6:10

I would prefer these eight to the author’s eight. But if you will note, some of his eight could be folded into the eight Scriptural references. Do read the Scriptural references and let me know what you think.