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OWN THE CLOSING ZONE – Gaining the Competitive Edge

Posted by allan on August 20th, 2014

Here’s the second stanza to our last column – Business Development Challenges.

IN AN expanding pool of competition, it is increasingly difficult to stand out.

TO CLOSE the deal you need to stand above the competition.

IN A crowded forum of digital media, your firm’s voice must be heard clearly above the rest.

GAINING the competitive edge is critical to success.

The third of fourth stanzas follows in the next blog.

The Closing Zone — Business Development Challenges

Posted by allan on August 18th, 2014

YOU are competing in a tough market
and have held your own against spirited competition.

YOU are now ready to grow and take on more engagements
. . . but your key prospects are not ready to close the deal.

CLOSING the deal in a strong market is tough enough.

BUT your firm now faces other challenges as well.

The second stanza follows in our next blog.

Do Attorneys Ask Clients for Referrals?

Posted by allan on August 7th, 2014

In last year’s Closers Group Client Retention Survey one of the questions was “What percentage of your attorneys ask their clients for referrals?”

75% of the marketing professionals said “NONE.”

10 % of the attorneys said none.

Who’s believable? And what does this tell you about a huge lost opportunity?

4 Reasons Law Firms are Terminated by Clients

Posted by allan on August 5th, 2014

In our firm’s U.S. & Canada Client Retention Survey last year, we asked — “If your firm was terminated by one or more long-term clients in the past 3 years, WHY? (more than one answer could be designated.)

64% — Their situation changed (including the relationship attorney leaving the firm).

21% — They became dissatisfied.

9% — The client never told us.

6% — Lack of contact by the attorneys.

Talk about lack of communication! Just as in real estate, it’s location, location, location. If you really want to be retained by clients, it’s COMMUNICATION, COMMUNICATION, COMMUNICATION.

Last But Not Least – Ask For the Business – X.

Posted by allan on July 30th, 2014

ALL 9 of the previous business development tactics lead to the most critical – ASK FOR THE BUSINESS. This is the famous CLOSING ZONE where many lawyers fail, often because they are simply too shy to pop the decisive question.

YOUR PROSPECT is in a business to make money too. If you dillydally too long, they’ll wonder if you are serious.

AND, if you aren’t serious about your own business, how can you be serious about theirs?

IN OUR NEXT COLUMN, I will summarize the 10 steps David Mylrea and I included in our “Bench & Bar of Minnesota” article. Use them as a check list to build and expand relationships, and grow business.

Keep Your Sense of Humor – The Business of Law IX.

Posted by allan on July 28th, 2014

Setting realistic goals was the last column in this series from the Bench & Bar of Minnesota journal written by David Mylrea, Zelle Hofmann, and myself.

KEEPING YOUR SENSE OF HUMOR is the next business generating tactic. People remember who make them smile or laugh. There are a lot of lawyers out there looking for business.

YOU WANT TO BE among the few who find a way to be remembered. So when the circumstances are appropriate, lighten up a bit.

SMILE AND MAKE THEM SMILE.

NEXT column will feature the actual ASK FOR BUSINESS.

Set Realistic Goals – The Business of Law VIII.

Posted by allan on July 23rd, 2014

SETTING REALISTIC GOALS is the 8th in our series of tactics to hone your business development skills and develop your personal book of business. The series is from a Bench & Bar Minnesota article co-authored by David Mylrea, Managing Partner of Zelle Hofmann’s Minneapolis office, and me.

CONSIDER OPENING a new file for an existing client, perhaps, or originating a new client relationship each month.

UNDERSTAND that while it all takes time, you must also maintain a sense of urgency.

REMEMBER, your future is what’s at stake!

KEEPING YOUR SENSE OF HUMOR will be the subject of our next column.

Be Persistent – The Business of Law VII.

Posted by allan on July 21st, 2014

CLIENT DEVELOPMENT is a very time-consuming endeavor. Allocate a specific amount of time each day, or per week, and keep to the schedule. It is always easy to put some pressing matter ahead of business development.

BUT DO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT with yourself and don’t break it.

8 POWERFUL TOOLS TO CLOSE THE DEAL is the subject of our CLOSING ZONE newsletter tomorrow. If you are not on our mailing list, let me know at www. allancolman.com.

The Business of Law VI.

Posted by allan on July 16th, 2014

OCCASIONALLY PROVIDE USEFUL INFORMATION AT NO CHARGE!

WE ARE NOW more than half way through the series on business development strategies. And this one is often frowned on by attorneys – “what, give away something for free???”

THE ARTICLES you publish should be of interest and value to clients. Ditto updates. Pass information you find in the news with a note saying “thought you might be interested.”

IF NOTHING ELSE, you’ve defined yourself as a resource. The “free” resources you provide represent an investment, a way to make money by spending a bit of time and money.

GOOD BUSINESS PEOPLE know that, and at some point they also know you’ll need to make good on the investment.

TACTIC # VII will be “BE PERSISTENT.”

For more tactics on growing business, go to our blog on www.allancolman.com.

The Business of Law V.

Posted by allan on July 14th, 2014

THE KEY TO SUCCESS: FOLLOW UP AND FOLLOW THROUGH is next in our series of 10 tactics to win more business.

IF IT’S WORTH your time to make the initial contact, it is worth your time to follow up after that initial contact.

IF YOU DON’T remain in contact, you will never break through.

DON’T BE A PEST but do be persistent.

NEXT COLUMN – Occasionally Provide Useful Information at No Charge.

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