Building a book of business can include many different sources… referrals from other lawyers, colleagues, family and friends. We are generally looking for new clients. But you often overlook what’s right under your nose… existing clients. Yes… you should focus on the legal work you need to accomplish in order to do a great job for your client. Most of the time you are focused on the legal work to the exclusion of business development. And the biggest culprit is often your BILL.
Let’s face it, as a lawyers you probably hate keeping time and even more than keeping time… you hate documenting what you accomplished for the client. On your bill, your accomplishments are reduced to “sent emails,” “meeting” or “telephone conference.”
Quite frankly ANYONE can do those things. You haven’t demonstrated value and at your rates, you better demonstrate value. Otherwise, when the client reviews the bill, you have sent the message that YOU didn’t value your work more than an email.
So how could you do this? Describe the time spent with the issue or action that you know your client values… “Spoke with opposing council to negotiate a settlement, got closer.” Yes, it seems so obvious… but it’s critical. This is business development NOT an administrative task.
When in question, look for what the client values… not what you value. Tell a story and be specific. Take EVERY opportunity you can to reinforce your value to the client and it will result in additional matters, as well as referrals.
The bonus? Your bills get paid without hesitation and hassle.