Good personal development goals work
We all begin each new year with good intentions, but you know what they say about the road to hell. Most lawyers will have some marketing and business development goals and objectives in mind. However, such goals often tend to be aspirational and lacking in specificity — things like “make partner, ” “generate more referrals” or “increase my visibility.”
So, to give you a leg up in the New Year, I have outlined what would be excellent goals for any lawyer, along with some specific ideas to help you make progress against them. Aspirations are fine, but everybody knows the devil is in the details.
Worthy Goals and Potential Strategies
1. Have more personal interaction. Law is a relationship business. If you take time to build relationships with key contacts, you will notice the difference in your level of satisfaction and in your practice. How to do it?
- Buy several boxes of notecards and send at least one personal note a week.
- Set up three client visits or tours next year.
- Meet with one client contact you’ve never met before.
- Schedule a certain number of coffees and lunches each month.
- Whenever possible, pick up the phone instead of sending an email.
2. Provide better client service. Everyone knows that existing clients are the best sources of new business. So it only makes sense to spend more time and energy nurturing those important relationships. Some ideas:
- Acknowledge every email ASAP, even if just to say you will answer more fully later.
- Return all phone calls within a half-day. (Or, if you are tied up, have your assistant do it for you.)
- Change your outgoing voicemail daily to reflect your availability.
- Set up intake meetings with the lawyers and staff — and possibly the client — to discuss and coordinate new matters.
- Establish a formal client team for a major client.
3. Engage in credentialing activities. Clients want to hire an “expert, ” but how do they know how much you know? They don’t. That’s why they look at your articles, blog postings, honors, activities and presentations. A few tips:
- Identify a publication in which you’d like to be published and pitch an article topic.
- Contact an industry or trade association with an idea for a presentation.
- Write an alert for a newsletter or blog.
- Volunteer or run for a leadership position in a key organization.
- Offer to give a presentation at a seminar or symposium.
4. Improve your platform. Organizing for marketing can make your efforts both easier and more productive. Where to start?