Why are some practitioners successfully building their law practice while other practitioners struggle to attract desirable clients and are frequently concerned about, “where the next case will come from?”
I have been consulting with law firms, family lawyers, mediators and collaborative law practitioners across North America and Europe for the past 13 years and have observed the characteristics of highly successful practitioners.
The five characteristics that I have found consistent with every successful lawyer, mediator or collaborative law practitioner include, commitment, competence, community, communication and exceptional client value.
Successful lawyers and practitioners:
- Know what they want, believe in their vision and are committed to achieving their vision. Commitment is defined as “The state of being bound emotionally or intellectually to a course of action.” The first step in building a strong practice is having a clear idea of what you want, internalizing the value for achieving this goal and committing to the “action” to realize your goal.
- Have a relentless pursuit for competence. Excelling at handling client matters is what will separate you from the pack. This requires a consistent effort to master the underlying skills necessary for being recognized as the “best”in your field. What skills do you have or want to acquire that will position you as “number one” in your field?
- Contribute to building their community. People will do business with those they know, like and trust. One of the critical requirements for consistent referrals is establishing a foundation of trust among professionals. The number one way to build trust is to spend time making a contribution to your community and showing an interest in others.
- Effectively communicate what they do, who they do it for and the value of their service. In The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell describes a “sticky message” as one of the rules for creating a tipping point. Stickiness is a message that makes an impact, is easily understood and is repeatable. Successful practitioners consistently communicate a clear message about their practice so everyone knows what they do, the value they provide and who can benefit from their service.
- Provide exceptional client value. Satisfied clients are the best source of referrals. Higher client satisfaction requires a focus on providing superior service. This means knowing the needs, interests and goals of your clients and meeting and exceeding expectations. The fastest way to grow a practice is through word-of-mouth marketing. This will happen if clients have a positive experience with your service.
Review the above characteristics and conduct a self-assessment of your strengths and weakness.
In what areas are you strong and which areas can you improve?
Create a plan today for making these characteristics an integral part of your practice. By mastering these characteristics, you will be taking essential steps toward growing your law practice and creating the practice you want, a practice that attracts desirable and profitable clients, produces exceptional value to your clients and brings fulfillment to your work.