It was Ralph Marston who first said, “Your goals minus your doubts equal your reality.” As practice advisors, we see this equation at work every day and it’s not pretty. Doubt is especially effective at eroding the success of attorneys in the area of client development and it may have crept into your own ability to be a successful marketer. It’s a difficult area for many attorneys to show improvement in because most harbor endless doubts about their marketing abilities.
Some doubt that they have the kind of personality it takes to develop new clients. Others doubt that they could be effective in building a new referral relationship from scratch. Still others doubt that they could devote the kind of time it would take to bring in new clients.
For most attorneys, client development is an activity fraught with doubt.
Without marketing education and the right kind of reinforcement, these doubts can be paralyzing and keep you anchored behind your desk never fully engaging with potential referral sources.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. A yearly firm retreat focused on client development can be a great way to help yourself and other attorneys in your firm to take your marketing activities to the next level. We believe that an attorney’s ability to market is not static. With the right kind of education and training, it is a skill that can be learned and dramatically improved upon.
A professional facilitator—someone skilled in both leading group discussions and setting marketing strategies can ensure that your marketing retreat unfolds in a productive manner with a customized approach. To make sure that the time is well-spent it is imperative that your facilitator be able to:
- Educate attorneys about marketing and provide insights into how different personalities can market themselves best (Atticus® will do a personality assessment with each attorney to help tailor a marketing plan to their particular behavioral profile.
- Share road-tested marketing ideas that other firms have undertaken
- Help the firm create a strategic marketing plan — with a structure of accountability built in
Taking a day every year to learn new strategies for client development, to identify target markets and set the direction to be taken in the next year, makes it much more likely that everyone in the firm will conquer their concerns about client development. Much of the increased confidence comes from learning simple formulas like those we teach at Atticus®: “Who To Talk To,” “What To Say,” and “How and When To Say It.” These simple lessons in combination with a customized approach and a big-picture perspective can propel you and your firm forward significantly.
So set aside time to learn more about marketing in an annual retreat this year. It’s important that your reality – in this case, your success as a marketer – be defined by your intentions, not your doubts.