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Solo In Chicago

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Thursday, July 20, 2006

Make it Rain seminar follow-up

Anyone make to ISBA's Make it Rain CLE on Tuesday? I think I'd give it a 6.5 out of 10 rating. I don't think it was particularly original but some of reminders are always useful and slightly different angles were given for sure. The presenter was lawyer turned consultant, Gideon Grunfeld, Successful Career Strategies, Inc. These are my personal take-away points to complete immediately and/or over the next quarter:

1. Business card redesign. Gideon calls this the most underutilized promotional tool. I think he's right. Possibly other than your Website, what do potential clients see more than your card? I fail in this area frankly due to my own cheapness. I need to have my practice areas on the card. I do have our three office locations listed. I need to tell potential clients what I do and/or what benefits I provide. Use the back of the card too. My card is limited right now just because I cheaply just used one of the template cards that limited my space rather than doing a more personalized design. Even nice business cards aren't that expensive and they're worth it!

2. Website
. He gives a lot of tips for these. I think I'm going to finally bite the bullet and outsource this area of our firm. One easy thing though that I can do within the next week is: have a direct call to action & contact information on every page of your site! I fail on this. The way search engines often bring up pages to your site that are not the front page or the contact page, I'm missing out of really closing the deal with clients in this area.

3. Billing. One thing Gideon talked about was Psychological Breakpoints in your fee setting. This is essentially the gas pricing rule of their $.9 rather than rounding up. Make sure you're not billing people at $205 or $305 an hour. He suggests each $25, $50 and $100 are important barriers to stay below. The other aspect of billing he discussed that I violate was his view that when a client asks how much something will cost, the answer should always some variation of "it depends." And obviously when you hear more facts of a situation, you will give a client some range or hourly rate. But don't volunteer right up front some set fee because then the client has you boxed at a certain rate and then they assume everything you do is at that rate and then the client may not use your services for something down the road where they don't think that rate you put out there is appropriate. Your rate should always DEPEND on the facts of each situation.

4. Contact Management. I need to get clearly separated batches of our clients in our three practice areas: real estate, family and elder law. Then very targeted mailings, legal updates, newletters, ect. can just go right out to the right group. Currently our contacts are just lumped together in Microsoft Outlook.

5. Speeches and Articles. Nothing new here, I'm just putting it down because I'm going to do these more. Anyone entering ISBA's Lincoln Award Legal Writing Contest? I am...can you take me?


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