Whose Definition of Success Are You Using?

25tipsfornewlawyersThere’s an interesting infographic out there on the web called 25 Tips for the New Lawyer. Whether you’re new to practicing law or not, there really is some good advice, and it’s in nice little sound bites, so it doesn’t take too long to read. The piece doesn’t specifically cover marketing, but as you know by now, pretty much everything you do in your business is a form of marketing.

The list includes things like “You are going to have to pay your dues,” and “Remember that clients don’t always want a lawyer. Sometimes they just need someone to listen to them.” One that really sticks out, though, is #8: “Before beginning the work, ask your client or supervisor what success will look like. Don’t just guess. You’ll probably be wrong.” This is a great tidbit of marketing advice.

Setting Expectations Is Good Marketing for Lawyers

While your client is looking to you as the knowledgeable professional, that doesn’t mean that he or she doesn’t have some ideas about how things should go. Unfortunately, it is really, really easy to overlook this. After all, you have the experience and probably know how you think things “should” be. It’s great to get to the end of a case and feel satisfied with yourself, but if the client doesn’t share that sense of satisfaction, it’s not going to result in referrals or repeat business.

Instead of assuming that you know what a successful outcome would look like, take the time to ask the client his or her thoughts. For example, you might think that an objection to the instructions in a will is a client’s attempt to get a larger inheritance. From the surface, that would be a reasonable conclusion. But, in talking to the client and asking how they would define success in the situation, you may uncover that the real motivation behind the objection is the need to be recognized by family or to heal old wounds. Going after money might actually be counterproductive to what the client really wants to gain from the legal action.

By laying out expectations for success, you are far more likely to meet them; and if you can’t for some reason, you are in a better position to give the client the answers he or she needs to understand why things aren’t going as envisioned. For lawyers, there isn’t a much better overall marketing tool than a satisfied client!

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Laura Lee Sparks

About Laura Lee Sparks

Laura Lee Sparks is the Founder and CEO of Legal Marketing Maven, a full service outsourcing firm for estate planning and elder law attorneys designed to train virtual and in-house staff and provide the tools and resources lawyers need to implement consistent, focused, diversified marketing in their law practice.

Website: http://www.legalmarketingmaven.com
Email: lauralee@legalmarketingmaven.com
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