An important aspect to success and achievement within a law firm is to be the partner to which your colleagues can turn. This means, your reciprocity, camaraderie, and marketing skills have put you in the position where others look to you for your expertise. How do you become the partner your colleagues can trust?
In addition to looking for quality work, your colleagues will turn to the person who they know they can trust. You can help build trust by being honest and treating team members with respect. If you’re an associate working with a partner, follow through with getting things done on time and done well. If you’re a partner working with other people within a practice group, those people need to trust that you can get your work done right and on time. If others in the group are working on something for your clients, all information needs to be communicated thoroughly. Use good communication skills; ask great questions to get to a true level of understanding.
- Follow through with your word and your agreements.
- Don’t make assumptions.
- Ask follow-up questions for clarity. Say, “this is what I’m hearing from you – is that correct?”
- Understand what the client wants. Does the client want it “overlawyered” or not?
- Understand the cost-benefit analysis.
- Is the client cost sensitive or not?
- Is this the best thing for your client?
Master Internal Marketing
The most successful partners are able to meet the needs of their clients. However, there are times when another attorney at your firm is better equipped to handle certain clients. Thus, it’s important to possess comprehensive understandings of the rest of the law firm’s capabilities, so that you can refer clients to fellow colleagues. Make yourself available, where possible, for meetings with your colleagues’ clients. Talk about your colleagues to your clients and tell your clients where they can solve their problems. One important aspect of internal marketing is to maintain an abundance mindset. Partners who have an innate ability to work with their fellow colleagues and staff tend to excel. This sometimes means that you have to give more in order to receive.
- Be a champion for your colleagues.
- Get your colleagues in front of your clients as much as possible so that if they’re needed they have a familiarity already.
- Be altruistic and mutual; colleagues are more likely to turn to unselfish partners.
- Help others; having this kind of mindset means trusting that things will work out for those who help others.
- Make your clients happy; are your clients happy?
Building trust and mastering internal marketing are two ways that you can develop your skills so that you’ll be the partner on which your colleagues can rely. Having an abundance mindset helps to attract business and creates camaraderie. If your firm doesn’t have an abundance culture, consider a move because it’s a contagious mindset. Surrounding yourself with likeminded attorneys will help you and the firm achieve your mutual goals.
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