WHAT ARE YOUR “REAL” GOALS?
“My main goal is to be a self-made man and have control over what’s mine.”
There are many business goals other than simply making a lot of money.
Early in my sales career, I met with a seasoned lawyer late in the calendar year. He seemed uncommonly willing to purchase a significant amount of my product. As our rapport grew, he matter-of-factly said, “I’m getting divorced, and I need to show as little profit from my practice as possible.” That was the first time I had ever heard that objective, but it actually wasn’t the last.
The divorcing lawyer is an odd example, but it illustrates well that there are many potential goals that may drive your law firm’s marketing strategy. Here are some others:
- I want to change the percentage of cases between my different practice areas.
- I need to keep a new lawyer busy.
- I want to transition from my current practice to a mediation focus.
- I’m looking to sell the practice or retire soon.
- I want to put my former partner out of business.
- I want to pay less in referral fees.
- I have a son or daughter who is going to join the practice.
- I am going to run for public office.
- I want to work from home more because of my young children.
- I want to be wealthy. Not rich, but wealthy.
The first step in the process of choosing marketing investments is to clearly define your big-picture goals. If you’re a solo practitioner, this is a one-person exercise. If you have law partners, however, it is important for each partner to understand the goals of the others. Consider inviting each person to write down their goals in order of priority and share them with the partnership team. This will ensure you identify any areas of disagreement, and will save you a lot of headaches in the future. (In some cases, it may even be a strong indicator that your partnership isn’t meant to be.)
Once you have a comprehensive list of prioritized objectives, set forth on your strategy for achieving BIG things.
- Recognize that there are many goals for marketing beyond pure revenue generation, and that identifying these objectives from the outset is an important part of making the right investment decisions.
- Be honest with yourself (and your partners) about what you want to accomplish, and what role you envision the firm’s marketing playing in the process.
- Accept that your goals may be different than your partners’, but understand that they shouldn’t directly conflict.