If you are a lawyer, or another service professional whose success is based on doing great work for clients and the ability to bring new clients and revenue to your firm, you are probably starting to do your planning for 2023. It is this time of year when we look at where we have been and where we want to go. It is both a reflection and anticipation.
Before we can look forward to where we want to go, it is best to assess the results from the previous year. Let’s look at some of the key factors that have played a part in the success or lack thereof in your business in 2022:
It is a result of the systems you have in place to achieve it. It is possible that you either hit or exceeded your goal based upon a single significant event that occurred. Make sure that you exclude or reduce the value of that event when assessing how your systems performed. The optimum revenue balance should be coming from various clients so that the loss of any one client will not negatively impact the business. If you did not hit your revenue objectives, then take a close look at your systems and find what you need to do to make the system work for you.
Systems are what make goals happen or not. The objective is not to focus on the goals but rather to focus on the system that will produce the results you want. The systems are working if you achieved your goal based on the type and size of clients you identified, captured, and serviced. If you did not, then what adjustments to your system need to be made to get where you want to be.
Key Indicators – Here are some key indicators that will tell you if you have a system in place to achieve your goals:
- Type of Clients – Were the clients you added this past year the type of clients that you wanted to capture in specific markets? Typically, the clients you choose to work with are clients that you have experience with and /or have targeted. You must also have the resources to create the value the client wants. If the clients are all over the map (in various markets) then the marketplace will have a difficult time understanding your brand and you will not be the first choice for the coveted referrals, you want
- Size of Clients – Plays a key role in utilizing the skills and resources that you and your firm bring to bear in a particular market segment. If the clients are too small, then you are outsized for the client, and they will not benefit from the resources you can bring to bear. They will find your fees expensive. Conversely, if the client is outsized then you run the risk of not delivering what a larger firm may be able to do even though the fees might look attractive. Your engagement will probably be short lived as competitors in that space will be more appealing to the client.
- Revenue Per Client – If you have a targeted revenue per client, you are more than likely working with the right client segment that can benefit from your services and you are maximizing your revenue potential based on the services you are providing. In the aggregate, you want the clients you choose to work with to be able to achieve your overall revenue objectives. It helps you so that if a small client opportunity presents itself and it is not within your segment, you won’t take it on because it will probably require as much time and effort. Remember, time is your most precious commodity. You only have so much bandwidth and you want to consistently get the most out of it.
Networking As a System
Every company needs to have a distribution system they can count on to get its products in the hands of its customers. Service providers are no different. We need the help of others to call us with the right client referrals when they present themselves.
Many professionals depend on doing a lot of networking hoping that someone will call with a referral. If you have not achieved the client referrals you hoped for this year and/or the referrals you did get were not in your sweet spot, then you probably missed your revenue expectations. Here are some concerns if you depend on using networking as a system:
- Identifying the right people – It is important to you that you meet the right people who work with the type and size of clients you do. More than likely the people you meet at networking events will not be able to send a referral your way and if they do, good chance they will not be the right type and size of client.
- Acquaintances – While networking events can be fun, most of the people you meet and see are good people but once the event is over, they go their way and you go yours. The likelihood of them calling you with the right referral are very small. Why? Because there is no relationship and, in all probability, they have met someone more recently that does what you do. In that case, they will likely get the call.
- Need for assurance – Your business needs to depend on a consistent level of the right client referrals. Unfortunately, for most professionals, using general networking as a system will not deliver the consistency or the quality you are looking for over the long term.
Referral Partnerships And a Relationship System
Having a consistent flow of the right referrals is what gives you the ability to achieve your client and revenue objectives. To get there you need other professionals that you can count on. Investing in and developing just 10-15 referral partnerships with other professionals is all you need to give your business the growth that you want.
Think about your best referral source. More than likely the two of you have a solid referral partnership which results in at least one significant event each year. You probably have a great personal relationship; you both are probably working with similar type and size of clients and you have trust that you both will be committed to the relationship.
If you have not had the consistency you want, start to focus on building a relationship system and developing 3-5 referral partnerships in 2023. You will find it will stabilize your business and get you the client referrals you want.
As you begin to plan for 2023, be aware of the macroeconomic events that might impact your clients. None of us know how deep the recession might go but we must prepare. Your clients will probably be affected.
Typically, in a recession the pie is smaller for potential referrals and a large population of professionals are all trying to get a piece of the smaller pie. It makes for a highly competitive environment and gives you even more reason to develop referral partnerships that you can count on.
If you want more certainty in getting the right client referrals, please feel free to take a look at our informational site – https://Relpip.com
We are building a community of professionals who are tired of the networking mentality and want to meet and work with people who are as purposeful, intentional and as passionate about their business as they are.