Every now and again I find myself driving along the A40 into London pondering the unpalatable thought that unless my alarm goes off at 3am I really will spend years of my life sat in a car?What is more, a car that could go one hundred miles per hour but will actually only reach ten miles per hour as the rush (ha ha) hours unfold before me.
But this is at least a time to think.
And last week I was wondering in that “New Year” way “what would be the best news for lawyers?” Three things perhaps:
- There is no Clementi report, it was just a dream?
- Clients will be legally bound not to go elsewhere unless given permission by law firms to talk to other firms?
- It will be possible to go on holiday for two weeks and not have to talk to the office or clients, and come to back to work without a small escarpment to climb of impatient messages?
Then I was suddenly distracted – There, on a lamp post next to the pedestrian crossing, just passed Gypsy corner, a sign – “Make More Money – Now!”
Apparently, just by phoning a mobile number it was possible to Make More Money – Now! – And all the while I could do so by working from home or to supplement my income.
Surely, I interrogated the sign, there must be more to this than just calling a number? But I was momentarily seduced and encouraged by the boldness and simplicity of the promise and I resolved to call the number.
I too would be able to Make More Money – Now!
What mysteries, I wondered, would be shared with me, what wonderful devices would I come to cherish as my personal cash cow, what delightful ingenuities would I comprehend?
It was both intriguing and perhaps a little scary, but all I had to do was press a series of keys on my phone pad, in the right order of course, and then I too would Make More Money – Now!
“I could do that” I said out loud!
I could phone this telephone number because I spend all day on the phone (or so it seems) – Everyone wants a piece of me I sometimes complain (except it is not really a complaint?more a modest little boast, but I say it as if it were a complaint because even one’s little boasts are still immodest)
But guess what? Did I’make that call? – No, I did not make the call.
The traffic started to move and before long my thoughts were elsewhere. Terry Wogan was talking to Pauly Walters about the Midsummer Murders? body count, the traffic reports exclaimed the continuing embarrassment of the M25 and my phone was now coming to life with the first calls of the morning.
But that’s not the reason I Didn’t make the call, not the real reason anyway.
The reason I Didn’t make the call was because deep down, deep inside my safe world, where the comfort cushions protect me from the things I can excuse myself from, I did not want to make the call.
Shockingly I Didn’t want to Make More Money – Now!
But surely this isn’t true? We would all make a call to “Make More Money – Now!” wouldn’t we? Is that not what lawyers do?
But I did not want to make the call because it might be difficult, I’might not be welcomed, it might be inconvenient; I did not know the person who would answer the phone. I did not know what I would say if I was asked some questions, I Didn’t want to appear desperate or greedy or interested (if being interested might seem desperate or greedy)?
I did not want to make the call because I did not want to be rejected.
And that I realise now is one of the most powerful inhibiting feelings there can be, it is extraordinarily powerful and dictates the path many of us take every single day.
Well that may be so, but what is the point of this article now?
The point is this?
The way that lawyers could and should “Make More Money – Now!” is simply to call more of their clients and more of the people they would like to be their clients.
To call someone who is a client or who might be a client is to potentially engage them, will please them, will encourage them.
I am convinced that there are myriad unexplored opportunities that never see the light of day every single day because lawyers do not make calls to people?
I do not mean that they do not call back when a client phones, or if a deal is about to be done that they sit on their hands. No, what I am referring to are the speculative, see how things are, just thinking of you, thought I would – type of calls.
I say this so often now it is probably boring but the law is not a product sold on the back of legal expertise it is a product sold on the back of relationships; relationships with people, people who need to be reassured, reinforced, thought of and encouraged.
If every lawyer made two calls a day, every day – ten calls a week, forty or so each month and four hundred a year – some of that commitment would be recognised by those that were called. Some of it would be appreciated and some of it would be rewarded with work, commitment, loyalty and fun.
So, if this New Year you want to “Make More Money – Now!” – do not what I did and find all the old excuses to sit resplendent in your comfort zone because while your comfort zone is comfortable, it will never bring you opportunity and in the end it will cut you adrift from your talent…
Call those telephone numbers!