Getting past the fear factor
When you get right down to it, fear is probably the biggest
obstacle to marketing success for most professionals. No one likes
rejection and if you plan to ask anyone for business or referrals,
the odds are very high you will experience a significant amount of
rejection. In sales, for example, it may take 15 phone calls to
reach five prospects which may result in two meetings. In other
words, you may have to experience 13 rejections just to get two
And even if you get two meetings with potential clients or
referral sources, it still may take 20 meetings to generate a
significant piece of work. So if you do the math, you may need to
make 150 phone calls or send 150 e-mail messages in order to set up
That may seem like a daunting number. While that number will
vary a lot based on the type of practice you have and the quality
of the relationships you call upon, the bottom line is that in
order to build a practice, you have to prepare yourself for a lot
So what are some of the strategies you can use to soften the
blow of the unanswered e-mails and phone calls? Here are some
- Set a finite goal for the number of calls you will make in a
day. Lower your expectations about how many responses you will get
on a given day.
- Use your LinkedIn network to find second degree contacts who
can make introductions on your behalf. Making cold calls is a tough
way to build relationships. By leveraging your second degree
contacts, you can overcome the trust issue much more quickly and
find other professionals who are more inclined to speak with
- Measure your activity rather than your successes. You can't
control the outcome of your efforts to connect. But you can measure
the number of calls you make. Focus on that number and reward
yourself for your efforts, not for your actual successes.
- Start early in the day and make connecting a regular habit. If
you think of relationship building as something that should be part
of most work days, you will achieve the volume of contacts you need
in order to find the opportunities you are trying to uncover.
- Try not to take the "rejection" personally. In many instances,
it may take a few efforts to reach your prospect because he/she is
already dealing with a high volume of e-mail and voicemail
messages. In other words, remind yourself that it is not you. Your
pleasant persistence will help cut through the noise and get
you on his/her dance card. And he/she will appreciate your repeated
efforts to connect.
Tip courtesy of Stephen Seckler, president, Seckler Legal
Consulting and Coaching.
Published May 30, 2013
To learn more about the Law Practice Management
Section, which is complimentary for all MBA members,
contact LPM Section Chair Thomas J. Barbar or Vice
Chair Cynthia E.