How to generate steady, predictable income
In the beginning, my month to month was like a rollercoaster. I would have a good month with plenty of work followed by a bad month of hardly any work, and then another good month, followed by another bad month and so on – up and down like a rollercoaster. This kept my anxiety high and I thought there had to a way to keep my pipeline full of potential new clients (PNC) giving me consistent, predictable income each month. That’s not too much to ask, is it? I didn’t realize that my revenue feasts and famines were the direct result of what I was doing – or rather failing to do. I had ignored the “30-day rule” and the “law of replacement.” The “30-day rule” states that your marketing efforts and prospecting for new matters over the next 30 days typically will bear fruit 90 days later. So, my chance of having a good month revenue-wise was dependent on the PNC prospecting I did two months earlier. The “law of replacement” means that PNC prospects fall out of your pipeline because they either hire you or it becomes clear that they won’t. If you don’t replace old prospects with new ones regularly, your pipeline will dry up turning your feast to famine. That’s exactly what I was doing. I would prospect until I got enough work, then stop prospecting. The next month, when I needed more work, there was little because my failure to prospect in the month that I was busy, leaving my pipeline bone-dry the next month. The lesson learned – prospecting needs to be a monthly activity to keep your pipeline full of PNC’s. And by monthly, I mean weekly.
If you are looking to increase your revenue over the next two months, try this exercise.
- Compile a list of 15 people: 5 family members and/or friends that live in your area, 5 attorneys you know who don’t practice in your area of law, and 5 clients who rated your legal services a 4 or 5 on a 1-5 scale. (If you’re not asking client to complete a client survey, start now).
- Block out one hour a day, three days a week over the next two weeks to make the calls to ask for referrals.
- Pick up the phone and dial. Start with the person you think will be your biggest supporter and go down the list.
- Don’t use a script. Just discuss about what has been going on in their life since you last talked, the legal services you offer and how your services can benefit them or those they know, and what differentiates your service from other attorneys.
- Finally, ask for a referral. It also pays to be a go-giver. If you have a referral for another attorney, that’s a perfect opportunity to pick up the phone and dial. They will definitely take your call and are more likely to want to refer matters to you.
I tried this in September and got 5 new clients the same month with more prospects still in my pipeline. This was extremely hard for me because I was worried about what I would say, even worse, what they would say. I now know that perfection is not required. The key to success here is just do it. Don’t over think it. PICK UP THE PHONE AND DIAL. It may not be pretty, but the money you’ll make will still be green.