Interesting buzz over on LinkedIn’s Marketing the Law Firm group. Eric Dewey compiled “Ten Tips to Improve Profit in 90 Days or Less,” and offered to send a copy to those who requested it. A bunch have. Not a lot of new stuff there, but a number of points he makes are helpful from a marketing and business development standpoint.

My favorites among his tips include:

  • Cull out bad clients. By that he means those that are unreasonably demanding and slow pays. They waste your time and take up too much of it that could be better spent marketing to clients whose matters you enjoy working on;
  • Change compensation system. He is right in saying “most compensation plans reward new client acquisition over client expansion and satisfaction.” Further, “compensation systems should have thoughtful incentives to encourage sharing of clients, deepening relationships and reengaging past clients.” I hear way too often from lawyers I work with that they want to build their own client base because of the firm’s compensation system, when they could bring in more work and referrals from existing clients if the suggestion above was in place;
  • Visit the 20/20 clients. That is, those clients which comprise the top 20% of your revenue (the visit should be off the clock, of course), and those clients for whom the firm does “less than 20% of their estimated legal spend.” As I like to say, that is where the gold is; and
  • Ask for referrals at the beginning. Often lawyers, if they ask clients for referrals at all, do so after a matter as concluded. I like Dewey’s suggestion of asking for referrals “early in the relationship, during the honeymoon phase of the relationship.”

There is more good stuff to help your firm increase profitability. Take a look.