The Greek word “euthymia” is one we should think of often: It is the sense of our own path and how to stay on it without getting distracted by all the others that intersect it. When it comes to growing your law practice, setting goals can make all the difference. At JurisLead we interact with a lot of law firms from the very large to solos. After a while you begin to see patterns for what is working at successful law firms and what hasn’t been working so well. One thing has become very clear. Setting goals, beginning with the end in mind and having the persistence to focus on a clearly defined area of improvement is critical to success.
Regardless of whether you specialize in Personal Injury, Workers Comp, Social Security Disability or some other area of law, you are in a continual battle to refill your pipeline of new clients. In any business there are peaks and valleys and the temptation is always present to throw a bunch of resources at marketing in a haphazard way when times are slow. But this can be a costly and wasteful approach if it lacks strategy and clearly defined goals. Great goal setting uses the S.M.A.R.T. system to ensure the target outcome is achieved.
For those of you who didn’t read George T. Doran’s famous paper in law school, There’s a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management’s goals and objectives, S.M.A.R.T. is the acronym for:
Specific – target a specific area for improvement
Measurable – be able to quantify the outcome such as packets out for SSD or office appointments set for auto accident claimants.
Assignable – be very clear about who is responsible for calling inbound leads, handling intake, etc.
Realistic – can the end goal in mind really be achieved with the resources invested? Do you have the budget to reach your stretch target and the staff to manage the increased case load?
Time-bound – set a clear time frame for when goals should be reached.
When we work with new personal injury clients that specialize in auto accidents or workers comp we always discuss the optimal way to handle incoming leads as quickly and efficiently as possible. Before we start sending great quality leads, we try to make sure that we can help our clients determine what success looks like, who is responsible for what and are the overall expectations realistic. Sometimes it might mean having multiple attorneys at the same law firm receive incoming leads simultaneously to ensure immediate response, or it might mean just focusing on one specific type of leads to streamline intake procedures.
People who have been injured in an accident or need help navigating the Social Security Disability or Workers Comp system have taken the time to seek help and are in a peak state of distress. If you have set your marketing goals and have your systems in place in advance it will allow you to fully focus on each new prospect with the professionalism and courtesy that they deserve—increasing your chances of securing a new case and improving the reputation of your firm. It’s simply the S.M.A.R.T. thing to do!