I have been told that the job hunting process can become mundane and can leave you feeling defeated and hopeless on most days. The “process” begins with turning on the TV to watch the TODAY show, brewing a fresh cup of joe and clicking on all your bookmark tabs: Monster, Craigslist, Indeed, local listings, etc.
You begin to browse the latest listings and can recite the standard ad posting word for word. I have been told it gets to the point that you don’t even read the ad any longer, as the average “bookkeeper” ad doesn’t tend to deviate much. There isn’t much creativity or uniqueness in a standard position. You get called in for the interview, and you pass with flying colors. You review the job description at the interview and scan through it with lightning speed. “Yay, blah, yep, standard. Got it. So where is the part about hours, vacation and holidays?”
At LWP we spent years and years with a communication expert to help us carefully craft the job descriptions and organization charts our members use to create their own versions, all in the spirit of “who's doing what to reach the goal” in their business. Last week I was on an LWP implementation call with a new team member serving in the role of the relationship and community outreach coordinator. The attorney requested that I go through her job description line item by line item with her, comparing it to the system for her job side by side to make certain she understood where in the system she could fulfill each responsibility. He wanted to make certain she understood how to carry out each of the actions within the job description, which we had carefully tweaked to make specific to his needs.
Since she has been in the marketing industry for a decade, I knew I had my work cut out for me. After 17 years of this, I’ve learned that the veteran employees can often be the most inflexible. She understands the power of nurturing relationships and showing up as a “GO Giver” everywhere you go. She truly was a superstar when it came to talking the talk. But when we broke down the job description and its implications for her day-to-day activities, she quickly became quiet. Her chiming in and interrupting with what she did at the last job plainly came to a standstill. We were meeting via Skype, but I could still see her entire body language shift. “Tammi, I want to check in,” I said. “I am noticing you leaned back from the screen. Your hands are no longer flopping with excitement. Your bubbly persona is in dire need of fix-o-flat. What’s up?”
“This isn’t what I signed up for. I am a marketer; this is all follow-up work,” Tammi scarcely peeped out. I could hear the fear of the possibility that the very words that left her lips may have just produced her walking papers. “Tammi, did you not read the job description before you took the job?” “I glanced at it,” she replied. “But I thought it was like every other job, boilerplate.” The direction of the conversation took a 2mm shift. We talked about how not following up with your prospects and customers is the same as filling up your bathtub without first putting the stopper in the drain! I always tell my attorneys, you’re better off staying home than wasting your time making contacts if someone on your team isn’t putting in the time (and heart) on the follow-up.
A study done by The Association of Sales Executives revealed that 81% of all sales happen on or after the fifth touch. And I have actually seen it much higher in the personal services industry (which we are); it is usually more like nine touches. This is especially true when you don’t have a fancy retail marketing budget, meaning your firm’s branding is probably all over the place. Solopreneurs sadly lose too much business because of one reason and one reason only – lack of follow-up. We discussed how the follow-up is NOT grunt work. It’s not admin work. It is enrollment. It is where you get to marry all your marketing genius and integrate it over and over again. If you shift your mind from a place of “task” to a place of “marketing” you will see how this IS not only your job, but the most important part of your job. She got it.
We created ways to make the follow-up creative, with personal connection and tracking and measuring. We made a game of it in a way where we would know when we reached the goal. “This is not what I signed up for” is what we hear from people, but usually only when it’s too far gone. Take the time to go through your team’s job description with your system of how to do what they are supposed to do. You will be surprised that most people don’t spend the time going through this piece, and it’s crucial to getting your team properly up to speed and trained. And the act of doing it with them is essential. The biggest piece that is getting glossed over is usually a mainline to why you may be struggling with lead generation, lead conversion and/or consistent cash flow.
If you're an estate planning attorney and want to learn more about Lawyers With Purpose check out the agenda for our Practice With Purpose Program from October 20nd-22nd in Phoenix, Arizona. We still have a few seats left so register today to make sure you reserve your spot!
Molly L. Hall, Co-Founder, Lawyers with Purpose, LLC, and author of Don’t Be a Yes Chick: How to Stop Babysitting Your Boss, Transform Your Job and Work with a Dream Team Without Losing Your Sanity or Your Spirit in the Process.