Andrew Biren: Building Strong Networking and Client Relationships

In this episode, Steve Fretzin and Andrew Biren discuss:

  • Learning how to focus and disconnect as needed.
  • Putting your energy into the right things.
  • Borrowing good ideas from others that fit within your firm.
  • Key tips on relationship building.

Key Takeaways:

  • It is hard to connect if you are only talking about yourself. Let the other person have space in the conversation.
  • Understand your selling point and stick to it.
  • Check-in with your client. Make sure they, proactively, know that you are aware of them and their situation.
  • You cannot communicate everything by email or over the phone, both in networking and in client relations.

“I like to meet people. I like to hear their stories, whether it be a referral lawyer, a networking partner, or even a client. I like learning about different types of people. It’s me getting to connect with somebody, and that’s the number one thing for me with networking, forming relationships, and forming a bond.” —  Andrew Biren

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About Andrew Biren: Andrew “Drew” Biren knew that he was going to be a trial lawyer ever since he was five, when he attended his first jury trial and saw his father in action. From that point forward, he knew that his life’s work would be spent advocating for seriously injured men and women – just like his dad. Drew first started working at Biren Law Group as a file clerk at the tender age of 14. Since then, he has done almost every job imaginable. You name it and Drew has done it. The extensive experience Drew amassed at such an early age has proven to be invaluable, as he now works as a lawyer, fulfilling his dream of helping accident victims obtain justice. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado, his law degree at Southwestern Law School, and has since been admitted to the State Bar of California. Drew’s passions include his wife, Melissa, his two young daughters, his dogs, and sports.

Connect with Andrew Biren: 


Email: [email protected]

Phone: 310-922-4979




Connect with Steve Fretzin:

LinkedIn: Steve Fretzin

Twitter: @stevefretzin

Instagram: @fretzinsteve

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Email: [email protected]

Book: Legal Business Development Isn’t Rocket Science and more!

YouTube: Steve Fretzin

Call Steve directly at 847-602-6911

Show notes by Podcastologist Chelsea Taylor-Sturkie

Audio production by Turnkey Podcast Productions. You’re the expert. Your podcast will prove it.


[00:00:01] Andrew Biren: like people. I like to meet people. I like to hear their stories, whether it be a referral lawyer or a networking or even a client. I like learning about different types of people. And so it’s me getting to connect with somebody. And that’s the number one thing for me.

[00:00:19] Narrator: You’re listening to be that lawyer, life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Each episode, your host, author and lawyer coach, Steve Fretzin will take a deeper dive, helping you grow your law practice in less time with. Now, here’s your host, Steve Fretzin.

[00:00:42] Steve Fretzin: Hey everybody.

[00:00:42] Steve Fretzin: Welcome to Be That Lawyer. I hope you are well. I am Steve Fretzin as the announcer mentioned, and I’m just so happy you’re with us. We have a great show for today. You know, it’s all about relationships. I think my father said, if you can’t make a sale, make a friend. That was something he said to me years and years ago.

[00:00:57] Steve Fretzin: And you know, my father had a lot of friends. I have a lot of friends and I think, you know, business is one thing, but. You know, relationships are so critical to success with clients, with referral partners, with everybody. And we really want to take a deeper dive into that. I’ve got my friend drew here, uh, in the waiting in the wings.

[00:01:13] Steve Fretzin: How you doing, Drew? I’m doing good. I’m doing good. How about yourself? Good, good. That was a very relaxed. Hey man, it’s all chill. We’re just hanging out here. At talking been raised, but all right, we’re gonna have some fun with you, Byron today. Everybody. I’ve got his quote of the show and, um, this 1, I’m gonna, I’m not going to say the exact quote, but I’m going to do a little bit of editing here just to keep it for the children.

[00:01:38] Steve Fretzin: Uh, sometimes you have to dance before you. And that’s from an early mentor of yours. So that’s not yours. It’s not mine. So just so people don’t get mad at us, but a welcome to the show and be, you know, talk about that mentor and talk about that quote and what it means to you. What it

[00:01:53] Andrew Biren: means to me. Well, the mentor was, uh, it was actually my dad firm broke up when I was like two years into my legal practice with my dad’s ex partner.

[00:02:03] Andrew Biren: And he really took me under his wing even before I was an attorney and he taught me all get all these sayings and stuff and it had to do with in all your relationships, whether it be with defense counsel, insurance companies, or dealing with referral lawyers or other people that you got to take it slow and sometimes you got to do the dance and you got to, you can’t just jump into things.

[00:02:22] Andrew Biren: And my very nature is I’m a hammer. I want to get things done. I don’t understand why things aren’t happening as fast as they. Should be happening in my opinion, but he always would slow down, take a second. You got it. And it was, uh, it’s something I still hear in my head whenever I’m dealing with people, both adversarial when I’m dealing with the other side and dealing with potential people on, you know, referral wires or in networking.

[00:02:44] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. Yeah. And I, and I, I think it’s so important that, you know, we build relationships and part of that is asking questions and sometimes you find out that. You know, someone is interested or has urgency to get into business with you faster. And some people need a little bit more time and information.

[00:02:59] Steve Fretzin: And, you know, they want to, you know, meet a couple of times and talk with some of your clients to get reference and all that. And so I think, you know, you know, we can slow dance, fast dance, but either way, I think you have to do the dance to understand, you know, uh, how many dates you have to go on before you get married or something else happens.

[00:03:14] Steve Fretzin: Really good, a good point there. And, uh, Drew Byron, you are the managing partner, uh, Byron law group. And how long you been doing that? How long you been running that show? I

[00:03:25] Andrew Biren: kind of, I, well, so the firm broke up my second year. We had one lawyer go out for attorney leave and we had another lawyer that would have been around for 30 years and left.

[00:03:34] Andrew Biren: And all of a sudden I found myself as the de facto managing partner, because it was just me and my dad. And then we build outwards. And, you know, I was like only 30 and I was interviewing lawyers who are much older than me saying, Hey, this is the way it’s going to be. And we just kind of established that.

[00:03:49] Andrew Biren: So I’ve actually been doing it most of my career. And it’s certainly been the practice of law, learning how to do that while becoming a lawyer. But that’s how it started.

[00:03:57] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, and are you like this? I’m very different than my father, Larry, the lawyer, people on this that have heard this show. Now I talk a lot about my dad, the lawyer, and I don’t think he ever saw it in me that I would go into law.

[00:04:09] Steve Fretzin: I think just he knew that I was going to go into. You know, a different profession and, and, um, but did you, did your father kind of push you into law? What was your relationship like coming up with a lawyer father? I’m

[00:04:20] Andrew Biren: one of six kids, okay? The other ones all ran away. It wanted nothing to do with

[00:04:27] Steve Fretzin: this bit.

[00:04:28] Steve Fretzin: You’re trying to get daddy’s approval, clearly. From the age of five years

[00:04:32] Andrew Biren: old, I had a plastic briefcase going with my dad to closing arguments and stuff. It’s when I had career day as a kid, always a lawyer. It’s the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do. I met my best friend playing at the law firm. I grew up in the firm, you know, these people like, you know, that were around these characters in my life, paralegal, secretary, they’re like these pillars that I was around the whole time.

[00:04:54] Andrew Biren: They were like, you know. It was just, it was, it was an interesting way to grow up, but it’s all I wanted to do. I absorbed it all. I was always around starting at 13 years old, I started working at the farm. So, you know, it’s just, it’s been there from day one, I guess.

[00:05:07] Steve Fretzin: I went to work with my dad one time and he, he’s like, here’s a, here’s some, he just had me file for like eight hours.

[00:05:12] Steve Fretzin: Like I had nothing, he had nothing for me to do, but like go through drawers and like file stuff. It was miserable. I was, I was, the only cool thing was he, at the time he was in the Sears tower and now the Willis tower. And, you know, I remember taking the elevator up, up, you know, 99 floors or whatever it was.

[00:05:28] Steve Fretzin: And, you know, the thing is moving left and right with the wind. And I was like, it was a crazy. Sort of, uh, environment, but, uh, not, not happy with, uh, with, uh, and he used to have me go in the crawl space. I was the only kid small enough and interested or open to going in the crawl space, which is where he kept a lot of his files in the house.

[00:05:43] Steve Fretzin: It was a disaster and cobwebs and spiders all over me. Anyway, he doesn’t remember any of that, by the way, like he has no memory of me doing anything like remotely close to that as a kid, but I have to remind him occasionally. Um, all right, so let’s, so any other, uh, aspects of your background that you want to share just so people can get to know you a little bit, and maybe that be that lawyer tipping point or something that kind of happened in your life that, that turned a corner for you.

[00:06:08] Steve Fretzin: Well,

[00:06:08] Andrew Biren: professionally, there’s one thing that comes to mind and it’s the one thing only, and it’s when I failed the California and this was the turning point in my life. In a lot of ways, I’m a real human being. I was a BS student, high school, typical B plus B students should have A’s, couldn’t stop talking in class.

[00:06:28] Andrew Biren: Even worse than college, stay up all night, regurgitate a history, you know, exam, write it all out, forget it the next day. And I tried that law school with lesser success, and then the bar exam smacked me in the butt. And my dad looks at me afterwards and he goes, This is 100% your fault, and you need to fix whatever your problem is here, because it’s you.

[00:06:50] Andrew Biren: And it was no, and he was right. And I, I learned how to turn off the phone, get focused, get off the internet, shut down social media, and it’s something I still do today. Like in practice, if I find myself kind of getting too connected, getting too all over the place, I will go back to those fundamentals I learned the second time around because I wasn’t picking the bar a third time.

[00:07:10] Andrew Biren: I’ll tell you that I was passing.

[00:07:12] Steve Fretzin: Yeah i mean have you have i mean i know like i was a kid of the 70s and early 80s of probably had ADHD but back then they just called me stupid and lazy and i don’t know if if you know as an adult i’m like super high functioning organized and everything so like i don’t have the issues but i know like it really was hard for me to stay focused and i was to some degree the class clown and maybe talking more than i should have and stuff so i don’t know you If that’s, if you’ve ever kind of self diagnosed yourself with that, or just, or thought that maybe that’s something, but I don’t know.

[00:07:43] Steve Fretzin: Ding,

[00:07:44] Andrew Biren: ding, ding, ding, ding. All of a sudden, yeah, I mean, honestly, I can remember, uh, when I was 15 years old, I have a best friend who’s kind of got the same personality as me and we were at summer school and they put one in one corner and one in the back, one front left, one back right. Cause that’s how they, uh, could keep us away from talking and disrupting the whole class.

[00:08:04] Andrew Biren: I’ve been disruptive, a talker, staying focused. Thing organized, not being messy. These are the battles of my life and I work on it every day with a lot of help from my wonderful wife, who is the exact opposite type of person, organized, detail, everything that I’m not at times, at least in my personal life with like, you know, you know, keeping everything together.

[00:08:24] Andrew Biren: So, yeah, well,

[00:08:25] Steve Fretzin: I think one thing about extroverts and I think you’re an extrovert, I’m an extrovert, and I just had a wonderful guest on the show talking about introversion and, and some of the pros and cons of that. But I think one thing is that we generally don’t have a fear of getting out there and being active and meeting people and doing all that.

[00:08:43] Steve Fretzin: That being said, we could also waste a tremendous amount of time with that energy, spinning our wheels, going down all kinds of, of, you know, different pathways. So, you know, in building your law practice, has there been an approach to networking and developing relationships that you’ve sort of honed?

[00:08:59] Andrew Biren: Well, it’s not, it’s not, you know, letters to, you know, sent in the middle of the night.

[00:09:05] Andrew Biren: It’s one on one relationships. Um, I am good with people and I like to connect with people and I like people. I like to meet people. I like to hear their stories, whether it be a referral lawyer or networking or even a client, I like learning about different types of people. And so. It’s me getting to connect with somebody.

[00:09:22] Andrew Biren: And that’s the number one thing for me with networking and forming relationships and forming a bond.

[00:09:29] Steve Fretzin: I, uh, I was a little nervous the first time I went to like a networking event. I really didn’t know what to do, what to say. People just were pushing cards at me and trying to sell me their stuff. And I was like, what in the world have I walked into?

[00:09:42] Steve Fretzin: But I knew that I needed to do it and I said, you know what, this is something I need to start studying. I need to start learning what to do here because this could be a huge, you know, dark hole that I’m going down or this could end up being something great. But I wasn’t sure at the time, but I knew that I knew that just winging it wasn’t the thing.

[00:09:58] Steve Fretzin: So I started, you know, talking to them. I wrote a book on networking and it’s called the attorneys networking handbook. I admit right off the, out of the gate that I’ve wasted more time networking than most people will in their lifetimes just making mistakes, right? I mean, that’s just kind of part of how we, you know, learn and improve.

[00:10:14] Steve Fretzin: Is there a mistake or missteps that you feel like you made along the way that, that made, you know, client relationships or networking kind of more challenging? Yeah, I mean,

[00:10:25] Andrew Biren: it’s me a lot and it’s always, again, not. Listening always the biggest thing for me when I’m talking to somebody, it’s hard to connect with them if I’m only talking about myself, which I love to talk about.

[00:10:36] Andrew Biren: And so letting the other person have space in the conversation so we actually can connect and form some sort of bond that we remember each other and whether it’s a client or. Potential referral lawyer or networking event, it can’t just be all about you. And that is a hard battle for me on a day to day basis, because I love me

[00:10:53] Steve Fretzin: as I always have.

[00:10:54] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, people’s favorite word is their, their own name. So, you know, people do love to talk about themselves and I’ve got some clients that I have to sort of like break, like, you know, like a rodeo horse, not a rodeo horse, but like a show horse or something. Because our wild horse, I should say, because they, they are in that habit of just talking and talking.

[00:11:13] Steve Fretzin: And as we know now, you know, the 20 rule applies in the sense of when you’re meeting someone new, you need to ask them about them and you need to be a good listener and active and empathy and all of that. And it doesn’t mean that you don’t communicate, but it’s going to be at a ratio that maybe is different than.

[00:11:28] Steve Fretzin: You know, you may initially intend

[00:11:31] Andrew Biren: that way and it’s hard. I mean, I almost have to sometimes like hold my knees. I want to talk so bad, but I did. I want to jump in, but I, I, and I, I really am excited. I’m excited to the conversation. It is a constant thing for me, but I’m getting better at it. Okay. Take a deep breath.

[00:11:47] Steve Fretzin: And one thing that I know that you excel at in, in, in our previous conversation is really client relationships. Can you talk to a little bit about how you develop client relationships? My

[00:11:57] Andrew Biren: client relationship world started before I was an attorney because I took every case call at the firm. Okay. So everyone, I wanted to learn how to talk to people and learn how to relate to our clients and be there at the front lines.

[00:12:10] Andrew Biren: And that has progressed through my career to the point where, you know, I take a personal pride that if a client is going to be our client, they have my phone number. I’m in text communication with them. If they’re comfortable, that’s what they want to do. I mean, not my Staff me, and then I’m there and I can show them how much I care about their case and that they’re, we’re connecting that way because they truly believe that I’m their advocate, but not my staff.

[00:12:34] Andrew Biren: It’s gotta be me. Just like my dad does the same thing. You know, we always say the buck stops with us, but you can get a Byron on the phone at our firm. And so. I think that’s our selling point is that compared to some other firms where there’s case managers and you never really know who you’re handling attorney is going to be, which is fine.

[00:12:51] Andrew Biren: That’s a different way of practicing at our firm. It’s me, it’s my father and we are, we are there to answer any question. Sometimes I regret that, you know, I have clients that do take advantage of that at times when I’m like, oh my God, it’s 1230 at night. I’m getting a question, but it’s okay. But that’s what I take pride in and connecting with people so that, and, and up to me, and then I learn more about their case and we do better because I know more about their damages and are telling me the things they weren’t comfortable telling me at the beginning.

[00:13:19] Andrew Biren: And that’s been tried and true over and over and over again. And this takes months, maybe years sometimes for people to really open

[00:13:25] Steve Fretzin: up. Well, the other piece of it is when you have that level of service and that level of relationship, the likelihood that they’re going to refer you additional business with their friends and other people that they, that, you know, encounter issues is much higher than again, intake to the lawyer, you know, and then everything’s being delegated off and they just can’t get a lawyer on the phone.

[00:13:46] Steve Fretzin: I went through that a personal injury years ago where, Okay. You know, I was leaving voicemail after voicemail and nobody was getting back to me and it had been a year since I spoke to my lawyer and, you know, I wasn’t going to fire them because they were the, you know, they, they’d been on it for so long, but it definitely turned my stomach a little bit because I felt like I was being ignored.

[00:14:05] Steve Fretzin: It’s

[00:14:05] Andrew Biren: the easiest thing to do and it’s the hardest thing to do. But you, I have had a pre show conversation. I told you, I had like a ticker. I can feel it like in the back of my head going, Hey, you haven’t talked to this person in that much time. Hey, you better check in here. Just let them know you’re working on the case.

[00:14:19] Andrew Biren: Let them know something’s going on. So the client feels relieved that they know, Hey, my lawyer’s on top of this and he’s proactively reaching out to me, he’s not waiting for me to complain and that makes them more comfortable too,

[00:14:31] Steve Fretzin: frankly. You know what, uh, and for those who don’t have that internal ticker, you know, get a CRM, which is a client relationship management tool, some type of, you know, add on to your Clio or to your, you know, practice management system, practice Panther, Lawmatic, something, because you forget to reach out to referral sources.

[00:14:54] Steve Fretzin: You aren’t reaching out and proactively checking in on your clients. And it’s a huge misstep and I think there’s opportunities, you know, that get lost and then not, and not being proactive with that. I

[00:15:06] Andrew Biren: agree. And I actually also did one more thing to kind of, my ticker is also my paralegal Bill, who’s my ear at times.

[00:15:13] Andrew Biren: And, uh, he’s like my right hand. Uh, but. Uh, the other thing I do is we went from doing a full calendar meeting every week to we do full calendar still every week, but I also every two weeks to a staff meeting on every single case. So the cases that were pre lit or we’re just kind of stagnant that weren’t on the calendar sometimes fall to the wayside.

[00:15:32] Andrew Biren: And those are the ones you really would forget to talk to somebody if you weren’t careful. And so now I go through all the cases and go, hey, have you talked to this person? Have you done this? So I’ve actually taken that step as well. And it’s important. Maybe two weeks is a little overzealous for some firms, but to review your entire case file so you know that you’re, Hey, what’s going on with A, B, and C, you

[00:15:51] Steve Fretzin: know.

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[00:17:37] Steve Fretzin: Make it rain. Visit get and stand out. One of the, uh, most amazing interviews I’ve done on this show is with Marco Brown who, uh, Is a divorce attorney out in utah and he gets his whole team together every friday and they it’s mandatory like you have to do this on friday they all they call every client they have so every client is either a voicemails left or they reach out they have a conversation i’ll check in and they don’t go a friday without doing that and so it that’s extreme but it’s it’s it’s the right extreme in in the sense that look if i’m being touched if i’m in in in a case and You And it’s, it’s my life on the line and in my injury or whatever, my divorce, and I’m not hearing from my lawyer on a regular basis, uh, giving me updates then, then, yeah, it’s not, you know, he’s creating a level of service that’s going to be hard to compete with, with the other firms.

[00:18:30] Steve Fretzin: A hundred percent.

[00:18:32] Andrew Biren: And I actually like that idea that might take a little piece of that, maybe a month, not, not every. Every week, that’s maybe a little

[00:18:38] Steve Fretzin: much for our, you figure out, you figure it out for you and you’re in your thing, but, but I mean, I mean, if, if he doesn’t mind me saying this, it’s not out of turn.

[00:18:45] Steve Fretzin: I mean, basically, if somebody doesn’t do that, like they’re not working at the firm, like it’s, it’s to that extreme where like he, he’s a very strict guy, but fair. But if they, somebody messes with him on something that he knows is critical to the success of the firm and for their clients to advocate for their clients, like, he’s not going to just be okay with them not doing it.

[00:19:05] Steve Fretzin: I think it’s a great idea. I like it. We’re all learning today, Drew, you know, it’s, you know, I’m, I’m actually super blessed that I get to take all of this great information from 320 podcasts. And I don’t know how much of it actually stays in my head, but a lot of it does. And it, it helps me become a better coach because I’m not just coaching from my knowledge and experience.

[00:19:26] Steve Fretzin: I have like 300, like top players and rainmakers and other people like telling me what they do. And so it’s really easy for me to. You know, and I, I try not to take credit for it too. Like I say, no, I got this from Marco Brown or I got this from Walt Hampton. So I’m not acting like I know everything. Cause there’s my wife.

[00:19:42] Steve Fretzin: When my teenager will tell you, I do not. You

[00:19:45] Andrew Biren: know, there’s so, there’s so many things I’ve borrowed though, or borrowed from people throughout the years. It’s really a good thing. Hey, I like that. I like this. I like that. You know, little pieces here and there. It’s good to do that.

[00:19:56] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. So how do lawyers become stronger relationship builders?

[00:20:02] Steve Fretzin: I know we’re all like kind of fumbling around in email jail and trying to do like everything through email, but you, you have a different approach. Okay.

[00:20:10] Andrew Biren: If it’s not in person, which isn’t always practical, zoom, FaceTime, the, at the end of it, I do not like emails and I don’t like this blind phone calls. I like to get and see somebody and connect with them.

[00:20:24] Andrew Biren: Uh, I think it’s a completely different thing. And I think in this era Where zoom and FaceTime and whatever other iterations there are, are so available. It’s really helpful in connecting with someone. I don’t think you can connect over the phone the same way. I just, I don’t believe

[00:20:38] Steve Fretzin: it. Yeah. It’s zoom has become my home.

[00:20:41] Steve Fretzin: I mean, I’m still going out and meeting people face to face. However, there’s an art form to using zoom and realizing, look, I’m it’s like, I’m in the room with you drew right now. We’re not clearly. Um, however, you know, I can see your facial expressions. I can see that you’re either anxious, you’re not anxious, or you’re this or that, and, and, and we can have and build a relationship around zoom and, and people try to do that through email.

[00:21:06] Steve Fretzin: And it’s just a big mistake. I think email has a purpose of setting up the zoom, setting up the face to face where you can actually press flash or, or look someone in the eye, in this case, looking at my green dot by my camera, right? Which is your, where I have to think your eyes are. I have to pretend that your eyes are up there, but I think there’s just a huge mistake being made with people trying to communicate everything through email.

[00:21:30] Andrew Biren: I could not agree more. And I actually, to me, emails are a huge problem, both in networking and inner practice. I think that they’re just messages passing through the night. A lot of the time they’re easy to ignore and even phone calls to a lesser extent, you know. When you’re on a phone call, sometimes I call people, they’re getting their dog, they’re doing this when you’re on a zoom, you’re on a FaceTime, you have to be connected to what the conversation is.

[00:21:55] Andrew Biren: And that’s how you start to form a bond with somebody. And, you know, it’s just, I wish more people would be more receptive towards not just sending because, you know, you, we get meaner and emails to we have less connection with each other. It’s easier to be meaner. And so that’s 1 of the reasons I don’t like it as much as this form.

[00:22:15] Steve Fretzin: Right. And you’re, you’re, you’re not wanting to waste time. So you put everything in caps to get your message across. And I think you’re yelling at me, right?

[00:22:24] Andrew Biren: I mean, I, I think there’s a lot, a lot of defense attorneys that would joke at my expense here hearing me say that I don’t send aggressive emails that I’m nicer, you know, all this stuff, you know, I, I certainly have my time where I’m very aggressive in writing too, but, uh, it’s definitely.

[00:22:36] Andrew Biren: It’s just, the message can be really sent the wrong way. I have this happen sometimes, not professionally, even with my, where she texts and she’s not great at texting, and I’m like, Hey, like, what did you mean by this? Was this something, were you like being sarcastic? Or, What’s what, you know, you just, there’s so many interpretations.

[00:22:52] Andrew Biren: When I see her face, I see you, I can hear you, you don’t have nearly as many misinterpretations of what someone means when they’re talking.

[00:22:59] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, I agree. And, and, you know, for those that are listening, I mean, I’d like to maybe go back and forth, Drew, and just give a couple, maybe you and I, you know, kind of work together on this, but let’s like try to put together like three or four really good tips on relationship building.

[00:23:13] Steve Fretzin: And I’ve got one, I want to jump in and, and maybe as I’m talking, you could think of one that you can come back and. It’s not about one upsmanship, although we could certainly play that game. Uh, but it’s about sharing ideas that I think would be actually useful and tactical and actionable for. Folks listening.

[00:23:26] Steve Fretzin: So one that I, you know, always fall back on is trying to make good use of their time. And I’m a big agenda guy and I don’t call it an agenda, but when I’m in a one on one coffee, I always talk about, Hey, would you be okay if we set a quick game plan? And the person says, yeah, of course, because I said to make the best use of our time.

[00:23:44] Steve Fretzin: So language is important. And then another thing, and I’ll say, you know, I know we have 30 minutes and you know, we really wanted to kind of get to know each other and see, there may be ways we can help each other. Um, would you take maybe 10 minutes to talk through like what you do, how you help people who you’re looking for to meet and then I can take 10, we can split up the talk time and then at the end, maybe try to figure out some small way to connect each other, some small way to.

[00:24:07] Steve Fretzin: You know, baby step board to kind of just test the waters a bit. They love that. And then what that does is it gives a little more structure around how we can have equal time and value in that meeting and really consider how we’re going to like get off on the right foot. And sometimes just make it like, Drew, if I made a small connection for you to get you on another podcast or to, you know, solve a problem that you have or introduce you to someone that could be a referral partner.

[00:24:33] Steve Fretzin: Like, it doesn’t take that much time for me to do, but from a standpoint of establishing our relationship, really helpful. But if you don’t establish that game plan, I think in a meeting, sometimes it just goes off the rails. Have you, like, seen that where things just go crazy off the rails? I’ll tell you two things

[00:24:48] Andrew Biren: on this.

[00:24:48] Andrew Biren: Number one is, I do this professionally with, like, Not networking with all the time. And I haven’t thought about implementing this and networking conversations. And now that you just said that it’s something I should do. I do agendas and conversation, but I have never done it in that type of conversation.

[00:25:04] Andrew Biren: So it is something that I see meetings go off the rails all the time. And this can happen a lot of times, especially if I’m dealing with somebody who they just want to talk about what it’s like for me to work with my dad, that’s like the biggest thing, or they want to talk about, you know, what it was like, you know, the olden days and what it was like practicing, you know, it’s an older networking or what, Oh, the business isn’t the same.

[00:25:26] Andrew Biren: And then it’s just someone lamenting for a half hour and I’m like, yeah, what did we get out of this? You know, I know you guys, you know,

[00:25:32] Steve Fretzin: real quick, Drew, I don’t want to crap on those meetings like there’s value in, in, in having a beer with someone or a coffee with someone and just kind of talking about nothing but sports or nothing about the, except the kids and doing that understand though, you’re going to have to meet them again to actually talk about and learn about their business, their law practice, their whatever, and for them to learn about you, because if you want to do business together or refer each other, you know, those have to be a part of the conversation.

[00:25:57] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. So you have to make a decision based on how much time you have and can you get all of it accomplished in maybe an hour, 45 minutes where you can build relationship and then move to an agenda that’s going to actually get some traction. Yeah.

[00:26:11] Andrew Biren: I agree with you a hundred percent. And also like my point, unlike yours, which was the one that I think I should implement in my networking life is that it’s, I have to be to myself.

[00:26:22] Andrew Biren: I have a pretty good feel for people. But so that means that, you know, trust yourself that you’re being too aggressive, trust yourself that you’re not following up when you feel it’s the right time to follow up, connect with somebody over something else and dictate the conversation. Don’t force the conversation like so abruptly going back to our initial quote, like, Hey, are you ready to work together?

[00:26:42] Andrew Biren: Like follow up about whatever you connected with them about and ease into it. So that’s my number one thing that my rule with networking is that I just have to, to take it slow, but also trust myself and trust your instincts in conversation. Talk like a person, you know, don’t, don’t, don’t try to be so robotic and obvious and, you know, blatant about what you’re doing.

[00:27:04] Andrew Biren: At times you gotta, especially at the beginning, it’s harder to connect with somebody. I mean, you know, I get these emails all the time. I met you at so and so date. Would you like to, you know, wait a minute. Do we even meet? What’s going on? Now we’re just, we’re jumping in? You know.

[00:27:18] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, I mean, I brought a life insurance guy to a networking event with me one time.

[00:27:22] Steve Fretzin: I thought he might be a client for me and, and, like, it couldn’t have gone downhill faster. Like, within 20 minutes of being in this room, networking, pushing cards on everybody, selling life insurance. The person that ran the group walks up and goes, did you bring this guy? I go, yeah, I have no idea that this what’s gonna happen,

[00:27:38] Steve Fretzin: And I was like, you know, she’s like, you need to ask him to leave. I was like, I know, I know I will. You know, but it was like, you know, I just, um, I think I needed to trust my gut. I think everybody has a gut about people and you know, even though I wanted to do well for this guy, or maybe I had a self-interest, that I might be able to like turn him over to a sales free methodology because he was so salesy that, you know, I was like, oh, here’s a challenge.

[00:28:03] Steve Fretzin: Ultimately, you know, it was a mistake, you know, I should have followed my gut and said this guy’s way past, you know, that point. That’s the thing

[00:28:10] Andrew Biren: you have to avoid, right? That sales kind of mentality where you go and you can feel it. And that’s what you don’t want to be like that. I feel like people get so many solicitations, lawyers, especially all of our inboxes and calls.

[00:28:23] Andrew Biren: We all get, you know, it’s just, you. Gotta get past that and through the wall and connect with somebody. And that’s, that’s my

[00:28:29] Steve Fretzin: number one thing. And the easiest thing to do is to just be prepared with some questions and know that that’s the, that’s the key to success in networking is to be, is to be, you know, curious, interested, ask questions, listen, and, and, and let people let be.

[00:28:45] Steve Fretzin: And they’re going to ask you eventually, well, tell me about you, Drew. Like it’s going to come around. Right. But this way, at least, you know, about them, you know, whether maybe they’re qualified to talk with you further, you know, that whether they’re a prospect or not a prospect, like there’s all kinds of information that we can get through asking questions that we don’t get through talking.

[00:29:04] Steve Fretzin: So I think that would be a good spot to kind of wrap things up. And I know that you’re a big podcast guy, Drew, you’re listening to a number of different podcasts. The one that you mentioned to me was the Ryan Russo show. Rossillo. Rossillo? Oh, I was way off. Okay, well, I wasn’t way off. I was a little off.

[00:29:18] Steve Fretzin: But is that, is that a, is that a, like a talk sports show? It’s

[00:29:22] Andrew Biren: on the Ringer Podcast Network, which I’m a fan of a lot of their podcasts and his podcast is great. The sports show and I, I really enjoy the sports aspect and then the last like half hour of the show, they’ve got this typical old school AM radio, like life advice, which I grew up on listening.

[00:29:37] Andrew Biren: I love it. People call these obscure problems and it’s these three guys are about the same age as me and they give these like what I would consider good advice because it’s how I’m thinking of the, the issue. And so I just love listening to it and it’s really, uh, really a great show. Whenever it comes out, I was actually listening to it right before we started.

[00:29:55] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. Then very cool. And I like that ending too, because I’m not, I’m a big proponent of playing sports. I just don’t watch a lot of sports. Like I don’t, I watch like YouTube clips. If I want to see like a three hour tennis match in five minutes, uh, or, uh, you know, a 90 minute soccer mat or, you know, whatever, but I just don’t, I just don’t have the time or the inclination interest, but I love to play especially racket sports.

[00:30:18] Steve Fretzin: Hey, as we wrap things up guys, also, I want to just thank our sponsors, Overture. law, MoneyPenny, and GetVisible, all terrific sponsors, and again, this is going to be ending soon, this may be the last time I’m going to mention it, but we’ve got my first book, Sales Free Selling, so like Drew and I were talking about how no one likes Thanks guys.

[00:30:35] Steve Fretzin: Sales people, no one likes to be sold to, it’ll turn people off and networking. So this book is sales free selling and it teaches you how to not do that, how to, how to focus on the other person and ask questions and walk a buyer through a buying decision versus the typical pitch, you know, that we hear about so often going on a pitch meeting, going on a pitch meeting.

[00:30:54] Steve Fretzin: And so you can pick up that book, ebook copy at going to fretson. com slash sales dash free dash selling not too hard to find and grab a copy of that and get a little information about my, uh, methodologies of I hate sales too, and let’s fix this. And help lawyers to do things in a more proficient way.

[00:31:15] Steve Fretzin: Drew, thanks so much for being on the show, man. I appreciate you sharing your kind of your story and your wisdom and your knowledge on the kind of lessons you’ve learned. If people want to reach out to you, what’s the best way for them to find you? Well, my firm

[00:31:27] Andrew Biren: website is Byron. com. That’s B I R E N. And, uh, my email is really easy.

[00:31:33] Andrew Biren: It’s a Byron, B I R E N at Byron. com. It’s spelled the same way. And I give my cell phone out because it’s on our. Burn. So I give that out to which is 9 2 2 4 9 7 9.

[00:31:46] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. Very cool, man. Well, I appreciate you taking the time and, uh, I love your energy. I love your enthusiasm and, you know, quite frankly, you know, I think, you know, we all kind of learn lessons sometimes the hard way about networking and people and, you know, but I’m glad that you’ve turned a corner like I did.

[00:32:01] Steve Fretzin: And, uh, you know, hopefully it’s helping people that are frustrated with networking and relationships. And there may be not hitting the mark with how they’re following through with clients to do better. And be that lawyer, by the way, confident, organized, and a skilled rainmaker. All right, everybody. Take care.

[00:32:14] Steve Fretzin: Be safe. Be well. We will talk again very soon.

[00:32:21] Narrator: Thanks for listening to Be That Lawyer, life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Visit Steve’s website, Fretzin. com, for additional information and to stay up to date on the latest legal business development and marketing trends. For more information and important links about today’s episode, check out today’s show notes.