Audrey Rubin: Exceptional Client Service for Successful Law Firms

In this episode, Steve Fretzin and Audrey Rubin discuss:

  • Why law firms need to operate more like a business.
  • How to know what your clients really want.
  • 3 Tips for outstanding client services.
  • Asking for connections and introductions.

Key Takeaways:

  • There is a lot more to getting clients than just being a really good attorney.
  • Clients care about things like responsiveness, having a point of contact, understanding and predicting their bill, and even more. It’s more than about being a great lawyer at a reduced fee.
  • Build relationships with your clients by working on a joint project with them – get to know them, get comfortable, and be willing to ask them questions about more than just their legal work.
  • There is power in having a team serving your clients, not just you alone.

“The best lawyers, who retain and expand their business, issue report cards on themselves to the clients periodically. They ask the client how they are doing, not just on the legal work, but on other things.” —  Audrey Rubin

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About Audrey Rubin: Recognized and award-winning leader in profitability, productivity, and people for law firms and corporate law departments. Professor of “Law as a Changing Business” at the University of Illinois College of Law. Former VP and COO of the Global Law Department of Aon. There she was responsible for all budget, talent, strategic planning, process improvement, technology, and talent.

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Show notes by Podcastologist Chelsea Taylor-Sturkie

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


[00:00:00] Steve Fretzin: Hey, everybody, before we get to the show, just want to mention, we have a business development workshop coming up on November 16th at noon central. All you need to do to sign up for that free workshop is to go to Fretzin. com slash events and sign up today. And I know you’ll get a lot of takeaways from it.

[00:00:16] Steve Fretzin: Hope to see you there. And enjoy the show.

[00:00:22] 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 greater results. Now, here’s your host, Steve Fretzin.

[00:00:44] Steve Fretzin: Well, hey everybody, welcome to Be That Lawyer. I am Steve Fretzin. I hope you’re having a lovely and wonderful day. We are back every week, twice a week to make sure that you are behaving yourselves now to help you to be that lawyer, someone who’s confident, organized, and a skilled rainmaker. And I don’t know if you know too much about Fretzin and what we do, but we only do two things.

[00:01:04] Steve Fretzin: On one hand, we work with lawyers to help them develop. The business that they’ve always dreamed of. We work with them on the business development, the marketing, the personal branding, LinkedIn. And we actually worked with lawyers for a few years and, um, and we actually stay with them for the lifetime that they’re in business.

[00:01:20] Steve Fretzin: So it’s really an interesting process and program. If you’re interested in that, check out my website, Fretzin. com. We also do peer advisory groups. We’ve got now four round tables that. Uh, are, uh, putting you in room with other successful lawyers to talk shop and work on your challenges and share best practices.

[00:01:38] Steve Fretzin: I bring in top speakers like Audrey here. How you doing, Audrey? Hi. Well, thank you. Good. I’m just doing my shtick right now about my business. But anyway, if you’re interested in any of that jazz, uh, check out my website, Fretzin. com and onto the show, we’ve got, uh, Audrey, how are you? What’s going on? I’m good.

[00:01:57] Steve Fretzin: Thank you. Good to see you.

[00:01:59] Audrey Rubin: Thank you. It’s a pleasure to be here. Thanks for inviting me.

[00:02:02] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, of course. Of course. And we love the quote of the show. People are always telling me they love the quote of the show and I agree. And yours is, uh, Steve Jobs happened to say a few good things in his time. Great things in business are never done by one person.

[00:02:16] Steve Fretzin: They’re done by a team of people. I think that’s probably true. Tell me about that. Yeah, I

[00:02:22] Audrey Rubin: believe strongly in working with teams and teaching lawyers, especially the ones in leadership positions, how to cultivate teams. And frankly, I believe, like many people believed, apparently Abraham Lincoln believed this, that the best teams are the ones where they’re cross functional and you surround yourself With people who don’t necessarily think like you, because if everybody thinks like you, you’re going to only see one perspective.

[00:02:50] Audrey Rubin: And those are my favorite teams to lead and put together. And they’re also always the


[00:02:57] Steve Fretzin: productive. Yeah, well, and I also think it’s important. Like, I know, like, if there’s two people that want to run a firm together, one has one set of skills. The other has another set of skills. It’s not always best.

[00:03:08] Steve Fretzin: For them to have the same skills, even in looking to develop out of practice, for example.

[00:03:13] Audrey Rubin: Well, it’s right. And definitely when it comes to developing a practice, but it’s also important when it comes to running the firm. I mean, uh, you know, I teach at University of Illinois Law School. I teach about the business of law.

[00:03:28] Audrey Rubin: Because law is a profession, but it’s also a business. And, um, I try to have the students engage in some role playing where they understand that when you’re running a firm, it’s not everybody doing everything. Somebody is going to be better at finance and budgeting. Somebody, hopefully, will be better at the technology aspect.

[00:03:49] Audrey Rubin: Somebody should be better at training, uh, new talent and so forth. When one person tries to do it all, It can get really damned

[00:04:00] Steve Fretzin: up. Yes. And as they say, it takes a village. It did. So, Audrey Rubin, you are the president of Rubin Solutions, and uh, we had just the most delightful conversation, I don’t know, a week or two ago, and just so thrilled to talk about our subject today, which I’m keeping a secret.

[00:04:16] Steve Fretzin: No one’s going to know until I decide, so, um, no, but we do want to hear your background leading up to your Be That Lawyer tipping point. So please. Yeah. Give us a, give us a lead in, into not only being a professor, but also, uh, running your own business. Right. Well, my

[00:04:31] Audrey Rubin: business now, Rubin Solutions, advises lawyers on improving their business practices, business operations.

[00:04:38] Audrey Rubin: Some people call it, I call it, uh, you know, business operations, but with a real practical viewpoint. I’ve been the client. I was the vice president and chief operating officer of Rubin Solutions. Aon Company’s global law department, where I was responsible for all lawyer hiring around the world. And so I’ve been the client.

[00:05:02] Audrey Rubin: I’ve been the GC of several well known companies, including Grant Thornton, uh, also international companies, but I’ve also been a partner in a law firm. And chief operating officer of two law firms, uh, Wildman Herald being one of them in Chicago. And as a result, I understand, I am a lawyer, obviously, if I was a general counsel.

[00:05:26] Audrey Rubin: And uh, I understand the challenges that lawyers have. In, uh, the business side of things. It’s very hard to do everything. It’s hard to be a business developer, a great fill in the blank trial lawyer, a great negotiator, a great mentor, you know, understanding the budget. You can’t do it all even if you actually had the skill to do it all.

[00:05:50] Audrey Rubin: And so that’s my sweet spot, helping lawyers do better on the business side of things.

[00:05:57] Steve Fretzin: And what was the turning point for you, whether that was getting out of private practice, going into GC, starting your own business? Was there anything that, that happened that, you know, made you decide the things you ended up going with?

[00:06:09] Audrey Rubin: Yeah, actually there was. As I said, I had been a partner in a law firm, so saw definitely how law firms run, and I went in house, and as a general counsel, I began to realize that law firms need to operate more like a business, in a business like fashion. You don’t say.

[00:06:30] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, I never heard that before. I

[00:06:32] Audrey Rubin: know you never heard it.

[00:06:33] Audrey Rubin: I, I went out there and started giving some talks on it and writing some articles on it. And then, of course, the next thing, you know, I was asked to be a chief operating officer of a law firm. And so I was pretty early in the legal operations. Space, but I personally love it. I, I get really excited about it because I love the law and I want to help the profession be as good as it can be.

[00:07:01] Audrey Rubin: And I think the business schools are usually

[00:07:04] Steve Fretzin: not taught. Yeah. I know there’s a business school, uh, I want to say it’s, um, Ohio state that is using one of my books, legal business development is in rocket science as part of their syllabus. For the practice management and the business side of it, because it covers a lot of ground.

[00:07:21] Steve Fretzin: I was thrilled to hear that, that, that, you know, they’re, they’re actually bringing, you know, business development, networking, and the business of law into the law schools, because I think that’s the area that, you know, every lawyer says, Oh, they never taught me this in law school. And it’s like, at what point is that going to become maybe less, less of just a saying that every lawyer has said dozens and dozens of times.

[00:07:41] Steve Fretzin: Yeah,

[00:07:41] Audrey Rubin: you’re right. And congratulations on that. When I started teaching at the University of Illinois College of Law, I think we were the third one in the country, uh, to do this kind of, uh, business of law course. And now I’m, I do believe there are more, in fact, there are some law schools that are giving special certifications on it and I wish more would do it.

[00:08:01] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, no doubt. No doubt. So let’s get into, so I was holding out on the audience. I’m like, what’s our kind of topic going to be today? And you and I could talk about anything for hours and hours. I don’t even question it. But the one thing that, that, that came up in our, in our pre interview chat was the importance of client service.

[00:08:18] Steve Fretzin: And the fact is, is that lawyers generally, since they’re not taught business development, they’re not taught client service. They’re not taught recruiting. They’re not taught all these things, right? Why do lawyers not really get. Well, client service, like get, what are the, what do they get about it or why are they not focused on that?

[00:08:37] Steve Fretzin: Well,

[00:08:37] Audrey Rubin: most of us were trained to believe that if we were really good lawyers, uh, clients would hire us. And unfortunately there’s a lot more to it than being a really good lawyer, uh, a lot more to it. And that’s the kind of thing that I, I like to coach people on. I do a lot of

[00:08:56] Steve Fretzin: coaching. Well, I think there, what I came up with years ago was something called the client loyalty myth.

[00:09:01] Steve Fretzin: That is that if you do a good job as an attorney and you have a fair fee, that a client will never leave. And that’s no longer the case, right? I think when my dad was coming up, that may have been the case, you know, in the 70s, 80s, 90s, whatever, but… There’s so much competition and there’s so much pressure.

[00:09:18] Steve Fretzin: There’s so many lawyers being, you know, brought in to meet people all the time, CEOs, GCs, et cetera, that you have to really stand on your toes. You want them to say, I don’t want to meet another attorney because the attorney I have is, and then you fill in the blank, all the wonderful things you would say about a great, great attorney.

[00:09:37] Steve Fretzin: And I don’t think it’s just about great, just great work, right? Quality and service. I think there’s, there’s more to it. It’s definitely not

[00:09:44] Audrey Rubin: just about being a great lawyer, and you’re right about people changing alliances, if you want, with their law firms. There’s also, uh, what has happened in our world is, of course, budgets are very carefully watched now.

[00:09:58] Audrey Rubin: You know, the general counsel can’t just spend whatever she or they or he wants to spend, and neither can individual clients. Uh, not only that, most companies are looking for, uh, diversity of their law firms. And I mean diversity in the way we think of diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as diversity of expertise, right?

[00:10:22] Audrey Rubin: Yeah. So, uh, you can’t just be a good lawyer. You have to do a whole lot of other things to attract and retain the

[00:10:30] Steve Fretzin: business. Well, and so there’s, there’s some education involved in that. I mean, if I’m, if I’m doing great work for my clients and I believe that that’s all it takes and that’s all I’m going to do, right?

[00:10:41] Steve Fretzin: And so then it’s a matter of what do lawyers need to be educated on what their clients really want? How do they know what their, what their clients really want? What

[00:10:49] Audrey Rubin: do clients really want? Well, the thing you asked the question, how do they know what the clients really want? They should ask that

[00:10:59] Steve Fretzin: it was, it was embedded in the discussion, but most lawyers

[00:11:03] Audrey Rubin: don’t because we think we’re only hired for this particular project and we’re going to show the client how great we are when in fact the best lawyers who retain and expand their business issue report cards on themselves to the clients periodically.

[00:11:21] Audrey Rubin: They go in and ask the client, how am I doing not so much on the legal work, but on other things? Uh, clients care about things like responsiveness. having a point of contact, understanding and being able to predict the bills, exposure by the law firm to other lawyers and clients. And it’s way more than just being a good lawyer.

[00:11:50] Audrey Rubin: It’s even more than just being a good lawyer at a reduced fee. It’s a much more personalized situation now, relationship now. And I can give you many examples and stories of things that lawyers have done that have been great to retain my business and that have been not

[00:12:09] Steve Fretzin: so great. Well, that might be kind of fun.

[00:12:11] Steve Fretzin: So let’s do this. Um, since we’re having fun, uh, let’s start with one. That’s a really great example of what a lawyer did to provide that great client service. And then let’s flip it. And what’s something that someone did that really blew up in his or her face?

[00:12:25] Audrey Rubin: Okay. Well, thank you. Well, something that a lawyer did because I asked, uh, it was a him, him to do it.

[00:12:33] Audrey Rubin: And he did it without a blink. When I was chief operating officer of Aon’s law department, we had legal issues in many jurisdictions, and I was kind of tired of paying one price in New York, one price in Chicago, another price in Los Angeles, another price. In London, and by price, I pretty much mean billable hourly rate.

[00:12:55] Audrey Rubin: Sure. So I said to my relationship partner, I don’t care what you do, but I want you to figure out one rate so I don’t have to worry. I can call you, and you’re gonna get me one rate. And I’m not gonna worry about paying X in New York and Y in L. A. It’s gonna be one rate. And he did it. What do you think about that?

[00:13:18] Audrey Rubin: Obviously he did it in a way that made him a profit. He’s not stupid, but it helped me with my budgeting, with my time. And you didn’t have to keep going to these various offices. What do you want to charge? What do you want to charge? You know, a lot of law firms operate on budgets and forecasts that are pretty narrow, which.

[00:13:38] Audrey Rubin: They might want to rethink, uh, you know, if your IP department in your law firm charges this, then your litigation department charges that, and your corporate department charges that. You might kind of want to rethink how you’re doing pricing for your clients, because the clients really just want it easy and

[00:13:57] Steve Fretzin: predictable.

[00:13:58] Steve Fretzin: But here’s the piece that I’m taking away from it more than anything is the communication between you and this lawyer. Was such that, that you could, you could make that request and, and get a, get a resolve to not only solve a problem, but also to, to know that that individual was, was willing to go to bat for you to make it easy.

[00:14:22] Audrey Rubin: Precisely. Now you wanna, you want a horror story?

[00:14:26] Steve Fretzin: I, uh, that would be wonderful, yes. Okay. That’s a sick, I don’t know if that’s my sick brain, but yes, I do want that story.

[00:14:33] Audrey Rubin: Sadly, I, I have quite a few, which is unfortunate, but here’s one. Law firm, uh, is starting to do business for me and congratulates me on how wonderful my background is in the diversity space because, in fact, I have worked my entire career on diversity in the legal profession.

[00:14:53] Audrey Rubin: And I say, thank you so much. Guess who shows up at the meeting? All white men. So they go back and they say, now, is there anything else you’d like to know about us? And I said, yeah, well, I, you said you knew all about me and diversity. Where’s the diversity on this team? And they’re like, Oh, we, you know, we thought you only wanted to meet the people in this department or whatever.

[00:15:14] Audrey Rubin: So. That’s an example. They never got more work. Yeah. And that’s because of two things. One, they obviously didn’t have the diversity, but two, because they really hadn’t done their homework and the process not aware of what they needed

[00:15:29] Steve Fretzin: to do. Yeah. Yeah. It’s, it’s listening, preparing, engaging. I mean, these are all things that are gonna, that are gonna give you a shot, you know, a shot at winning the business.

[00:15:41] Steve Fretzin: And it sounds like that was just a total bomb.

[00:15:44] Audrey Rubin: Yeah, it was a bomb. And I’ll tell you another. Uh, firing of a law firm that anybody on this podcast can relate to. The bill came in late. The bill came in six months late. We wouldn’t pay it and we never used that person

[00:15:59] Steve Fretzin: again. Yeah. Yeah. And there’s a lot of lawyers that really struggle with getting their time, not only recorded, but getting those bills out.

[00:16:07] Steve Fretzin: And it’s, yeah, I mean, I don’t want, I don’t want to get a bill, you know, that’s been piling up for six months and then, then be expected. It’s like sometimes when I, um, with old CPAs, I would use, they’d say, Oh, you know, tomorrow’s a tax day. And by the way, now we’re going to tell you, Oh, 30, 000, well, geez, that would have been nice to know.

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[00:18:20] Steve Fretzin: out. So. Let’s transition to, and this might be a you and me thing, like a working together thing, which is okay, right? We can collaborate. Three tips, four tips for outstanding client service. What are some things that we can just, look, you have this amazing perspective of being in house, of being in a firm, of consulting, I mean, you’ve done it all.

[00:18:40] Steve Fretzin: And so I think lawyers really want to pay attention right now because, because you’re going to give, and I’m going to maybe chime in too. Three things, four things that will separate you from the pack as a lawyer and as it relates to how you are servicing your clients in a way where maybe they’ll never leave.

[00:18:56] Steve Fretzin: Okay.

[00:18:57] Audrey Rubin: Okay. Okay, so one is try to do some joint projects with your client and a joint project can be anything from a pro bono activity to sponsoring the client’s offsite retreat and showing up there, by the way, so you get to meet most of the lawyers at the client, by the way, and the business also, it’s a win, win, win, and it You know, what, what is a lunch 000.

[00:19:27] Audrey Rubin: I think you’ll make it up if you encourage,

[00:19:31] Steve Fretzin: you get a half a matter out of it,

[00:19:33] Audrey Rubin: right? I’ve done process improvement project between the law firm and the client. And by that, I mean, pick a process such as billing or such as eDiscovery. Uh, we all know there are things that could be improved in the efficiency of these systems.

[00:19:50] Audrey Rubin: Well, if you meet together in a facilitated way and you can remove some of the problems at both ends, right, the client as well as the law firm, the client is most appreciative. And you have spent a half a day together, you know, building relationships because you’re working on the same problem together.

[00:20:13] Audrey Rubin: So those are all kinds of things that you, that you should do. Another thing that you should do, and I know this sounds obvious, but it is still failing, be available all the time and introduce the client to somebody else in your practice. Who is going to be available if you’re not, I mean, let’s face it, everybody gets caught.

[00:20:37] Audrey Rubin: You know, you might have a health problem. You might have a funeral to go to. We get that. What we don’t get is what happened to me once when I called one of my lawyers, there was an emerge, truly an emergency, like the government was knocking at the door and I’m sorry. He was at a lunch meeting and I said to the administrative assistant, well, who else is working on my matters?

[00:20:59] Audrey Rubin: There’s And she said, Oh, I, I just don’t know. I think you’re going to have to wait until he comes back. Do not do that. Introduce your client to a whole team, people who stay somewhat abreast of your issues or at least are smart enough to know how to figure out what’s going on and be available. And you don’t necessarily have the answer that moment, but just be available.

[00:21:20] Audrey Rubin: Go ahead. I

[00:21:20] Steve Fretzin: want to add something on to that particular point, um, Audrey, because A lot of attorneys, you know, you know, they, you know, just covet their clients. They don’t allow other people in, they’re afraid of, of it getting stolen or they’re afraid of whatever. And it’s, it’s a huge negative because when you have a team, like this is where we also, we’re going back to the very beginning of our chat today, right, where you have a team, you have power and you have the ability to service a client in a very different way than if it’s just on you.

[00:21:49] Steve Fretzin: And so like, that’s going to be critical, especially for lawyers that want to build books of business. Uh, and they say, well, my, my clients all want me. Well, that’s also a problem because 80 percent of the questions that they may have, they’re, they’re not even at your level or they’re not even things you need to respond to.

[00:22:06] Steve Fretzin: If you had a second in command, a Lieutenant, somebody that could step in and really handle the lot of the lead work that allows you to stay out in front. Boy, are you

[00:22:15] Audrey Rubin: correct? Thank you for mentioning. Yeah.

[00:22:18] Steve Fretzin: Well, that’s it. Good collab. Good team here.

[00:22:20] Audrey Rubin: Introduce the client to a team, and by the way, try to keep that team on the client’s work.

[00:22:26] Audrey Rubin: Uh, I know associates tend to move up every year and so forth, but the client doesn’t want to get reintroduced to somebody every year if the associate in the first place was good. Figure out a way to keep your team together so that the team learns the business of the client. It’s not only about the legal work.

[00:22:44] Audrey Rubin: It’s about the whole business. If you’re a really good lawyer, you will know, for example, That there’s a merger and acquisition talked about at the client’s business. And therefore, you will help the client navigate various things that the client needs to do in anticipation of that. You won’t wait to get the call.

[00:23:05] Audrey Rubin: Oh, help me with this acquisition. No, you’re going to be in front of it, guiding the client. Even if some of that isn’t billable. But that, that’s what makes the super, that’s what makes the super duper large. You want some more?

[00:23:19] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, give me one more then I’m going to add one

[00:23:21] Audrey Rubin: diversity, equity, and inclusion.

[00:23:23] Audrey Rubin: And I am really frustrated because I know that there are, you know, minorities are literally minorities in the numbers game. However, there are ways for all of us to improve the diversity of their teams. Even if you’re subcontracting or partnering with another law firm, it is no good anymore to say, well, I only have a law firm of 10 people and I, you know, how many people of color can I keep on and I’m not hiring this year.

[00:23:55] Audrey Rubin: Forget it. Stop it. Figure out a way to get your diverse team in front of the client and working for the client.

[00:24:01] Steve Fretzin: Really, really good. The one that I was going to say to Audrey was, um, Being like a consigliere for your client. I think it’s like, I’m doing the work. I’m giving a fair rate. Okay. So that’s the client loyalty myth we dispelled earlier.

[00:24:14] Steve Fretzin: But if, if the client is coming to me with business problems and other areas other than the specific, you know, legal, you know, work that I do, I think they, if they know that they can come to me for resources, if they know, or I’ve provided resources, I’ve provided context, I help them find their assistant GC, like I’m getting entrenched in Their business beyond the work.

[00:24:37] Steve Fretzin: It’s very hard. I think to leave a lawyer that a does good work Be you have a relationship with and that also has provided a lot of value beyond the legal work I couldn’t agree

[00:24:48] Audrey Rubin: more you’re saying everything that I agree with. Yes.

[00:24:50] Steve Fretzin: No. All right I know my I know my stuff is what I think you’re saying dude.

[00:24:54] Steve Fretzin: Okay. Well, I teach this right so I better know Yeah, uh because it’s not just It’s six times harder and more work and energy and time and money to get a new client than to keep an existing client. And lawyers that are already stressed out about the bill of hour and the time and want to hang out with their family and all the good stuff, you got to keep your clients.

[00:25:12] Steve Fretzin: You got to do it. Now, granted, there’s situations where companies get bought. There’s situations where companies go out of business, whatever that happens. So you have to keep prospecting, but at the same time, you have to keep the clients and you got to do more than just in the past.

[00:25:27] Audrey Rubin: Yeah, that’s right. And the other thing I’m seeing in my work, advising law firms, is that some, especially smaller law firms, but not necessarily, it’s kind of a senior partner who has been working with, let’s say, the founder of the firm or the head of the family that went to this law firm for estate planning or whatever.

[00:25:49] Audrey Rubin: The law firm needs to get in front of the next generation. This is succession planning for the law firm. Because guess what? When today’s child, 30 years old. Next year becomes, you know, the head of the family business because the parents want to kind of, you know, get out of it that law firm better have had the relationship with the, with the next

[00:26:12] Steve Fretzin: generation.

[00:26:13] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, they just generally, I think you mentioned this earlier, like multiple contacts, like, you know, if you’re working with the GC, you should know 5 other people at that company because of that GC moves laterally up, down leaves, whatever, and that’s your relationship. Guess what? Somebody’s coming in. With someone new in an AU, so you have an opportunity to a go with that GC that moves to the bigger company or to the other job and stay where you are, you’re double dipping.

[00:26:41] Steve Fretzin: Well, why because of the relationship because of the client service, because you’ve made yourself, you know, so powerful in that relationship and dispensable. That’s right.

[00:26:52] Audrey Rubin: I have more whenever you’re

[00:26:53] Steve Fretzin: ready for that. I, I, we’re going to do one more and then I’ve got, I’ve got a final thing I want to hit you up with that I think will be really eyeopening for attorneys listening.

[00:27:01] Steve Fretzin: So hit yours and I’ll hit mine.

[00:27:03] Audrey Rubin: I don’t pretend your law firm is an expert in something that it isn’t an expert. It’s very hard. It’s, most of us want to do the work, right? But guess what? A negative experience, even if it’s not in the area that the client originally hired you for. We’ll tarnish the entire law firm for

[00:27:24] Steve Fretzin: years.

[00:27:25] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. Yeah, really, really good. Really good. All right. Here’s my scenario You’re gonna be you’re gonna be helpful in this I think you know, let’s put on your GC hat That’s the hat I want you wearing right now I am your lawyer. I have done everything and more that we’ve talked about today. The best client service, best quality, available rates, fair.

[00:27:45] Steve Fretzin: I’ve given you contacts. I helped you build your team. I’ve done everything I could to be an asset for you. And I come to you and I say, you know, Hey, is there, I know you’ve got a sister company that has another GC. Um, I think I might be valuable there too. Would you be open to introducing me? You would say what?

[00:28:06] Steve Fretzin: Absolutely. Okay. So the point of that, of that shenanigans I just put on right there is because there are lawyers that have so much head trash about asking for a connection or asking for someone to, you know, if they’ve got a great lawyer, bringing them in and making that introduction. I think GCs generally want to meet the best lawyers they can meet, even if they’re happy with who they’re with.

[00:28:30] Steve Fretzin: Are they open to meeting a lawyer if they make that ask in the right way? Yeah.

[00:28:35] Audrey Rubin: If you’re a good business developer and by business, I, I mean developing client relationships within. The company is well, right? Because you have your clients are within the company. You are smart enough to expand relationships for for a whole bunch of reasons, not the least of which is it makes you look good.

[00:28:57] Audrey Rubin: I know this great lawyer. I know you down the hall are looking for a great lawyer. Let me introduce you. And at the law firm, this holding on to your client rather than sharing or letting the client even know that the law firm does other things. I mean, lawyers are

[00:29:15] Steve Fretzin: guilty of Really bad. Really bad. The cross marketing

[00:29:18] Audrey Rubin: is If your law firm did whatever, fill in the blank, you know, P work, it’s terrible.

[00:29:23] Audrey Rubin: Let everybody, there’s, you get, stop hoarding. It does, it’s not

[00:29:27] Steve Fretzin: But I think asking when you have developed that value proposition, asking for quality introductions to other GCs and to other people that are in the world of, of, of your client, that’s, that is a critical area of low hanging fruit for lawyers.

[00:29:43] Steve Fretzin: The other piece of it, Audrey, as you just said, is Asking questions to identify other areas. The client may need the GC may need assistance. Maybe they’re unhappy with their current litigation. You’ve been doing transactional stuff, but you have this amazing litigation group at your firm. They don’t even know about that’s insane.

[00:30:03] Steve Fretzin: That’s correct. Yeah. Well, just wonderful. I so appreciate your, um, expertise and your sharing of this wisdom. I want to transition to our game changing book or podcast. And I think we’ve got a book today and the book is getting naked. So if anybody wants to get naked, there’s a book that Audrey is going to tell you about.

[00:30:23] Audrey Rubin: Yeah, this book isn’t brand new, but of course the title is really a grabber. So it’s easy to remember. And what it’s about has nothing to do actually with the law. It’s about a technology consultant who was trying to develop his own business. That’s the author of the book, Luciani, I believe is his name.

[00:30:43] Audrey Rubin: And he talks about how to do that, and the one takeaway I will give you is be transparent and vulnerable, which is completely different than the way I was schooled. I thought I’d go in to see a prospective client and tell them everything I knew and how great I was. Actually, it’s sort of the opposite. I mean, you don’t tell them that you’re not good, but you also ask them, what do they want?

[00:31:12] Audrey Rubin: What do they need? How can I fulfill your… Your goals and desires you don’t have to know everything going in and in fact those who come across as knowing everything Often don’t get the business and that was an eye

[00:31:26] Steve Fretzin: opener me well in another game changing book is called sales free selling as you know and What I talk about in that book similar to this is that it’s not about selling convincing and pitching and pitch the word pitches You know, comes up at, you know, every day with lawyers and how they think about going after business.

[00:31:45] Steve Fretzin: And it couldn’t be more contrary to what I’m teaching, which is listening, asking, right? Uh, identifying, qualifying, understanding, empathy. I mean, these are the words that are going to carry you through a meeting where you know more and you can respond in a way that you’re not going to get if you just, if you’re just talking, you’re just talking over them, vomiting, you know, everything you know about the law over them.

[00:32:07] Steve Fretzin: Um, so that’s. That’s right in line. So I’m gonna, you know, I haven’t read that book. Um, I’ve read a lot of sales books, but that’s one I’m gonna go back and check out. So appreciate that. Hey, before we wrap up, Audrey, I want to thank our Wonderful, amazing sponsors. Of course, overture. law helping you ethically fee share around the country.

[00:32:25] Steve Fretzin: Get visible. Who’s cranking out that marketing, helping to just take it off your plate. And of course, get staffed up. If you’re looking to outsource the, you know, the full time, you know, assistant, marketing assistant, and you guys know my marketing’s done through them and, uh, my, uh, my VA, um, Sergio is cranking it out all the time.

[00:32:42] Steve Fretzin: It’s actually on, uh, He’s got his paid leave right now. So I’m having to step in and be Mr. Marketing, but I was doing it before him, so I’m okay with it. Um, Audrey, thank you so much. I just appreciate you. I appreciate your sharing and just our relationship. I have a feeling we’re not, uh, we’re not done yet.

[00:32:57] Audrey Rubin: I agree. Thank you so much. It’s been a delight.

[00:33:00] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. And thank you everybody for spending some time with us today on Be That Lawyer. The goal here, continuing to help you to be confident, organized, and a skilled rainmaker. Take care everybody. Be safe. Be well. We will talk again, so very soon.

[00:33:17] Narrator: Thanks for listening. To be that lawyer, life-changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice, visit Steve’s website 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.