Barbara Kaplan: Your Brand is Your BFF

In this episode, Steve Fretzin and Barbara Kaplan discuss:

  • Relationships as the key to success.
  • Why lawyers may struggle with branding.
  • Defining your own brand and narrative.
  • Understanding how to define your brand and what you do.

Key Takeaways:

  • Your why lives at the intersection of what you love, what you’re great at, what you want to be known for, what sets you apart, and what your ideal client needs.
  • Your brand will be tweaked as you go through your life, but it should always resonate with your clients.
  • If you do not choose what you want to be known for, those you work with will define it for you and it may not be what you want.
  • You want your clients to be your best referral source. If your brand is clear and clearly defines who you are and what you do, your brand can be your best friend.

“Branding is about the future. It leverages the past, it reflects the present, and it carries you into the future.” —  Barbara Kaplan

Connect with Barbara Kaplan:  

Website: https://www.bskstrategies.com/

Email: [email protected]

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/barbarakaplanprofile/

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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.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

 

Barbara Kaplan  [00:00]

branding is about the future. It leverages the past. It reflects the present, and it carries you into the future.

 

Narrator  [00:12]

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.

 

Steve Fretzin  [00:34]

Hey, everybody, welcome to be that lawyer. I am Steve Fretzin, the host of the show, and I hope you’re having a lovely day, a fabulous day it is for me Friday, I was just telling Barbara that my day just got totally opened up a bunch of people rescheduled with me for a number of reasons. And I’m like, Okay, I have a day to get stuff done. As a lawyer, you’re probably saying, jeez, that’d be great if I ever had that happen to me, because you’re probably building a ton of hours dealing with a great resignation and dealing with all the business which is coming in. Which by the way, don’t complain about it. Because it could be it could be famine versus feast, but I get the challenges you’re having in business development, I get the challenges you’re having as a lawyer every day, I’m in the weeds with you trust me every day, that’s all I’m doing is talking about lawyers problems. And a big one that comes up on a fairly regular basis is how do I brand myself How do I brand, my firm and really build that out. And, of course, I’m going to bring on a terrific speaker and an coach today to talk about that. And I’m gonna introduce Barbara in a moment. Of course, I need to thank the sponsors. We’ve got legalese marketing, helping me with my social media, my newsletter, my website, my law Maddix, automating a lot of the stuff that I do to make my life simple and easy. And of course, money, Penny. And if you’re looking for someone to help take the responsibility of intake, and reception off your plate, they do that really, really well with their virtual reception that’s live, it’s not not an automated tool. So check them out, and you’ll hear more about them on the show in a few minutes. Barbara was kind enough to send me a quote, and we couldn’t figure out who it was from, but we know we both liked it. It’s a client as a friend with a problem. Okay. Barbara Kaplan, welcome to the show.

 

Barbara Kaplan  [02:15]

Thank you very much. I’m thrilled to be here. Yeah,

 

Steve Fretzin  [02:17]

we’re gonna have some fun today. That’s an interesting quote. I know you love that, quote, talk about that. And then I’m gonna, I’m gonna ask you more about you. But I’d love to hear like a client is a friend with a problem. What What, what’s that all

 

Barbara Kaplan  [02:28]

about? It’s always about relationships. It’s always about a human connection between you, the lawyer and your client. And that client needs to feel like you are their friend that you have their back, that you’re looking out for them that you anticipate what problems they might have, that you anticipate what’s coming down the pike, that you prepare them for these eventualities. And so they need to feel like they’re on your mind, you’re thinking about them. If you’d like an example, or we can talk about it later, I’ve got a great example. I’ll go for let’s throw the example up. Okay. I was trained in law firm marketing at a firm called Decker, which many of you may know of it’s several 1000 lawyers at this point. And one of the lawyers there was world renowned as an antitrust lawyer. Now there are 1000s of lawyers in Philadelphia, who are antitrust lawyers, and many hundreds at Decker. But every time the word antitrust law came up, his name came up. And what he did was, although he never needed to, because his phone always rang, was every morning on his way to work. He called five potential or existing clients. And he checked in on them, sometimes it was about the matter they were working on, but sometimes it was about their sick child or the vacation they just took, but every one of them got off the phone thinking, he really likes me. He’s been thinking about me, I’m on his mind. He felt like he was their friend, and they were his friend. And the human connection that that engenders, goes miles toward establishing client loyalty, particularly in the environment that we’re in, in a gig economy, where people are jumping around all the time, where services are commoditized and where there is really very little loyalty.

 

Steve Fretzin  [04:24]

Yeah, it’s so important to understand, you know, relationships are the key to success in just about anything you want to accomplish in your life and practice of law. Really, really critical. And again, we’re all trying to get it away from just being a straightforward transaction. You know, it’s not like you’re buying a soda pop or you’re buying anybody still say soda pop. Think I just brought that back Chicago they do Chicago they do. Okay, thank you. But again, this is this is where you know, if you’re not liking and trusting your lawyer and feeling like that lawyer has your back then yeah, I can see where would a be transactional or, you know, be an easy relationship to leave. So, Barbara Kaplan, you’re the CEO of B. K. ‘s strategies, and I’d love to have Nope. Okay, you’re the CEO of BS K strategies. All right, you know, I’m dyslexic, so I’m not. But I’ve got to come up with a reason for messing. Hey, you know what, usually I just mess up people’s names. So I’m 5050 already on the show. So talk about your so your background, obviously, legal marketing, working for a big firm like Decker, and then take us forward to where you are today.

 

Barbara Kaplan  [05:29]

As I mentioned, I trained at Decker, which at the time, was headquartered in Philadelphia. Then I went to a midsize firm named Saul Ewing, where I played every role that a law firm marketing department could have. So I was head of client development, I was head of marketing, I was head of PR, I was head of all sorts of other kinds of communications, sort of verticals. And then I became head of marketing, it’s all worked there for several years, and then went out on my own and established BSK strategies. And I work with firms of all shapes and sizes, colors, specialties, which is great, because the variety really keeps it fresh. And then you know, every decision I help a client make is informed by other clients who might have known in complementary or related practice areas.

 

Steve Fretzin  [06:22]

In while you’ve developed all these various skills, marketing, PR business development, the one that sort of stood out as we were leaning into this show today was really about your passion and your experience around branding. And I know that in dealing with lawyers, I’m not a branding expert, I kind of enjoy the exercise of branding, and helping find the distinguishing factors or or differentiators or things like that. Lawyers generally struggle with how to build their personal brand. And why do you think that is? Why why is that so challenging for most attorneys?

 

Barbara Kaplan  [06:55]

Several things. One, lawyers Rely on facts. And they often rely on precedent, because that’s how their minds are trained when they’re in law school. Branding is about the future. It leverages the past, it reflects the present, and it carries you into the future. And that’s a bit antithetical to how lawyers think about the practice of law. So that’s one reason and a second reason is, especially when you’re in a larger firm, the firm itself has a brand. Sometimes lawyers really know it well and can explain it to clients and sometimes they don’t. But so it doesn’t encourage them necessarily to have their own personal brand.

 

Steve Fretzin  [07:40]

Yeah, so they’re just they’re just leaning off of the brand of the of the firm saw Ewing, meanwhile, they’re they’re ignoring their own personal brand of how they’re going to get business, not just be a part of that community of that firm.

 

Barbara Kaplan  [07:52]

Well, I wouldn’t want to just attribute that to Saul, which no, no,

 

Steve Fretzin  [07:55]

I’m just saying as an example, I just I just threw that out since you mentioned. Okay, he

 

Barbara Kaplan  [07:59]

threw it out? I did not. Yeah. So I mean, I don’t think that lawyers are trained to understand what a personal brand can do for them, the power of it, why it makes the phone ring, why it makes them the go to person, why it makes them top of mind, and the leverage that they can get from it. One of the things I always say and I wrote a blog post entitled this for a publication called attorney at work is, is your brand, your BFF is your brand working for you 24/7 You know, people joke all the time and say I want to make money while I sleep. Well, if your brand is your BFF you can make money while you sleep. because others are reading your website, reading your articles, reading your blog posts, listening to a CLE that you did. And all of that leverages what makes you unique, what makes you stand out how you serve it up? How you distinguish yourself in this fast moving, highly competitive marketplace, what it is that you’re known for, and it resonates with people so think about your brand as your BFF

 

Steve Fretzin  [09:09]

so if a lawyer is listening to this and saying look, I’m a I’m a real estate lawyer, residential real estate, and I, I you know, I don’t know what my brand is, I’m uh, you know, I do residential real estate and that’s my focus. What’s my brand is it is it something that happened to me in my past that I want to bring up and share is that how I communicate and then my responsiveness like how do we understand like what our brand should be that would stand out in the marketplace?

 

Barbara Kaplan  [09:39]

Okay, if it’s okay with you, Steve, I’d like to throw out several questions the answers to which will shape the personal brand if anyone listening okay, what is your why?

 

Steve Fretzin  [09:52]

So most people before you even take asked me another question to ask another question. There are people listening they go What the hell does that mean? What is your Why was my Why, you know why ask why? What does that that’s, you know? So that’s a child’s question. Right? Why? Why why? So that question is important. I know it, you know it, but lawyers listening don’t understand what that means. Can you explain that before we move on?

 

Barbara Kaplan  [10:15]

Sure. And thanks for asking your why lives at the intersection of what you love? What you’re great at what you want to be known for? What sets you apart? And what does your ideal client need? Another way of saying that is what business problem or challenge do you solve? So if you’re a real estate lawyer that doesn’t answer any of those questions, what makes you unique? What’s different about the way you serve it up? What’s different about the way you interact with your clients? What’s different about how they experience you? What is the journey? Feel like? What is the human connection with you feel like? Why are you practicing real estate law? What drew you to real estate law? If it’s something you absolutely love, then tell that emotional, personal story, we started out by saying it’s all about relationships. And a real estate lawyer may be a great real estate lawyer, but that fact has no emotion attached to it doesn’t answer the question about what makes you different. What distinguishes you? How do you stand out? And it doesn’t explain your why what business challenge do you solve? Yeah,

 

Steve Fretzin  [11:33]

well, that’s really important to have the question backed up by a lot of other questions that may help someone actually solve it or give it more consideration, which is really important. So if a lawyer is trying to consider what their Why is, and I know I want to get into the other questions, do they have to know their market really well to figure out? Is it more about what the other people want to need in need to be have fulfilled? Or is it more about their personal story? Or is it is it changed based on the situation in the in the in the practice area and the person?

 

Barbara Kaplan  [12:11]

Actually, that was very astute. It certainly changes based upon what’s going on in the marketplace, what’s going on in the environment, who your ideal client is your target audiences for a particular kind of practice, for example, or practice focus. But typically, your brand is your brand. As you move forward, as you go into the future, you’re gonna have to tweak it based on what’s going on. But you should always be walking in the shoes of your client, and your brand has to resonate with your client. And if it isn’t meaningful to them, if it doesn’t spark something in them, then you have to think about is this the brand I want. And one of the things that’s really important is that if you don’t brand yourself in a way that’s meaningful to the clients, you want to attract, if you don’t pick up the reins, and do that, somebody’s going to do it for you. And it becomes you

 

Steve Fretzin  [13:06]

become known, you become known based on what other people decide not versus what you want the narrative to be.

 

Barbara Kaplan  [13:11]

Right. So here’s the line, do not outsource the creation of your brand. You should create it and shape it. So every single day it resonates with who you are, it’s authentic. And that’s how people are going to experience you every time they interact with you.

 

Steve Fretzin  [13:30]

Yeah, so I mean, in in the creation of my brand, and not to pick on me, but, uh, let’s, yeah, fine, to be that lawyer that was created based on what, you know, I did work with a marketing friend of mine to come up with that. And essentially, what does it represent? Well, it represents again, confidence organization skilled Rainmaker. It’s It’s the it’s the lawyer that people are talking about at the watercooler that brings in all the business. That’s what my that’s who my clients are and what they want to be if they aren’t already. So that’s sort of what it’s not so much about me, although I’m the one who helps them get there. They actually are the ones that are going to do the heavy lifting in the work. But that that resonated with me right when I heard it right when we came up with it, and it kind of put it up in front of me. I was like, well, wow, that’s it hit me like like, like snapping fingers.

 

Barbara Kaplan  [14:23]

And that’s a great example of your brand being your BFF. It’s creating such a buzz that it’s kind of like the water cooler thing to talk about and to remember, right. memorability is everything. So, it’s simple. It’s concise. It says what you want it to say. And it’s got a meaning that’s going to be positive no matter what others bring to it.

 

Steve Fretzin  [14:50]

Yeah, and I think it’s something that once you figure it out, and you kind of have that aha moment, then you have to lean into it. And I think that’s Maybe the next direction we want to go is alright, so great. I came up with what my brand is, how do I leverage it? How do I get it out there and make other people buy into it the same way that I

 

Barbara Kaplan  [15:10]

have. And that’s very dependent upon who your ideal client is, and who your target audience is, because you want to show up where they are, you want to show up in the material that they read, you want to show up as a speaker at the Cle, or the conference or the panel that they attend, you want to show up where they are, so they can turn to somebody next to him and say, he’s my lawyer, or she’s my lawyer, aren’t they great? I, you know, if you got this such and such a problem, I really recommend him or her. You want to be where your clients are, where they seek information and where that information can influence them. So you want to think about what are the what are the places and who are the people that influence their buying decisions. And that’s where you need to be if you take a scattershot approach, and you’re sort of a little bit here and a little bit there, and it’s not strategic. First of all, you’re not going to hit the people you want to hit, and you’re not going to hit them more than once. And you’re not going to be constantly consistently reminding about you.

 

Steve Fretzin  [16:19]

Yeah, I think that’s a really important word barbers consistency. And I think if I have you know, and again, I’m not going to let’s, let’s get get away from me for a minute and talk about a lawyer or a law firm that maybe is specialized in in a specific, you know, in an area, and they’ve got a podcast, they’ve got an A column in this Chicago Daily law bulletin, or the ABA journal, they’ve got it all over their banners, on social media all over their website on their firm. That’s a consistent way to play off that message so that everyone starts talking about

 

Barbara Kaplan  [16:54]

  1. Exactly. And I think it’s important for lawyers for everyone to realize that the brand is not just what you write about or speak about. Your brand is where you show up, it really is about how you dress. It really is. And I urge people, there’s a lawyer in Philly, I do not know him personally. But I search websites all the time for how people, you know, communicate their brands and how those brands are reflected. And this one is called the unlocker. And if you go to the unloaders website, you’ll see a guy in a T shirt with his arms folded, who tells you what it costs for every service he provides? Who reinforces the image of you know this is you’re not paying for the bottled water, you’re not paying for it. Most of what we’re going to do is online, you’re not paying for any frills or any distractions, you’re paying for just what it is that you need no more no less. Yeah. And it’s very bare bones, but it’s very attractive in the way that he executes it. And particularly small businesses are really attracted to that. So it’s also in how you portray what you’re all about. And it really does have to do with how you dress and how you show up and where you show up. Because when you walk into a courtroom, a judge is going to think about you in a particular way, as is the jury dependent upon? It’s not about expensive or jewelry, it’s it’s about how professional D look. And what do you want people to remember about you and think about you when you leave the room. Yeah,

 

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[18:59]

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Steve Fretzin  [19:28]

it’s so it’s you’ve got to be the total package. So the way you’re you’re appearing the way your website is demonstrated online, the way that your social media comes across, and that it’s authentically, not only you, but also it represents that overall brand that you’re trying to put out there. And so it’s all one package. It can’t be a bunch of separate things happening that don’t wrap that don’t maybe go the same direction.

 

Barbara Kaplan  [19:54]

That’s correct. And if I could, may I just add something to your your prior question. Yeah, well Well, you know, I know what I do, what kind of lawyer I am, but like, how do I get other people to know about that? How do I leverage that? How do I get that word out there? And leverage is key. So it’s not about here’s another one of my lines, it’s not about the thing you do. It’s what you do with the thing you do. So one of the important things here is, you need to check in with your clients periodically and see what impression they’re getting from what you put out there. And how does it make them feel? And do they think that it’s authentic and true to who you are or how they experience you? Because we can all put stuff in quotes stuff out there that we think reflects us? Well, but the litmus test is what our clients think, because your brand is really what your clients think it is.

 

Steve Fretzin  [20:52]

Yeah, that’s really important. It’s not happening enough, where we’re actually talking to our clients and asking them the questions. You know, what, what makes me unique in the market? Why do you like working with me? Why do you think we’ve been so successful together? If you’re having that kind of a relationship, and those kinds of results with a client, you become friends, and they would be willing to answer your questions, the answers to those questions could end up becoming what you create as your brand, or how you actually distinguish yourself in the marketplace. Because your clients are telling you this is this is why you’re great. This is why you’re unique.

 

Barbara Kaplan  [21:26]

And another way to think about it is because you want your clients to be your best referral sources, and you want them to be loyal to you in a very enduring way. So think about this scenario, your client has a friend who asks, I may be confronting such and such a problem, who do you think I should hire to help me solve it? There can be one of two answers. And Steve Fretzin to your list, or I wouldn’t make a decision without talking to Steve Fretzin. Obviously, you want the latter, not the former. So if you have if you’ve been doing all the things that Steve and I have been talking about, in this podcast, your clients are going to answer in the second way. That is what you want and a referral source don’t make a decision without talking to so and so. Yeah, and I think I’ve brought

 

Steve Fretzin  [22:20]

this up before on the show, and my clients certainly know it. And I’m not saying this is an easy way to figure it out. When we talk about distinguishing factors to a brand or in some instances, what might be called a differentiator. I know you’re not a fan of that you’d like distinguishing the is is is to run it through two litmus tests. Number one litmus test is, is what you’re saying? Something that no one else is really saying. So there was a time and you know, this as well as anybody, Barbara, when lawyers were leaving big firms, and they were going to mid market. And they were saying, Oh, I’m the big firm lawyer, but now at mid market rates, right? We’ve heard that to death. So that would not be something distinguishing because so many lawyers are and have said it before. But if you’re saying that, that you’ve got something like I, you know, I have a two hour return call policy, every time someone calls me they get either get me live, or they get a call back within two hours. You know, that’s my jam, not my jam. But like that would be you know, something a lawyer would say, for example, well, how many lawyers are saying that? Well, very few. So that might pass that first litmus test? And is it something that no one else is saying? The second one is, who cares? Is it is it matter that you’re calling people back within two hours, or that you’re highly responsive in the area of practice that you’re in. And so I think if you can find something that you believe is a differentiator, or something that’s distinguishing, and run it through those two litmus tests, and it’s something a client had maybe, or a number of clients have said to you, that might be a way to really understand if it’s something that could be meaningful to lean into.

 

Barbara Kaplan  [23:55]

Exactly. And, you know, we’re lawyers use the word material a lot. And this is where we get to the difference between differentiating and distinguishing, because you can differentiate, differentiate yourself in all sorts of ways. But if it’s not a differentiation, that matters to your client, then it doesn’t matter. If you distinguish yourself. Then you have, you know, your client has said, This is what matters to me. This is what I want to hear from you. This is what I want to know I can count on you for which is why distinguishing for me is so much more of a powerful word than differentiating. So you really do have to run it by your client, you have to know that they care. Yeah. Now,

 

Steve Fretzin  [24:45]

let me just hit one other one other point that I think lawyers struggle with fairly regularly and that is the idea that their their name is their brand versus coming up with a name for their brand. So you You know, it could be, you know, five star legal. Alright, that’s the name of my of my law firm five star legal, versus it being Steve Fretzin Law Offices isqi Fretzin. For example, if I was a lawyer, which I’m not so lawyer struggle with that what’s the the reasoning behind making the brand, your personal name versus making the name the brand, a company name, or name that may represent something more than just your name.

 

Barbara Kaplan  [25:26]

I think it matters, you know, sort of the bench strength behind you. Often smaller firms are the name, you know, are named after the owner of that firm, right? And if they have enough brand equity, for their name to carry weight and have some power to it, that is, that’s what

 

Steve Fretzin  [25:48]

brand you got to go with it, you got to lean into into the fact that that attorney has made him or herself, a top player or one of the top players in that space. And to ignore the name would be would be a misstep, it would be a misstep. Okay. Yeah. And then the other side of it would be. And the other side

 

Barbara Kaplan  [26:07]

of that is that large firms like Decker, which used to have five names, and saw what you said, I mean, all of them did have so much brand equity in their name, that when the internet demanded of all of us that we shortened everything, it nobody sacrificed, you know, their name recognition, nobody sacrificed their client base, I mean, nothing dramatically changed in terms of business development, because they were so well known by that name,

 

Steve Fretzin  [26:39]

right. But then individual lawyers that want to build out a firm to 510 20 people. And right now it’s a three person named firm, Jones, Winston and Ian Johnson, okay. And they’re thinking that maybe changing their brand to something else might help them whether it’s the sale later on, whether it’s it’s becoming known, because the name would say what they do versus the names of the partners. So talk to that a little bit in branding, maybe a small firm that we’re where the names aren’t as meaningful, as in Chicago, a Clifford law offices or a Decker or Sol.

 

Barbara Kaplan  [27:17]

And this is where I think you have to test these things, either in a focus group setting or a more quantitative kind of testing situation, because you have to know, you have to walk in the shoes of your client and your potential client, and you need to know what resonates with them, and what does not. And these are not necessarily decisions that we can make on our own. I remember years ago, sitting through a workshop, and the workshop leader asked everyone in the room, what is your brand, and people talked about all sorts of things that they thought they were known for. And I remember saying, which is probably why I am so compelled to love branding, I remember saying I love without even thinking about it. It’s whatever my clients say it is.

 

Steve Fretzin  [28:04]

Yeah. Really interesting stuff in, in, in sort of wrapping up in how fast did our time just go? But I mean, in wrapping things up, what’s what’s one more tip or one more final thought about about distinguishing oneself in personal branding and making sure that you’re standing apart from the rest that we haven’t shared so far? Is there one more nugget that you can share? And then we’re going to move to Game Changing

 

Barbara Kaplan  [28:26]

books? Okay. Think about the answer to these questions. Are you the CEO of the brand? Me Inc? Are you the CEO of the brand called you pick up the reins, and create and shape your own brand? You need to be the CEO of your brand.

 

Steve Fretzin  [28:51]

Yeah, and I think it’s not something you do on an island by yourself. I think you you need to consider the other lawyers, you know, your clients, maybe some marketing experts like Barbara that can help you shape that properly. So that it comes out the other side, tested in an approved and in and worked through versus just shotgunning it saying Oh, and my brand is now ABC legal, and hoping that that’s going to play out in a positive way. I don’t think that’s a good approach. So this is this is this is something that might take a village more than just an individual coming up with something and an island. So awesome. So let’s talk about your game changing book and it’s to sell his human that’s a Daniel Pink book. Why is that the book that you put forth is sort of your favorite book.

 

Barbara Kaplan  [29:37]

I actually cherish this book, and I cherish him. I think he’s exceptional. A key premise in this book is that we’ve been persuading we’ve been asking for we’ve been encouraging people all our lives, to align behind how we think about something or to do it our way or to See it our way, this includes emails, this includes everything. But think about two little kids. This is Daniel Pink’s example. So think about two little kids on the floor playing. They’re way too young to be able to talk to each other. But they’ve already negotiated, what winning means, and how they’re gonna play with each other. And who’s gonna go first. And who’s going to do what we have been persuading and convincing and cajoling and asking and begging our entire lives. This is a skill we have that we bring to the table. So the business development skills that all your coaches and consultants and in house marketers are asking you to make part of how you are as a lawyer, or things you’ve been doing your whole life, they aren’t things you have to learn because they’re all brand new to you. You’ve been negotiating and persuading and cajoling and convincing people your whole life, what you have to do now, is this reshape that and bring it into a new environment?

 

Steve Fretzin  [31:00]

Yeah, I mean, one of the things that I’m focusing on every day, Barbara is, is I get that that’s that that’s natural human behavior. And that’s the way that things, you know, things have always been done. However, you know, buyers have changed and, and you know, they’re much more interested in controlling the environment and getting out of what they want at the expense of the person who’s, who’s potentially selling a service like a lawyer. So I’ve been spending a lot of time working with lawyers on better processes, to be less salesy, and to do things like building stronger relationships, asking better questions, being a more involved listener, demonstrating empathy, and I think those are maybe the new, you know, you know, to sell as human, you know, so as to listen and understand and demonstrate empathy. And I think that’s where buyers really are finding that relationship and that trust in that common ground. And so I think, for the lawyers who, again, I think to sell as human is a book that gives a lot of human, you know, elements of life and how we how we behave. I also think that that lawyers are desperately trying to avoid convincing selling pitching, and they just don’t have a good process to follow. And that’s what I’m in the in the weeds with every day. So it’s, it’s interesting, you know, that we, you know, the way that we’re built and the way that we need to adapt to the changing environments every day.

 

Barbara Kaplan  [32:19]

So two points about that, if I may, yeah. And one is that I recommend to my clients, they that they go into every meeting with three open ended questions, not yes, no questions, because there’s no place for you to go. If you ask somebody something and they answer yes or no, you don’t have you don’t have anything to work with. So go in with three open ended questions that will drill down to a place where you, you know, you’ve got a kind of commonality. And secondly, be prepared to listen 60% and top 40%. And if that’s your rule of thumb, and your body language says I’m listening, and they call it’s, it’s called strategic mimicry. If you’re shaking your head, if you’re sort of mirroring their body language, you are absolutely listening. So those two things, asking open ended questions and listening 60% of the time.

 

Steve Fretzin  [33:11]

Now, some really good tips. And if people want to reach you and ask you about the kinds of services you provide, and they want to check out your website, whatever, what’s the best way for them to reach out?

 

Barbara Kaplan  [33:21]

My website is B S. K strategies.com. My email is Barbara not spelled like Streisand. It’s var ba RA at BSK strategies.com. Or on LinkedIn. And it’s under Barbara s. Kaplan.

 

Steve Fretzin  [33:38]

Wonderful. Well, thank you for being on the show and sharing your wisdom. I think for a lot of lawyers, who struggle with the branding concept in the idea of finding a distinguishing feature, and what are some things that they can do to figure that out over time I don’t get I don’t think it’s a snap in the fingers type of situation. But I think it’s something that you want to consider and work towards using the strategies that you outlined. So just thank you so much.

 

Barbara Kaplan  [34:02]

Thank you so much. It’s really been a pleasure. Yeah,

 

Steve Fretzin  [34:05]

we had some fun today and some really interesting conversation about this. And, you know, as you’re listening to this, everybody, you know, hopefully you go back, listen, again, write down the questions that Barbara put forth, that will help you start to consider your brand and your personal brand and how you’re going to distinguish yourself because that could be the difference between being lost in a sea of lawyers or being someone that really stands out amongst them. And that’s an that’s going to be a critical element to your future. So, again, you know, learning on this show is is a part I’ve got books on Amazon for books on Amazon. I’ve got a YouTube channel if you type in Steve Fretzin I mean, I have to have at least 250 videos on there teaching networking and giving you glimpses into what it’s like to work with me in my class. I teach every week in clips and snippets from different podcasts. So check that out as well. And it’s all about helping you to be that lawyer, someone who’s confident organized in a skilled Rainmaker. Take care of you Buddy, be safe be well, and we’ll talk again real soon.

 

Narrator  [35:08]

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