I’m a slow reader. But I realized a long time ago that being a slow reader shouldn’t stop me from growing my practice.
In fact, it’s the information I picked up from unexpected sources that took my practice to the next level.
For example, I developed a billing model based on the cell phone industry, not the legal industry. This positioned my firm as a high-end subscription law practice with predictable revenue, not a commodity practice that scrambled to fill its bucket with billable hours each month.
Needless to say, my business wouldlook very different if I read the same stuff every other lawyer reads. Here are five books that I recommend to every lawyer who’s starting a practice.
1) Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You (John Warrillow)
I’ve said it a million times: If your business can’t function without you being involved in every decision, you don’t have a real business. Period.
Built to Sell shows you how to step out of the picture so you can run a successful business and create a valuable, sellable asset.
2) 80/20 Sales & Marketing (Perry Marshall)
This “definitive guide to working less and making more” shows you how to master the 80/20 rule.
Learn how to zero in on that critical 20 percent of your market while cutting time wasters and uncovering hidden profit centers in your business.
3) Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind (Al Ries & Jack Trout)
In today’s oversaturated marketplace, every business needs to create, communicate and own a position in the forefront of its target audience’s collective mind.
Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind shares case histories and techniques that show you how to capture the largest possible market share.
4) Selling the Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern Marketing (Harry Beckwith)
How do you convert more prospects into clients and keep them? If everyone could do it, we’d all be multi-millionaires.
Selling the Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern Marketing covers the full gamut of service marketing. It reminds us that people are more interested in and swayed by relationships, not features and benefits.
5) Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (Robert B. Cialdini)
We need to understand the psychology of why people say “yes,” and apply this knowledge to all of our interactions – inside and outside of the office.
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion explains the six universal principles and how to use them to become more persuasive.
Did you notice that not one of these books is about practicing law? That might explain why very few lawyers have read them.
Get outside of your industry. Learn to think differently, as the folks at Apple used to say.
When you open your horizons to outside perspectives, you gain insights that other law firms probably haven’t considered.
That’s called a competitive advantage. A big one.