The “ilities” of success

A long time ago I learned that in order to be successful in a service business such as law you need to focus on the three “ilities”; affability, accessibility and ability.   At first I thought it was more complicated than one’s ability, affability or accessibility, but really it’s not.

Ability – are you a good attorney?  Do you spend time learning, perfecting, listening, questioning and exploring ways to be the best attorney you can possibly be?  Do you possess the ability your clients expect and deserve?  Your ability and willingness to improve is critical to your success as an attorney, it makes you credible and marketable.

Affability – How well do you relate to others?  Are you approachable, empathetic, authentic and genuine?  Do you understand the importance of establishing and maintaining relationships?  Isn’t it important for you as an attorney to connect with your peers, clients, partners, associates and community? Being affable creates trust and support, which are two key components in building and maintaining a successful law practice.

Accessibility – Are you accessible and responsive? If your client needed you immediately, what could they expect? What do your clients, peers, partners and associates consider acceptable access or responsiveness? As an attorney, your attitude should be, “I’m here for you when you need me”.  Many times a crisis is unpredictable, but a client’s attorney shouldn’t be.   The first step towards accessibility is informing your clients, peers, partners and associates exactly how they can best reach you for emergencies and non emergencies, and when they can expect a response.    Help your clients, peers, partners and associates avoid frustration by eliminating barriers to your accessibility.

By focusing on the “ilities” you should experience a successful long lasting legal practice.

Tim Buursma has more than 20 years of both management and marketing/sales experience. His focus has been on operational excellence, service to clients/customers and business growth and development. Tim received his degree from Hope College in Holland, MI and is trained in Six Sigma. He has developed proven systems to capture business performance measures on a timely basis which allow managers and marketing departments to make informed strategic business decisions.