building business, building business simply, how to build business simply, how to build a book of business, how to build a book of business easily, how to make building a book of business easy, Be a Better Lawyer Podcast, Dina Cataldo, Lawyer coaching, lawyer business coach, lawyer business coaching, attorney coaching, attorney business coach, attorney business coaching

#212: Building Business Simply

Building business can feel hard.

As high-achievers, we tend to overcomplicate what we need to do to attract clients. It's less about what we do than how we think about what we do.

In this episode you'll learn:

  • the 3 simple steps you need to know to create clients
  • the difference between being in and out of service
  • the 4 parts of your client funnel

You'll also learn some of the mindset you need to implement these techniques.

Listen in and start building your book of business more simply.



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Thanks for listening, and I'll talk to you next week.

Hello. All right. So this is gonna be a great episode. If you are looking to build some business, if you are thinking about building business or even if you're not concerned at all about it yet, but it is going to play a part in your career in the future. And what I wanted to really do with this episode is simplify creating business because so many lawyers that I talk to make this very complicated and they get overwhelmed.

And when they do, they don't take action. And so what I wanna do with this episode is really simplify what it means to create business. It's really simple. It's just helping people. And I wanna give you some ways to think about creating a book of business differently. And before I move forward here, what I wanna share with you is this is the very first podcast episode that I am doing on video. The reason for that is because I wanted to give you a graphic to show you how simple building business is. And I wanna preface everything that I'm saying to you with this. This is not original ideas outta my brain. Okay? These are all things that I've learned over the years from entrepreneurs, other coaches like really distilling it in a way that makes sense in my brain so that I could then translate it for you for lawyers.

And this is something that I do in my own business. I'm gonna give you examples that it's so simple. You probably do this all the time. I'm just giving you a different way to think about it and maybe give you some insight into where you might be over complicating things. So building business all comes down to one question.

Are you thinking about how you can help your client or are you thinking about yourself? Okay.

And I don't mean that in a way to make you feel bad, right? So that you're thinking about it in terms of like, maybe you shouldn't be thinking about yourself. What I wanna frame for you here is a helpful way for you to think about when you're out of the energy of service and instead in the energy of thinking about what you want. And it's very easy to switch out.

So a general way to really think about this is if you're feeling tense, if you're feeling overwhelmed, pressured, anything like that, you're probably out of service. If you feel loving kind, if you are interested and curious, you are probably in service. So before you let's say go to a networking event or, you know, go out for a coffee with someone that you intend to work with, you check in with yourself, ask yourself, how am I feeling right now?

Am I feeling pressured or overwhelmed? Or am I feeling really just interested and curious and calm?

Those are really great indicators that you're in service with that person. If you are in those emotions. Cause every thought that we have creates a feeling in our body, and if we're thinking about, oh, what are they gonna think about me? I really need the business. I really need to, to hit my goal this month, we're gonna create pressure.

If we are thinking, oh, I really wonder what they want. I wonder how I can help them. I'm curious why they wanted to talk to me like what's going on in their life. That is going to feel like curiosity, interest, right? That's when you are in service and that's when you're really gonna have the best ability to communicate what it is that you do. And I think that's a really good segue here because there's only three parts to creating business.

One is go out and meet people.

Two, tell them what you do.

And three make offers to help them.

That's it, that's it. And it's so simple. It almost seems unreal, but it's true. And so what I've created behind me here, and you can watch this. If you are listening to this on the podcast, you can go to, and you'll be able to see the video there.

And it's really a funnel. Okay? So if you picture a funnel, it's got a wide mouth at the top and a narrow mouth at the bottom and then everything points downwards, right? So there's four segments of this funnel. The very first segment is awareness. The second is interest. The third is making a decision and the fourth is client delivery. So awareness is the very beginning of any sale. They just have to be aware of you aware that you exist, aware that you are in the world, offering a service, that they don't even have to know what service you offer. They just have to know you exist in the world and you create wear awareness all the time, right? It might be going to a happy hour. It might be going to an event. It might be posting in a Facebook or LinkedIn group. It could be posting an article up on social media.

It could be making a post of some sort, or it could even be like a referral. You know, one of your clients just happens to hear somebody has a problem and they say, “Hey, I know so and so she's really great. She helped me.” And they give you awareness that this person now exists in the world.

The second part of this funnel, the second aspect of it is interested. So someone might have awareness, but they have no interest yet. Right? So they're still at the top of the funnel kind of, kind of circling around. And then they go further and further down the funnel. So maybe you hold a webinar, maybe you have a, a free booklet or something like that, an email list. And they sign up for your email. Maybe you hold an event and they come to it. Maybe they sign up for a consult.

Then they're in this interest spiral, right? They move down from the very top of the funnel from awareness and they move a little bit further down the funnel. And now they're in this interested stage. So they're like kind of curious there's what are you all about? What is it that you do? Right? Remember, there's three things. That's all you have to do. That's all you have to know about sales is go out and meet people, tell them what you do and make offers to help them.

And what you're in right now is maybe they're just getting to know you, they're learning. What, what it is you do. What kinda law do you practice? How do you help people? What kinda energy do you give out? Right? Because you could be doing the exact same thing as somebody else in the world, but they're not drawn to that other person because you're giving out a certain energy.

And then we come down even further down the funnel. And that comes into this decision making stage, right? So they've shown interest. Maybe they've, you know, signed up for a consult with you or they've made an appointment to come into your office. And now at that point, you're just there to find out what they want and how you can help them. And it's so important that along every single stage of this funnel, you're asking yourself, am I in service?

Or am I thinking about what I want? And it's important that we have goals, but when we use those goals to pressure ourselves, we're getting out of service. And so this whole time, like we wanna remind ourselves, like, are we in service? Are we in service? Do I feel curious? Am I interested? Am I sitting with this person? Am I fully present? Or am I thinking about how, if this person signs, then I'll hit my goal, right?

Notice where your brain is going. And this is work that I do with my clients. We evaluate every single stage when we're working on their business, like what's happening in their brain. Are they in service or are they falling out of service? And how can we get their brain into the habit of moving back into service? All right. So they've gone from awareness. The people have come into your world. They've gone from awareness into interested. And now they're coming to this space of making a decision.

Do they want to work with you? And you're helping them make a decision. Is this right for them? All right. So once they've moved down the funnel into, through decisions, you're then gonna be doing client delivery. And this is massively important. Every single stage is important. This is also massively important because you want to deliver for your clients.

You want to give them what it is. You promised them. And when you do what happens at the very bottom of the funnel is you have a happy customer. You see this image. I made a little smiley face, happy customer right here. so this customer comes out, your client comes out and they're ecstatic.

You've given them what it was that they wanted. And not only might they send you referrals, which send someone up to the top of your funnel, back up to awareness, right? But then your client might come back through this funnel again, right? Like they bring additional work to you and they continue to work with you and they continue to send you referrals. And so all of these different places are bringing awareness in the world to what it is you do.

They come through the funnel, they become interested. These people then decide they want to work with you, right? They come to this point to make a decision to work with you, and then it's up to you to deliver, right? So that is in a nutshell what it is to have a client funnel. So all you have to do is go out and meet people. That's awareness. Number two, you're gonna tell them what you do. And number three, you're gonna make offers to help them go out and meet people. That's awareness.

Tell people what you do. That's having this interest, right? People decide whether or not they're interested, right? They make, make a decision. You make offers to help, and then they can make their decision. Okay. That is what it is to build a business simply. So I want to talk to you a little bit about why you might not want to do this. Okay. And it really comes down to what we are thinking about what it means to sell. Okay. What it means to build a book of business.

Cause a lot of people say, I don't wanna be salesy. I don't wanna seem weird. Right. But that's all in the eye of the beholder. Because really, if you're not going out telling people what you do, then you are not able to help people who need help. So it's very selfish. right. So notice that, that thought, like, I don't wanna feel salesy that that is something that is purely focused on you and how you feel versus being in service.

And I wanna bring up this point. You've gotta start before you're ready. So if you're thinking about how you don't wanna feel salesy, you don't want to, you know, I, you don't want people to think that you're trying to get something from them. Notice that that is also just thinking about what you want versus how you can help people, very different feelings in your body when you're out of service versus when you're in service. And if you don't start before, you're ready.

If you don't go out and make mistakes, you are not gonna make any progress. And that's why I wanted to talk to you about this. If you are just getting into building a book of business, or you're just thinking about it, and you're wondering like, should I even be doing this right now? Should I even be thinking about this right now?

I wanna offer to you that, yes, you should be thinking about this. And that's because if you start doing this now, just going out and meeting people and telling them what you do, you're going to feel more comfortable. The more you do it. And you're gonna step into the identity of the lawyer that you wanna be the identity of the lawyer who goes out and just tells people what you do. And then people are naturally interested and then they want to work with you. But if you don't get started, you're not gonna be able to build that comfort level. And then you're gonna be in this position where you're being told, like you need to build business and you haven't practiced any of these skills. And it's going to feel like a lot of pressure on you because you just haven't been practicing. And all it is is that the thoughts that you have about yourself and what it means to be selling and, and like where you are right now is creating that pressure.

It doesn't mean you can't do it. So if you are in that situation where you're being told, like you need to build business, I wanna offer to you. Everything's okay. All you gotta do is return to those three things. Remember the funnel and just go out and meet people and tell people what you do and make offers to help. And I wanna talk to you about offers here because offers don't have to be like, let me sell you something offers can be like, Hey, you should listen to my podcast. You should read my social media posts. You should read, you should join me on LinkedIn. Cause I post some really good stuff. Like whatever it is your offer is it all depends on what it is, is going on in that person's life. Remember part of being in service is just listening to the other person.

Doesn't mean pushing your work on them. It just means like, Hey, this is what I do. And if they're interested, right, if they're in your funnel and they're interested, they will tell you, right. And if the person specifically needs the work that you do, you could give them a business card, right? Like that's another offer like, Hey, why don't you set up an appointment with me because I can help you with this. And let me get a little meta here and talk to you about my business in terms of this funnel. So as you know, I have a podcast and people come to me to this podcast. I know people are referred the podcast. I was out on a date the other night. And if you've been following me on Instagram, I'm @Dina.Cataldo. If you wanna join me there. But if you've been following me on Instagram, you might have kind of followed some of my adventures in dating .

And one of these dates, I'm talking to this guy, we're having a, a really good conversation. And the guy next to me says something, you know, like chimes in on whatever conversation we're having. And it turns out he was a lawyer and I was talking to him and he said, he was really interested in our conversation. And we started chatting with this guy a little bit and I said, Hey, I have a podcast. You know, cuz whatever issue he was talking about, I said, you should totally listen to my podcast. It will totally help you. And so that was my offer to help. Right? So the awareness was Hey at a coffee shop, not even looking to like sell anything, but I'm just talking about what I do, right? Somebody over hears me talking to them. They have awareness. They're interested. We talk a little bit.

And I say, Hey, I make an offer to help. Here's my podcast. And so that is an offer. And so you don't have to feel like you need to be force feeding people your business, right? Like you don't have to be like, Hey, come set up a consult, set up a consult, set up a consult. It's like, no, you just go out and you tell people, you know, you go say hi to people. You tell them what you do. You make offers to help. And you listen, listen, listen, you be present with them and you just see like what's going on in their brain. Okay. Like what is it that they need help with? You do this every single day. You do it with your friends, you do it with your family. You're just listening to them. And then you're just saying, Hey yeah, you should totally like check out my LinkedIn post on this, you know?

Or, Hey, do you wanna give me your email? And I'll put you on my email list. Like, whatever it is that's going on, you can make offers because that's just making an offer to help. Right? So that's one thing that I wanted to mention to you. And then another thought that I get from, from some lawyers is they tell me that they're really not good at talking to people. And it's so curious to me because I know that that's not a hundred percent true, that there are areas of their lives, where they are very good at talking to people. And that's because they're not thinking about the idea of selling things to somebody, right? So they can have great relationships with their friends. They're really at talking to their friends. But when it comes to putting their mind into a situation where they're at a happy hour and they've gotta talk about themselves, they feel really awkward.

And it's because they're also having thoughts about what the other person thinks about what they're saying. And there's this whole conversation going back and forth in their head versus just being interested in the person and just asking lots of questions. You're like, oh, Hey, there's this person. I don't know. I'm just gonna be interested in them. I'm just gonna ask them questions. And if there's something there that maybe I can offer to help them with, whether it's an article I read somewhere that might be super helpful, I can offer that to them. Or if it's directly on point with what I do, I can say, Hey, you know, you can totally set up a consult cuz this is exactly what I do. And I can totally help you just recognize when you are out of that space of service. And you're just thinking about how uncomfortable you are, how you can't do things, how it's about you, you, you and not about like, oh, like I can just show up, be myself and be interested.

Like I'm not here to sell anybody, anything. I'm just here to listen. I'm here to talk, meet people, tell people what I do and make offers to help them if they want it. Right. So just recognize how simple this is. All the thoughts that we have that tell us we can't do it. Why we shouldn't be doing it. Why we feel awkward. All of that stuff gets in the way to create simplicity. We recognize that's happening. And we say, okay, brain, I see you. That just means I'm outta service right now. How do I bring myself into service? Well, I ask myself, well, what is it that they might want from me? And when I think about that, it reminds me that what they really want is a grounded, intentional person. Who's listening to them. It's not that I'm selling them anything. They just wanna be heard.

They just want to know that I'm listening. Right. And everybody just wants to be heard. So if you're going to an event, there's no need to pressure yourself. All you've gotta do is just show up and listen and engage. Okay? So this is what it looks like to build business. Simply this is gonna be uncomfortable. Okay? Cause our brains are on autopilot. So much thinking about all the judgments that we have about ourselves and what other people think about us. And so it's gonna feel uncomfortable when we try to intentionally calm our brain down, reassure it, that there's not a problem. We're just gonna show up, be ourselves and talk and be a real human being and just talk to these people and not be a weirdo. Okay. like, that is really the goal. It's just show up. And if you're weirdo, that's cool.

Just be your authentic self. But what I mean is like, you're not going there trying to shove your business card into people's faces. You're just interested in people and what it is they have going on and maybe you can help them. Right? So this is really how I help my clients who are working on their businesses. I help them step into that identity of a lawyer who builds their own business, who goes out and grows themselves. Cuz you're growing the capacity to do this. Cuz right now maybe you don't have the capacity to do this. You are just learning it. And this is just one skill. Seeing the funnel and understanding the three things you need to know about making offers. Like those are skills that you can use and practice, but you've gotta go out and practice and use them. And so what happens is, is in our sessions, my clients are gonna come back and they say, okay, this is what happened at this event.

This is what happened. When I said these words, this is how I felt. This is how I thought. And what we do is we evaluate all of it. Cause then when you go out and you practice this, you're gonna have data. You're gonna have information that tells you, okay, where do I need to focus my work? And when you can focus your brain objectively, not judging yourself, but really objectively on, okay. When that person said X, Y, Z, I started to feel really self-conscious. And when I felt really self-conscious, I realized, I was thinking, oh, they think I'm selling to them. Oh, they think I'm a bad person, cuz that's what's gonna happen. You're gonna go out into the world. You're gonna try some of this. And then your brain is gonna have thoughts. It's gonna have interpretations. And it's gonna say, oh, I'm a bad person for saying those things.

Or I shouldn't have said that versus objectively looking at the information. So when my clients come back to me with this, I can say, okay, how did you feel when they said X, Y, Z, oh, I felt self-conscious. I felt shame. And then we can look at what their brain was thinking in that moment and deconstruct it a hundred percent of the time their brain is lying to them. And it's just an old habit that their brain has to go to shame and insecurity and self consciousness versus retraining their brain, which is what we work on is like to say, oh, that didn't actually mean anything. Right? Didn't actually mean anything. When the person I was talking to at that networking event said that they weren't interested in finding a lawyer right now. Like they weren't being mean to me. They weren't telling me that I wasn't valuable or that I didn't know what I was doing or that they didn't like me.

They were just saying literally like, you know, I'm just not looking for a lawyer right now. So recognize your brain is gonna go, Hey wire, when you try these things. And when you get that data back, look at it objectively. If you want help with this book, a call with me, you can go to Dena, session and book a call. And what we do when we work together is we start to deconstruct what's happening when you're putting these pieces into place, as you're building your book of business right now, if you're implementing this on your own, be so compassionate with yourself. Be very objective. Look at this like a scientist, cuz that's what I do. When I'm observing my client's brain. I'm looking for where their brain is lying to them. And it's very difficult to do this on our own. And that's why I have my own coach because my brain does this stuff too.

So go out there, practice this. And I want to offer to you that if you are uncomfortable, you are exactly where you're supposed to be. If you feel weird, you're exactly where you're supposed to be. This is not a skill set that they teach us in law school. This is something that we have to learn on our own. And if you are in the position where you're building your book of business, or if you're even just considering building a book of business, these are skills that are gonna serve you so well. I'll write my friend, be sure to go and check out the video. It is And you can see the beautiful funnel that I created with my lovely stick figure smiley face. And you can see for yourself just how simple this is. Alright, my friend. I will talk to you soon. Bye.

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