There's a neat little trick taught in business school called the Pareto Principle: as a general rule, 80 percent of any given outcome can be attributed to 20 percent of its possible causes. Translated to your law practice, this means that 20 percent of your clients cause 80 percent of your aggravation, and another 20 percent (there may be some overlap!) bring in 80 percent of your profits.

If you're not a deep conceptual thinker who's comfortable manipulating spreadsheets and Venn diagrams, you may find it difficult to identify the percentages that apply to your practice—but doing so is the first step toward cleaning out your client rolls and making your law firm more profitable.

You can probably name, right off the bat, all the clients who you don't especially enjoy working with—you know, the ones who call you in the middle of the night with trivial issues, don't show up for scheduled appointments, are late paying their bills, and simply have dull lawsuits. If you're like most lawyers, you probably believe that you have to accept every paying client who walks through the door, and you can't afford to worry about things like their personalities. But every client who aggravates you is one who detracts from your other customers, since you spend an inordinate amount of time hounding and hand-holding (as well as laying awake at night, too stressed out by your client's demands to get a good night's sleep).

What can you do? Well, if you judiciously apply the Pareto Principle, you can simply fire those clients who are more aggravation than they're worth—and go after easier-to-deal-with, more lucrative targets. Working with your ideal client should be the goal of your law firm marketing, after all.

Questions? Download your free sample chapter of Ben Glass’s Great Legal Marketing book from this website, or contact the lawyer marketing experts at Great Legal Marketing (888-791-2150) for a free consultation today!

Ben Glass
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Ben is a nationally recognized expert in attorney marketing and the owner of Great Legal Marketing.
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