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I Can’t Remember Your Name

I just got an email from an attorney in the Bahamas. She needs help with something in our area.

It’s a fairly trivial matter that will involve a fee of about $1,000. It’s not something we’re going to be able to handle.

I’m ready to refer it out.

There’s a guy, and his last name starts with a “B.” We’ve been referring to him for a year or so. Somehow, we’ve lost his name and number.

I’ve now spent 20 minutes looking for his info, and I can’t find it.

Inside I’m screaming, “HOW CAN YOU BE SO HORRIBLY BAD AT MARKETING?”

Why is it that this Mr. B hasn’t been sending me thank you notes and emails? Why isn’t he keeping in touch? Why isn’t he drilling his name into my brain?

Who is more important to his young practice than the people sending him business?

How can he be so negligent at marketing that he has allowed me to forget his name?

Here’s the lesson: You’re not that important to us. We can’t remember your name, what you do, who you are, or much of anything else. You very quickly become “Mr. B something” to us if you’re not careful. It’s your job to keep in touch, to keep your name at tip of our tongue, and to stay present in our brains.

Don’t assume we’re going to remember you. Don’t assume we’re going to save your contact info. We’re going to lose track of you in the blink of an eye.

Don’t assume that you’re bothering us when you send us an email to check in or to thank us for referring. Don’t assume that you’re being a pest when you send us an update on your practice or ask us a quick question.

We like having you as someone to refer to when the need arises. We appreciate your willingness to take our castoffs. Do your part and stay in touch. If you don’t make an effort, we’re going to move on and refer to Ms. C who helps us remember her name.

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Lee Rosen

Lee Rosen has practiced family law for more than twenty years. With four offices, Rosen Law Firm serves Raleigh, Charlotte, Durham and Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Rosen served as the Law Practice Management Editor of the ABA Family Advocate for more than a decade and received the ABA James Keane Award for excellence in eLawyering. He served as Chair of the Law Practice Management Section of the North Carolina Bar Association, is a frequent speaker and is often sought out by the media as a source of family law insight and commentary.