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Consistency is key

Being consistent is important in the professional realm, be it law or sports. It’s important in work product, timeliness, communication and client/customer service in general.

It’s something I struggled with as a lawyer and something I currently struggle with as a recruiter. Consistency problems are particularly apparent to me as a recruiter. In a sales-type environment, I see examples every day of what happens when someone is and is not consistent, and the results are pretty astounding.

When a recruiter takes the time to be honest, straightforward and do all she can to help a person, she can expect referrals and future business even if she couldn’t help the person at the time. The benefits are not always immediately apparent, but they do come and it’s the way successful recruiters bring in business.

When a recruiter does not take their time with candidates, leaves them hanging or blows them off, the effects can be devastating. The recruiter doesn’t get referrals and word gets out not to work with him; the recruiter may never know that’s why he can’t grow his business.

This same phenomenon occurs with attorneys, although it’s not always as apparent because there’s much more substantive brain work involved in law practice beyond just bringing in business. But it’s the same principle — attorneys should treat small cases and clients with just as much care as large cases. You never know how many people you’re affecting with your actions.

I know it’s hard to put the same amount of time and effort into seemingly miniscule tasks or problems as you would into high-profile or important matters. Time and energy are short for everyone, whether you’re overloaded with work, family or your personal life. While you don’t have to immediately make time for every little thing in order to be successful, making the time to follow up later and actually doing so really means a lot.

Consistency is especially important for young lawyers who are just building their reputations and networks. Building a reputation of trust and dependability is the best way to gain referrals, build your book of business and get future job offers.

The bottom line is that it’s important to think about the future in all your dealings. Those who take the time now will be rewarded later; those who are complacent with the here-and-now will often find themselves left behind.