LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – The more things change at law firms, the more they stay the same.
Take marketing for example.
“Nothing changes except at a “glacial” pace in law firms, and marketing is the one area that law firms simply abhor thinking or doing anything about,”
says Patrick McEvoy, president of Rainmaker Best Practices.
McEvoy continues, “Law firm marketing is generally horrific unless there is a will to do something about it.” He suggests starting off 2006 by addressing these seven mistakes:
1. Get a clear purpose, goal or vision for your professional practice as a business.
95% of small law firm practitioners reading this cannot tell you why they went to the office this morning. Seriously, other than “paying the bills,” most attorneys have no idea why they go to work. What purpose does your practice serve for your clients? Who are your clients?
What attorneys need to do is really very easy and simple. Take an hour or so and write down the purpose of your law practice…the biggest reason that your law practice exists. Then write down your vision of what your business should look like 3 years from now. Finally, write down three to five big measurable goals for the coming year.
2. Develop a compelling marketing message.
If you don’t have a powerful and attention grabbing marketing message, how can you ever expect a prospective client to know what your firm can do for them? How do you get their attention? How do you get them to take the next step? How do you get them to tell others about what you do?
Craft your message in this format:
“I work with ABC type of business or people who are having trouble with XYZ type of problem.”
Make it simple. Make it powerful and make it big.
3. Stop relying on passive marketing methods.
Every professional will tell you if asked that these are the ways to get clients:
Networking, Chamber of Commerce, Association Memberships, Affinity Groups, Referrals etc.
Yes…these do bring you clients.
But…these methods bring you clients in a random and haphazard fashion (quick…write down exactly how many clients you will acquire next month from each of these methods.)
Take your new well crafted marketing message and go after some new business with direct mail, web sites that work and the telephone.
The sale of professional services is a “game of large numbers.” You will not and cannot “sell” every prospect that you will ever meet.
But, you can massively tip the odds in your favor.
The more prospective new clients that you contact each and every week…the more new clients you will acquire each and every week.
4. Get visible.
Put your firm in front of people that can buy your services.
You cannot sell anything sitting in your office. You won’t sell anything at the local Chamber of Commerce when you and 85 other local attorneys are trying to do the same thing to the same people.
Be different. Go where the crowds aren’t.
5. Develop a targeted mailing list and stay in touch strategy
Get your top 100 prospects into a database.
Mail them powerful, problem solving reports and white papers.
Stay in touch every two weeks with this list for 12 months.
The amount of new business from this one strategy alone can be astounding.
6. Design a powerful presentation and closing strategy
Show prospective clients what has worked for other clients in similar situations.
Offer a little “free” relevant advice.
Get to the point. Focus on the client. Show powerful big examples and powerful big solutions. Ask for the business.
7. Accept that you’re in business and live with it
If you want success in your law practice, get over the “marketing is beneath me” mind set that plagues far too many lawyers.
When you’ve got this mind set, you’re “finished” before you start.
Learn how to market yourself. Learn how to run your practice like a business.
Most importantly, learn how to think like your clients.
Spend one hour per week working “on” your business instead of just “in” it. Develop new exciting approaches to client problems.
Any law firm can drastically improve their marketing results by focusing on these seven simple areas for only sixty minutes each week.
McEvoy concludes, just give these seven simple ideas a try for ninety days and watch your law practice blossom in 2006.