Low Cost, High Impact Strategies That Work!
By Terrie S. Wheeler
You are happily settling into 2015. Your personal marketing is in place and you are now ready to launch into the implementation of your plan. Remember your action plan will revolve around two things: activities and contacts. The purpose of this article is to remove the mystique from marketing by focusing on creative and results-oriented strategies that won’t break the bank or take up too much of your valuable time.
Contrary to popular belief, there is not a direct correlation between spending a lot of money on marketing and attracting new, high-quality clients. In fact, many lawyers who throw money at marketing hoping to advertise their way to success end up disappointed with the results. The reason? Successful marketing is about relationship building. Ask your best clients how they found you. It is highly likely they were referred to you by someone they trust (friend, family member, former client).
At the end of each section below, you will find a bright idea you can implement right away in your practice. Remember the most effective marketing for lawyers can be accomplished by leveraging the activities you would be doing anyway. Like what, you ask? If you love boating, invite a prospective client or referral source to join you. If you are a runner, for ego running alone in lieu of joining a running club to meet new people. Don’t just stand on the sidelines at your kids’ soccer games; make a point of engaging with other parents. Success in marketing is about finding ways to turn your interests and involvement into opportunities to meet others. At its core, marketing should be fun for you and for your contacts.
I Didn’t Go to Law School to Be a Salesperson
Know the difference between sales and marketing. Marketing is about the messages you convey, and sales is about asking the right questions. Marketing is what you do to build name recognition in the marketplace. You are marketing when you provide exceptional client service, add content to your website, write an article, speak to a group, make a referral, host an event, write a proposal, research a prospective client or referral source, or attend trade or professional association meetings. You market through your visual identity, being quoted in the paper, serving on a board and engaging in social media.
Sales is the art of asking the right questions – not the proverbial dog-and-pony show where you talk about who you are, your credentials and what a fabulous lawyer you are. Sales is not about you. It is about the person sitting in front of you and your ability to help that person solve a problem he or she is facing. Sales involves asking probing questions, listening and digging deeper. As a lawyer, you are inherently good at sales. (Yes, I really said that!) Law school trains you to be good in sales by helping you learn the art of conducting due diligence on a business deal, leading discovery in litigation, selling your case to a jury. You will be amazed at what an exceptional salesperson you are when you start the conversation with, “So, tell me about your situation,” or “What problem are you trying to solve?” or “Let’s talk about why you are here today.”
Bright Idea! Create a list of questions you can ask a networking contact or a prospective client. Save the questions on your phone or tablet so you will always have them handy.
Stay tuned for Marketing Your Law Practice: Part II, where you’ll find more bright ideas and low cost, high impact marketing strategies.