Marketing for Lawyers With The SuccessMax ® Marketing System
This article is a special opportunity for you. Today I am going to introduce you to the marketing system I share with my private clients and strategic advisory groups.
Listen to the podcast on the player below and take careful notes. This is THE system that has changed the way people think about marketing for lawyers.
This is my gift to you for being a loyal visitor to this website.
If you want to find out more about the SuccessMax® system, give me a call. 305.692.5531
Can I Sell You On Loving Me?
A big challenge for attorneys marketing their services is understanding and embracing the difference between developing relationships and selling.
You sell a product or service. This is done by identifying the customer’s need and then demonstrating how the features of your product will benefit the customer and ultimately meet the customer’s need. This is called NBF selling (Needs, Benefits, Features).
In most cases, trust is not a big component of the NBF selling model.
Think about it. If you are buying a product and it breaks, you bring it back and they fix it or give you a new one. If you are buying a service and the delivery of the service is less than satisfactory, the provider will refund your money or allow you to use the service again at no additional charge. The only trust necessary is trust that the proprietor will stand behind the product or service. That’s not a huge emotional commitment.
It is different for attorneys.
People are placing their lives or their livelihood in the hands of their attorney. They must trust you.
Marketing for attorneys is building and deepening relationships. Before someone can invest money to hire an attorney, he must invest his trust in the attorney. The need for trust changes the dynamic.
A relationship is two people coming together for a common purpose or because of common circumstances. Trust is the difference between a good relationship and a bad relationship.
When you start a relationship, you must connect on two primary levels before expecting the client to trust you. You must help the client know you (who you are, what skills you have). And the client must like you. People do business more frequently with people they like than they do business with people they have no feeling about. Before someone will trust you they must know you and like you.
Trust comes after you emotionally invest in the client. You do this by demonstrating empathy. You do this by listening intently. You do this by reflecting back to the client your understanding of the issue and the emotion he feels. If you have demonstrated this type of emotional commitment, and the client knows you and likes you, he MAY invest his trust in you.
This may take a few hours or it may take a few years.
Trust is receiver based. This means no matter what you do, if the client doesn’t feel it, you won’t get it.
Think about this within the context of a personal relationship.
People get to know you. Then they like you. And if you demonstrate empathy and an emotional investment in them, they trust you.
The process for attorneys marketing their services is identical to developing a friendship. Stop thinking about selling (needs, benefits, features) and start thinking about developing relationships.
Getting Clients As A Lawyer: Relationships Are Everything
If you are one of the hundreds of people who stumbled upon this website looking to learn how to get clients as a lawyer, rest assured you are not alone. In 2011, 593 people came to this website for the first time searching for that term. In 2012, 395 lawyers searching for clients found us.
Attracting new clients is one of the toughest things for lawyers to master. That’s why many lawyers search high and low looking for shortcuts or an easy way to attract clients. Unfortunately there is no shortcut. You must develop relationships with people and then maintain those relationships in order to receive referrals.
If however, you are looking for a starting point, a place to begin in your quest to get clients as a lawyer, I can point you in the right direction. If you are an attorney just starting out, here are three ways to start relationships that will lead to referrals.
Law School Classmates
Get in touch with everyone from your law school class. Reintroduce yourself to them via email. When people respond, offer to meet them in person. Exchange full contact information and ask how you can help them. Tell them about the value you provide. Stay in touch (there are many ideas about how to do this on RainmakerLawyer.com).
Solo Practitioners Not in Your Practice Area
Solo practitioners in your practice area will always need help with legal research, filings and various other tasks. Go out and introduce yourself to some of the most influential solo practitioners in your area and offer to help them with these things – for free, in return for introductions to other people of influence. This will lead to referrals down the road.
Become Active In The Community
Pick a cause and champion it. Get publicity for the organization. Take on a leadership role. People naturally gravitate toward leaders. Demonstrating leadership in your local community is a great way to meet influential people who can refer business to you in the future.
I realize none of this is quick or sexy. It’s probably easier, if you have the money, to hire a big company to build a website and promote it. But most people don’t have those resources. This requires a little creativity, some shoe leather and lots of determination. In fact, if you really want to get clients as a lawyer, those are great qualities to possess regardless of your business development strategy.
Attorney Marketing Podcast Reveals Great Business Development Strategy
Too often attorney marketing focuses on the wrong things.
My definition of marketing is: The beginning and/or deepening of a relationship with a client or a referral source. If you share this view of marketing, you know relationships can start any number of ways. Some of those ways are inexpensive others are wildly exorbitant.
Typically when an attorney calls me for help with marketing he is concerned with the return on his investment for the service I provide. While that return is usually dozens if not hundreds of times greater than his initial investment in our relationship, many people do not have the resources to work with me.
Since I cannot work with everyone who calls my office seeking help with attorney marketing, I provide resources that help them get clients as a lawyer.
One of those resources is the attorney marketing podcast I record every week at one of my other websites: www.Valtimax.com.
This week’s podcast is titled: How To Get Clients As A Lawyer and it is phenomenal.
If you are looking to attract more clients in a cost effective and time efficient way, listen to this podcast immediately (and over and over). You’ll be glad you did.
How To Get Clients As A Lawyer is a great attorney marketing podcast. Don’t miss it.
Get More Clients with These Three Ideas
Secrets of Relationship Income
The key to making more money in professional services is maximizing the value of your client relationships.
This podcast shows you how:
Three People to Avoid
Your friends make you who you are. Hang around with losers and you become a loser. This article explains who you should avoid.
How to Close the Deal
Have you ever wondered how you could close more deals?
This video shows you exactly how to do just that.
Watch it now.
September 2, 2012 What You Missed This Week
Here is the latest update from Valtimax Consulting – The Authority in Business Strategy for Professional Service Firms:
Business Leaders Behaving Badly
Our future is limited only by our own behavior. This week on Valtimax Radio we focused on the nine behaviors that kill successful businesses and limit the careers of successful executives.
Listen to the podcast to keep from limiting your own career success.
Put It All Behind You
If you want to grow your business and grow as a person, you need to put your mistakes behind you. That’s not easy to do. This article helps you put the past in perspective.
Selling is a fact of life. Everyone needs to know how to sell whether it’s selling ideas, products or services. If you want to know where to start with selling, look no further. Watch this video:
If you are not joining us each week over at http://www.Valtimax.com you are missing an entire world of practical information that can help you make a great living and live a great life®.
Law Firm Marketing Questions Answered by Dave Lorenzo
If you have law firm marketing questions or questions about business strategy for law firms, Dave Lorenzo - a legal marketing expert will answer them. Watch the video below for a full explanation.
Each week Dave Lorenzo will be answering questions from attorneys.
Send us your question by posting it on Dave’s Facebook page: Facebook.com/davidvlorenzo or
Send your question to Dave on Twitter: @TheDaveLorenzo
The best question each week will be selected for Dave to answer on video.
Bragging vs. Self Promotion
One of my clients called me a few weeks ago with a dilemma you will find familiar.
Sidney (or Sid as his friends refer to him) is an excellent lawyer. He works hard and attracts the bulk of his clients by referral. Sid is a bit of a generalist. He does mostly corporate transactional work for his clients but, as a former litigator, he will also handle some simple litigation matters.
Sid is on the board of directors of his local Chamber of Commerce. He is one of three lawyers on the board and he enjoys helping the Chamber make leadership decisions. Here is where Sid’s dilemma begins. Sid has watched the other attorneys receive referral after referral from other members of the Chamber of Commerce board of directors. Yet Sid gets very few referrals from those folks.
When he first approached me about this issue, I advised Sid to invite each of the members of the board out to lunch to have a conversation and attempt to understand why the business was not going his way. This proved to be an enlightening experience.
As Sid interviewed the other members of the board of directors he began to realize that people thought he was a nice guy, but they just didn’t remember him when it was time to pass a referral. You see, the other lawyers on the Chamber board were always aggressively promoting themselves at the meetings. And they were aggressive with follow-up. This kind of thing always made Sid uncomfortable. He never wanted it to seem like he was bragging.
Obviously this scenario sounds familiar. I’m sure you feel the same way. You would love it if the world knew how great you are but the thought of trumpeting your accomplishments makes you uncomfortable.
Here are three ways to promote yourself without seeming like a braggart:
Host an Event at Your Office
Your office should look like a shrine to your greatness. You should have photos on the wall of you shaking hands with famous people. You should have your advanced degrees on display. You should post “thank you” letters in frames all over the place. Then, once each quarter, you should invite 50 people to your office for an informal wine and cheese event.
People will definitely take notice of the information and accomplishments that adorn the walls of your office. You will look good without saying a word.
Send an Orientation Kit in Advance
Each week you should be meeting with at least three potential referral sources. These meetings generally take place over a meal. Be sure to send an “orientation kit” in advance to the person with whom you are meeting. This kit should include testimonials from past clients and/or influential people in the community. It should also include any press clippings highlighting your successes.
The cover letter accompanying the orientation kit should be from your assistant/office manager. It should explain that your office sends out this kit in advance of every meeting you will be attending.
If you develop this strategy properly, it is very impressive. People come to a meeting with you full of knowledge about your background and accomplishments.
Have Someone Make the Introduction
You probably know about 250 people (more or less). Research has shown that number is the “sphere of influence” of the average businessperson. But that means each person you know also has a sphere of influence of about 250 people.
When you have identified specific individuals you would like to meet, reach out to your natural network (this sphere of influence) and ask if someone can make an introduction. We always think more highly of people who are introduced directly to us.
It is not unusual to have a discomfort with promoting yourself. Just keep in mind that people cannot hire you if they do not know who you are or what you do.
Lawyer Gets Exactly What He Deserves
Every day people ask me if my business strategies will work in their practice area.
It doesn’t matter if they practice environmental law, personal injury law, criminal defense law or law relating to Native American Rights – everybody thinks their law practice is different. And they feel compelled to verify that the strategies I have developed over the years will work for them.
In this week’s Rainmaker Minute I’m going to give you a quick case study that will show you how applicable basic client acquisition strategy is and how you can use it to attract the clients you deserve.
A few months ago Steve Klitzner (a longtime client) came to me looking for a way to attract new clients to his tax practice. Steve handles IRS problem resolution.
What does that mean?
Well, think about people who have not paid their taxes for years and years. Now think about them waking up one day and deciding that they can’t take the feeling of impending doom any longer.
Who do they go see? They go see Steve.
A good portion of Steve’s business is developed as a result of referrals from accountants, bankruptcy attorneys and other lawyers. He does quite a bit of marketing and he is always looking for new ways to attract clients.
At one of our meetings Steve told me he was looking for a way to get more referrals from accountants. While he had booked speaking engagements to groups of accountants in the past, he had never been able to convert them into new business. With a speaking engagement to his State’s Association of CPAs coming up, he was looking for a way to make this event pay off.
Here is the exact strategy we developed and the results Steve received:
At the conclusion of his talk Steve offered all of the attendees a special report titled:
“EIGHT MISTAKES TAX PRACTITIONERS MAKE WHEN NEGOTIATING WITH THE IRS: Important Tips to Keep Your Client From Getting in MORE Hot Water”
About 40 CPA’s gave Steve their contact information and he sent them the report. They also receive his monthly newsletter on an ongoing basis.
In the three months since this event, he has received 8 referrals directly from accountants who got on his mailing list as a result of that strategy. If Steve’s average case value is $5,000 (and it’s not, it’s a lot more) he added an additional $40,000 to his billing as a result of that one strategy.
But that’s not the end of the story.
Steve then turned the report into an article and pitched it to several trade publications and industry newsletters. A prominent tax industry publication ran the article verbatim. That article landed Steve two additional speaking engagements and three additional referrals from CPAs.
This report, which took Steve two hours to create, will help him develop over $100,000 in new business this year…and this is just one of the marketing strategies he has in place.
Here’s the moral of the story:
Steve Klitzner is a successful IRS Problem Resolution Attorney because he takes action. I developed this strategy for him, but he put it into place and he got new clients as a result.
In the end, all of us get the business we deserve.
You just received the exact strategy Steve used to develop new business. It could work for you. But first you must take action.
Rest assured, whether or not you put this (or any other client acquisition strategy) into place, you are going to get the business you deserve.
If you come across a client with a tax issue send them to Steve. And you can find that special report he published on his website: http://www.floridataxsolvers.com
Law Firm Marketing and Your Business
Most people want to go to sleep tonight and wake up in the morning smart, rich and thin. They want the formula for the magic potion they can drink that will make this happen.
Lawyers are no different.
Many lawyers will hire Social Media Gurus, Search Engine Optimization Experts or a Public Relations Flack and expect to have thousands of clients lining up outside their office door by the end of the week.
It doesn’t work that way.
You can’t just plunk down a couple of bucks for the “all the clients you can stand” option at the local buffet.
No matter what anyone says, there is no way to make this happen overnight.
But there is a way to build a client base and establish a reputation as a good lawyer in the process.
Here is the three step formula:
Step One: Do excellent work.
Yeah. It’s true. You have to represent your clients well. You have to get the best result possible for them. You have to do everything legally, morally and ethically possible to help them. There is no avoiding this. You must be a good lawyer.
Step Two: Embrace business ownership.
As a lawyer you have a responsibility to your client (see step one). As a business owner you have an additional responsibility to yourself: To make money. These two things are not mutually exclusive. You can be professional, charge fair fees and run a profitable business. If you cannot come to grips with this concept, go to work for a big law firm.
Step Three: Set up systems that allow you to be the CEO of your law firm.
You will severely limit your income if you spend 100% of your time practicing law. You love the law. I know. You went to school to practice law. I know. You only feel validated when you are doing the work required to resolve an issue for a client. I know.
The big problem arises when you run out of hours in the day. You see, at some point, you will run out of hours in which you can complete the work. This means you need to have systems in place that help you complete at least fifty percent of the work that will flow through your office. These systems will involve other people. There will be delegation and there will need to be accountability.
Yes. You read that correctly. You will need to manage people and processes if you want to grow your law firm.
How do you set up these systems? What do they look like? How do you hire the right people? How do you get them to perform the necessary tasks perfectly and consistently? How do you ethically attract enough clients to support this added infrastructure and make a healthy profit?
These are the questions that can be answered by a true expert.
I’m not talking about someone who can “get you on the first page of Google”. Or someone who can help you get 3,000 ‘friends” on Facebook.
I am talking about an expert who can sit down with you, listen to your goals for your law firm and your life and help you design a plan to make them a reality.
I am talking about someone who can help you put that plan into motion and make adjustments along the way.
You need a business strategist to help you build a business. But you have to take action. You have to admit that you want to build a successful business.
Not everyone does.
If you are one of the few lawyers who have the guts to embrace business ownership, you owe it to yourself to take action.