Ignorance is Expensive
What you don’t know can kill your business. As a lawyer, a lack of knowledge in three specific areas can be especially deadly:
- Business Strategy
- Self Awareness
- Relationship Development
Last week I shared some information with you in each of these areas. I know how busy you are and I know how hard you work so I figured I’d take a minute and provide you with a summary of the five most impactful articles I shared last week.
These are the articles you voted most important (via social media):
This is a video guide to making a new friend.
In business our “friends” help us by referring business to us.
If you’ve ever felt awkward when meeting someone new, this video will help you break the ice.
Want more detail on getting people to like you do business with you? This article can help. In this article, I write out, in detail, the things you can do to build a relationship with a new prospective client or referral source. Follow the guidelines as I’ve laid them out and you will be well on your way to sourcing your next big client.
Too many professionals, especially lawyers, don’t know what to do once they have attracted a great client. This audio program will help you deepen your relationship with your clients and maximize the lifetime value they can deliver to you.
The two most important qualities any attorney can possess are empathy and understanding. When you meet someone new, if you immediately launch into a lengthy diatribe about your background and experience, you immediately lose the trust of that person.
This short article is a quick reminder of why people like you.
Did you get my free CD? I’ve offered it to you several times. Make sure you get a copy. We only have a couple left. Click this link: Million Dollar Lawyer Secrets and I’ll send you one. It only takes a couple of days and I even cover the shipping.
Go through these articles and pick and choose the things you want to implement. Remember the ideas are great but they are nothing without your action.
A Preview of The Future of Law Firm Marketing
Many business leaders (lawyers and others) work with me because they know I spend a significant amount of time testing and researching media formats to deliver messages to specific target audiences.
My job is to focus on attracting clients to your law firm in the most effective and efficient way both now and over the long run. In my role as a strategist, I gaze out into the future and work backwards to build systems and processes that help you attract clients.
At the beginning of next year I am going to produce a report that will outline my thoughts on successful client attraction and relationship development strategies for the next 3 to 5 years.
The report is be titled: The Valtimax ® FutureKast ™.
Today I am sharing some of the thoughts that will go into that report. This “stream-of-conscious” approach is a competitive advantage for you because you can (if you choose) take advantage of this information a full 3 months before it is released to the rest of the world.
This is just another one of my gifts to you for being a regular consumer of my information.
You can listen to this action-packed podcast on the player below. If you’d like, click on the link and download it. You can then compare it to the report when it is released in January.
Here are three other articles you should read if you want to stay on the cutting edge of relationship development and client attraction.
Are you a law firm leader? Here are ten qualities that separate great leaders from those who merely survive their time at the helm:
If you need some background on my philosophy on matching message, audience and delivery system (media), listen to this podcast:
Most attorneys are horrible at communication strategy. Here is a primer on message development and marketing communications:
Business Strategy Articles from Rainmaker Lawyer Consulting
Each week I round up the five law firm strategy articles I believe you absolutely cannot miss from the previous week.
These articles are selected based upon their popularity as measured by social media shares, direct feedback given to me personally and page views on the Rainmaker Lawyer website.
If you want to provide me with your feedback in these articles, the best place to do that is on Google+.
Here is a link to my Google+ profile where you can read lots of great content and leave me as much feedback as you’d like:
Here are the articles I shared this week that you must read right now:
This was the most popular article I shared during this past week. People literally came up to me in public and started a discussion with me on this topic.
The discussions you have with your clients and prospective clients should always begin by addressing the issues important to the client. Clients do not care about your background until they know you care about them and their problems.
Stop giving your clients your resume and start showing them you understand what they face and how it can/will impact them.
Use this article as a measuring stick to determine how you compare to some of the most successful lawyers around.
Where do you stand on these five qualities?
Your attorney marketing must be focused on the client. But just as important as the subject of your article is the language and tone of each of your marketing tactics. You must position your marketing so that it enters the thought process going through the mind of your client.
You must also create attorney marketing that speaks to the client in the same way that the client discusses his issues around his kitchen table and his boardroom table.
Most attorneys are slaving away in a job they purchased for themselves. Unless you have systems in place to handle the day-to-day activities in your law firm, the marketing, and the workflow, you are simply working a job?
How will this end for you? Do you have any plans to sell your law firm? Is there any value beyond what you do?
This week I offered a free CD to everyone who reads the articles on my website, email and social media. We had a phenomenal response. If you are interested in getting a copy of this CD visit this page.
We specifically added a few dozen extra CDs to this giveaway. If you don’t get them soon you will miss out on this offer.
Make sure you click on the links above to read the articles I shared with my subscribers during the past week. This critical information will help you make a great living and live a great life®.
Marketing for Lawyers and Follow-Up: It’s Where The Money Is
Today we are going to talk about the question that Willie Sutton answered back in the 1930s when he was robbing banks. That’s right - Willie Sutton the bank robber told us what we needed to know about making more money. When they asked him:
“Willie, why do you rob banks?” he said, “I rob banks because that’s where the money is.”
Well, today I ask you:
Why should you follow-up?
The answer is the same answer that Willie Sutton gave back in the 1930s. He said that’s where the money is. That’s why you should follow up like a crazy person because that’s where the money is.
All the money you need is in your follow-up.
Think about it:
Each and every time you meet someone there is an opportunity for you to develop a relationship. That’s what marketing for lawyers is all about. It’s about creating and developing relationships, deepening relationships so people will do business with you over and over again. You provide them with value. You help them and they come back time and time again.
The trouble is they eventually forget who you are.
They like you. They trust you. You’ve done a great job for them. You’ve created a great experience. You’ve provided them with outstanding service but now they’ve forgotten about you.
So what can you do to change that?
You can start following up. And we’re going to teach you how to do that.
People think marketing for lawyers is all about television. They think it’s all about radio. They think it’s all about the internet. They think it’s all about spending big bucks to get big volumes of clients in the door. Marketing for lawyers does take into account those specific tactics but follow-up is a basic premise of relationship development.
Imagine yourself out on a date with someone. You met your significant other. You went out on a date with that person and you said to them:
“I had a great time tonight. I loved meeting you. I loved being with you. I want to marry you. Will you marry me?”
On the first date you asked them to marry you. What would happen? Nothing! Well, actually something might happen, you might get slapped across the face, the person might think you are crazy, the person might run for the hills.
I can almost guarantee 99.9% of the sane world if asked that question after only one date would look at you and say:
“You are absolutely nuts. Get away from me.”
Yet, we take that same approach every day with marketing. How?
- We meet someone at a networking event. We wonder why we don’t get business.
- We do a speaking engagement and we wonder why 15 people aren’t waiting outside with $100.00 bills in their hand to give to us.
- We promote our services at events. We wonder why people aren’t writing checks or handing us purchase orders.
It’s absolutely insane. People don’t do business that way.
People do business with those they know, like, and trust.
If you go do a speaking event and you introduce yourself to somebody, that’s great. They now know you. Big deal.
If you advertise on TV, that’s great. People who see the commercial will know you. Big deal.
If you drive traffic to your website, that’s great. But that doesn’t mean the people who visit your website and read your information are going to come running over and give you their money.
The way to continue to develop the relationships is through follow-up.
In business, particularly in marketing for lawyers, everyone wants to get married without going on a date. That’s flawed thinking.
We’re going to teach you how to begin that dating relationship with your clients.
There are two types of follow-up systems that are effective that you need to worry about and fix in your law firm today. The first type is called a ‘personalized follow-up system’ and the second is a ‘systemic follow-up program’.
Personalized Follow-up for Lawyers
Let’s start off by mentioning why personalized follow-up is important. We said first and foremost, people must know you, like you, and trust you before they do business with you. Well, frequency of interaction builds trust.
The people you see all the time you inherently trust more than people that you see once a year. Think about it. If I came to see you each and every single day for six months and then I asked to borrow $10.00, would you hesitate to loan it to me?
If I saw you once a year and I asked to borrow ten dollars, how would you feel about loaning me that money? Maybe you would loan me the money but you wouldn’t feel very good about the likelihood of being paid back. You might think to yourself: “Is this guy even going to remember to give me the ten bucks a year from now when I see him again?”
Meanwhile, if I see you every single day, seeing your face is going to remind me that I owe you the $10.00. It’s trust. It’s frequency of interaction that builds it up and you need to have it. That’s why personalized follow-up is important.
So when do you get personal? You use personalized follow-up after a one-on-one meeting. You go to lunch with somebody, you use personalized follow-up.
You use it after an intimate experience. You’ve had a one day training session with ten people. You want to follow-up with them personally because immediately they have trust in you since you spent an entire day with them.
You use personalized follow-up after an introduction. I introduce you to somebody else, you immediately want to follow-up with that person. You use personalized follow-up.
Let me give you some examples of personalized follow-up. You personalize the follow-up by writing a handwritten note to someone. I just saw you, I just had lunch with you, I write a handwritten note to you saying how great it was to see you once again and I enjoyed spending the time with you. I write the handwritten note to you after the training session people in the training session, I write ten handwritten notes. It was great to interact with you. You added a lot of value to the group. I’m so glad I saw you. I look forward to seeing you again.
Another way to personally follow-up with people is to send them an email after you meet with them. Or you could send them a fruit basket.
Now, when it comes to personalized follow-up we have a very specific set of rules that come into play when you meet somebody or you have an intimate experience with someone or you’re in an environment where it’s you and a handful of other people and you want to follow-up.
The rule is that you have to follow-up with that person at least seven times in order to deepen the relationship.
Sounds like a lot? It is but it bears repeating.
You need to follow-up with that person, communicate with them, touch them, at least seven times in order to deepen the relationship.
To increase the amount of touches you have, to increase the follow-up intensity in your marketing program, we’ve created systemic follow-up.
We’ve created systems for your law firm because you can’t write handwritten notes to 50 clients each day. We’ve created some systems that allow you to follow-up en mass with people and still develop those deep relationships and rekindle that trust that should be there.
The Rule of Seven
Let’s spend a moment discussing the seven different touches after you meet someone in an individual setting.
Let’s say you go to lunch with a prospective client. That’s touch number one. You’re at lunch with them, you have great conversation, and you’re starting a relationship.
You get back to your office, you immediately write a handwritten note. You include your business card in the handwritten note.
“It was great meeting you, I look forward to seeing you again in the future, and sharing another great lunch. I’ll see if I can refer the business to you that we discussed and I look forward to working with you in the future.”
That same day you write an email to them saying something similar and you include your electronic contact information.
You do both of these things on the day that you have lunch with them when you get right back to your office. The reason that you do that, the email is instantaneous. The handwritten note gets there two or three days letter. They both have an impact, two different types of touches.
Then the next thing you do is wait about a week and a half to two weeks, trace it out on your calendar, and you call that person with a question.
That’s right. You call that person with a question and usually that question contains something along the lines of an introduction.
Here’s an example: A lawyer goes to lunch with another lawyer. Criminal defense lawyer goes to lunch with an immigration lawyer. The criminal defense lawyer calls the immigration lawyer and says:
“Hey, would it be valuable for you to meet a trust and estate attorney because I know a great one who works with a lot of the other immigration attorneys in town. He might be able to refer you business and vice versa.”
Immigration attorney says, “Yes.”
The next step in the follow-up system is to enroll the person in your newsletter. You enroll them in your weekly electronic newsletter. Enroll them in your monthly print newsletter. Make sure they get that information from you on a regular and consistent basis. Remember, frequency of interaction is absolutely critical. It builds trust.
Finally, you enroll them in your monthly card program. You send out a monthly greeting card wishing them a “Happy Holiday.”
Here are some of the holiday greetings we have used:
“I hope you get the New Year off to a fast start. Happy New Year. Your friend, Dave.”
“Happy groundhog day. I hope you don’t see your shadow and I hope the next six weeks are really smooth for you.”
“Beware of the ides of March. I hope you have the best March you’ve ever had. Have a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day. All the best, Dave.”
“Spring has sprung. I hope you have a wonderful spring season. Be well, Dave.”
You get the idea. Each and every single month you send a card.
The card should have a great photo on the front of it, and it should have your tagline or your slogan inside of it. You’re greeting and re-greeting people each and every single month with your follow-up system.
You have to stay in front of people each and every single month. You have to follow up immediately after you meet them. You have to touch them seven times right away after you meet them in order for you to create an indelible impression and stay in their mind.
Then you have to, consistently, get in front of them multiple times each and every single month.
Your goal in your follow-up system is to get people thinking about you at least once each and every day. Think about that for a moment. You want people thinking about you once each and every single day. If you strive for that you will absolutely hit the mark of getting people to know you, like you, and trust you and they will refer more business to you.
Here are some additional resources you will find valuable:
If you are interested in email marketing, this article is a must read. It provides you with the guidance you need to develop a powerful email marketing program for your law firm.
This question is one of the most frequently asked in marketing for lawyers. You may be surprised at the answer. Read it now and you will not make one of the most common mistakes made by attorneys marketing today.
This article is brief and to the point. You must follow-up and this article should convince you why.
Your 10,000 Hour Dilemma
What do you think would happen if I woke up tomorrow and decided to try my hand at practicing law?
There are lots of books and courses out there that teach you how to write your own will and modify business contracts. I saw an ad on the internet that said: “For just $99 we will give you the letters to get any negative information removed from your credit report.”
I see these people on Law and Order represent themselves all the time. They seem to do pretty well considering they committed the crime and were brought to trial in less than an hour. I have to be at least that good considering I have months (and even years) to figure out my situation.
Even that guy on television said I could renegotiate my mortgage contract with the bank myself. I always get great deals when I haggle at hotels and jewelry stores. How much different can a mortgage be?
Of course I’m being sarcastic.
As a lawyer you are a professional with years of experience, school and training. You regularly attend courses that help you keep up with changes in the law and changes in court procedure. You review thousands of pages of case law every year to understand new precedent, rulings and jurisdictional issues you may face.
Anyone attempting to represent himself would be foolish to think he had the same advantage as hiring you.
That’s why, even for things as seemingly minor as traffic tickets, I recommend people hire a good lawyer with experience in the specific area of law they face.
In his book, Outliers: The Story of Success, author Malcom Gladwell presents research that identifies the major success factor for experts as spending 10,000 hours focused on achieving perfection in a narrowly defined area.
That’s why, as a lawyer, after 6 or 7 years you are entering your prime.
That’s also why I’m puzzled when I see lawyers read a blog post and think they know everything there is to know about marketing.
Right now some lawyer is signing a contract for radio airtime or signing a web contract or approving a ridiculous ad for the side of a bus, thinking he made a great decision.
Why? Because they lose all sense of expertise or rationality when thinking about the business aspects of running their law firm.
Lawyer marketing is a discipline just like practicing law. Until you practice this discipline for 10,000 hours you should not expect to perform like those who have dedicated their careers to this profession.
To master marketing, a lawyer must blend academic ideals with business reality while performing like a psychologist. Once he has that under his belt, the lawyer marketing expert should then gain in-depth knowledge of the tactical aspects of marketing like:
- How to get an article published
- How to land a speaking engagement
- Which networking events to attend
- And how to make the most of any of these opportunities (and hundreds of others)
Oh and then there are those pesky advertising rules for lawyers. Each state is different. And they change, often. You need to spend time keeping up with the rules that will affect you.
But who has time for that? Can you afford to invest 6 or 7 years becoming a lawyer marketing expert?
Of course not.
That’s why you take shortcuts.
You read a couple of things here and there and you plunk down some cash and hope for the best. Kind of like your last trip to Vegas…
There’s a better way.
Stick with me and the information I post each day at The Rainmaker Lawyer Website. You can search by category for the info you need, as you need it, or you can subscribe to receive regular updates.
If you are in Florida, you can join me for a special lunch I am hosting on June 26, 2013 from 11AM – 2PM.
The meeting is limited to attendees from just 10 law firms and I have two spots left. The investment is $150 and includes lunch at a luxury steakhouse.
I’ll be covering the most up-to-date information I have on law firm strategy, marketing and practice management. I have two great guest speakers (lawyers who are actually implementing the things I write to you about) and I’m going to give you an action guide, CD and DVD to take with you.
Lunch alone is worth $60. If you get just one new client as a result of attending this event, you will receive a phenomenal return on your investment.
We even have people flying in from other parts of the United States to spend three hours with us. That’s how good this deal is.
But it’s not right for everyone. I’ve already turned away a few lawyers who were looking for information on to cutting corners and gaming Google. I also denied access to a guy who was whining about spending $150 on improving his business skills. Imagine his reaction when I told him my fees for one-on-one consulting started at $30,000!
Ultimately, this opportunity to have lunch with me and some other experts may not be right for you.
But to find out if it is, call me right now: 888.444.5150. If you get my voicemail, it’s because I’m discussing this opportunity with someone else. Leave a message and I’ll call you back.
If you are interested in seeing the kind of quality people I hang around with, follow the link below to listen to an interview with Ori Brafman, Author of Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational behavior.
Ori helps us understand how the human mind works and he helps us make better decisions.
Listen to the interview: How to Make Better Decisions
But first make the BEST decision and call me to see if the June 26 lunch is for you.