How Lawyers Engage Every Client Every Time
Everybody wants to make more money as a lawyer.
Few lawyers master the skills necessary to attract more clients and even fewer can close the deal once the client is sitting across from them.
Today I have a special treat for you.
The interview posted below (on the podcast player and via a downloadable link) is with Anne Miller an author, speaking coach and sales expert.
In this interview, Anne helps us discover the power of stories as sales tools for lawyers.
So if you are one of the people wondering how to make more money as a lawyer, you must listen to this entire interview.
Here is the link to How to Engage Every Client Every Time. Right click on it and save it to your desktop or electronic device.
If you want to listen to it now, just click the play button on the player below.
Our Attorneys Marketing Mantra: Never Be Needy
The attorneys marketing with Rainmaker Lawyer Consulting come from many different backgrounds and practice in many different areas but they all agree on one thing: Never appear needy.
Here’s what I mean:
All of us have, at various times in our business careers, needed to close a deal. Maybe we needed money and the client sitting across the desk from us was the last chance for us to make our rent payment on time. Or maybe we wanted to purchase something and the person on the phone was willing to retain us and we gave in to a weak attempt at negotiation in order to “get his money in the door.”
Sometimes we do things we regret because we need money. These things include; taking bad clients, negotiating fees without negotiating value, or saying something ridiculously desperate to curry favor with a prospective client.
What many attorneys marketing their services don’t realize is that prospective clients can smell the stink on neediness on you. This stench, like a rotting corpse in your office, repels clients and their money.
Nobody works with a needy lawyer. Even through we’ve all needed to “close the next deal” at some time, neediness is not attractive.
So listen up all you attorneys studying marketing…Rainmaker Lawyer students are not only confident in their legal prowess but they also never give off the appearance of being needy.
Law Firm Marketing: What to Do vs. How to Do It
The other day I met with an attorney who has been practicing for over 20 years. We were meeting to determine if I could help him. Under his arm he had a file full of my weekly emails (he is a subscriber to The Rainmaker Minute). The conversation started like this:
Attorney: “I don’t know how much more you can do for me. I am doing everything you talk about in The Rainmaker Minute”.
Me: “You’re probably right. I probably cannot help you. But just for fun, tell me about one of the things you did.”
Attorney: “The hand written notes.”
Me: “What about them?”
Attorney: “I sent them out and I didn’t get any clients.”
Me: “How many notes did you send out, to whom, and over how many months?”
Attorney: “Uh…last Tuesday I sent three handwritten notes to past clients.”
Me: “Just one time, on one day?”
Attorney: “Yeah. And it took 20 minutes and I got noting from it.”
Obviously this guy did not follow the process as I designed it. Sending a hand written note is supposed to be the beginning of an on-going follow-up system in which you build a relationship with your prospective client or referral source. This is a long term strategy. Relationships take time to build. Apparently, this guy missed that point.
Nevertheless, that was a real conversation with a real attorney. And it is not atypical. I hear that sort of thing often. People think because they know WHAT to do, they know HOW to do it.
Back in my early years I went to culinary school. There I learned how to cook. I know WHAT to do in order to make a meal. However, unless you want to be deathly ill, you do not want me to make you something to eat…ever. I am not good at it because I do not know HOW to cook.
Here is the moral of this story: When it comes to anything, especially law firm marketing, just because you know what to do, that doesn’t mean you know how to do it correctly.
I often compare law firm marketing to sex. Everybody knows what to do but few people take the time to do it properly.
Here some other mandatory resources for you:
Why do most attorneys fail? Because they fail to take action. This is a rant I sent to several of my clients and subscribers encouraging them to get going.
Many people ask this question and few have the answer. This article gives you some insight into the skills and knowledge necessary to be a great law firm marketing consultant.
Attorney Marketing for the Solo: The Basics Are Still Missing
Last week I had the pleasure of speaking at the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Attorney’s third annual law firm practice management workshop. It was a terrific event organized by F.A.C.D. L. President Brian Tannebaum.
This event was a huge success because of the engagement level of the participants. Almost every attorney in attendance was hanging on the words of every speaker. Several successful attorneys disclosed their methods for everything from greeting a client to managing attorney client privilege with the parents of defendants.
My presentation covered the basics of attorney marketing and business strategy. I challenged the criminal attorneys to focus on developing relationships with referral sources rather than spending large sums of money on direct-to-consumer marketing initiatives. I challenged them to have enough confidence in their legal ability to always charge a consultation fee. I challenged them to spend more time on business strategy and marketing than they currently have allocated. And I gave them a couple of specific things they could implement on Monday back in their law firms.
Overall I think the presentation was well received. There were lots of questions afterward (which is always a good sign). But there was a noticeable disconnect. It was almost like 30% of the room was speaking a different language.
The most telling moment of the event for me was when one of the speakers asked the audience how many of them had a blog. About a dozen of the 150 lawyers in the room raised their hands. The rest of the group just seemed confused by the reference. Blogs have been around for the better part of 10 years but lawyers have yet to embrace them as a mainstream marketing tool.
But that is not my point. Forget about technology, I could not even find 10 lawyers who took a referral source to lunch once a week. Or sent a hand-written note to a colleague after he passed them a referral. Or thought about the return on investment before spending money on an advertising gimmick.
The point I am trying to make is that attorney marketing basics are not being taught anywhere.
Brian Tannebaum’s event was fantastic in that it gets attorneys interested in investing time on marketing and business strategy.
At lunch, in his keynote speech, the great Roy Black actually said that lawyers should stop reading trial guides and should start reading business books. He then went on to say that lawyers needed to become salespeople and he told them to “get over it” if they thought that selling was beneath them.
The criminal defense attorneys who were at the F.A.C.D.L. event now have an idea of what it takes to build a successful law firm. The question remains: Where will they go to find the foundational attorney marketing skills necessary to build the law firms they each deserve?
Attorney Marketing Advice: Never Quit
Things are tough for lawyers. Although many will blame the economy for their lack of success, the truth is that a lack of persistent aggressive activity is really to blame.
Consider these statistics from a business study conducted by Notre Dame University:
- 2% of all sales are made on the 1st attempt
- 3% of all sales are made on the 2nd attempt
- 5% of all sales are made on the 3rd attempt
- 10% of all sales are made on the 4th attempt
- 80% of all sales are made after the 5th attempt
This supports the assertion that marketing efforts must be persistent. It also supports the theory that business development requires patience and persistence.
Now in the face of those statistics, consider the following information (also from the same study):
- 44% of sales people quit trying after the first call
- 24% of sales people quit after the second call
- 14% of sales people quit after the third call
- 12% of sales people quit after the fourth call
This means 94% of people looking for new business quit after the fourth call.
Those are sales people. We are talking about people who are trained to gain the interest of a prospective client and engage them to do business. And THEY are giving up after the fourth call.
How long do you think the average lawyer persists until he gets business from a client? How many mailing pieces do you think the average lawyer sends to a prospective client?
How many emails are in the average lawyers email sequence to his client base?
How many months does the average lawyer send out his newsletter before he gives up?
If you want to get clients as a lawyer you have to be able to sell. You can use various marketing techniques to help you get clients to come to you but ultimately selling is your job. If you give up before the fifth, sixth or seventh opportunity, you are going to miss out on many significant chances to represent good clients.
What to Do with This Information
Here is what you should do with this information: Build persistence into your marketing. Set up follow-up systems that engage EVERYONE you meet. Make sure your message gets in front of them at least once a week.
This gives you 52 opportunities every year. It is 52 attempts to get them to consider working with you.
You have to be interesting and each approach should be slightly different. But ultimately, if you quit, you miss will many, many opportunities. Start today and never, ever stop.
Do you have what it takes t be successful?