Five Ways To Get Clients In The Door Now
I get several calls each month from people who are willing to spend their last $1000 with me hoping I have some magic remedy to their poor cash flow. I want to help these people because there are many lawyers who have fallen on hard times and just need to be pointed in the right direction in order to get back on track.
That’s the reason I have recorded a podcast designed to help lawyers get clients in the door right now.
This podcast contains five specific tips that will stimulate activity and get you focused on client attraction and relationship development.
You can listen to the podcast or download it by following the link below. You can also listen to it right here using the player embedded in this article.
Here are the five specific activities I recommend to lawyers who need clients right now:
Immediately Raise Your Fees
This may seem counterintuitive but it is important.
I’m not telling you to go out to your existing clients and raise fees (although go ahead if you want to) but you must raise the rates you charge new clients who come on board.
Usually when you are in a drought, or when you lose your biggest client, your confidence is shaken. It is partially for that reason this strategy is necessary. Raising your rates (whether you bill by the hour or use an alternative method) is essential because it helps reset you mentally. Clients leave for any number of reasons. Most of them are unrelated to the fee you charge. But your fee is generally a symbol of your effectiveness (to you).
So if you lose a client or are in a drought, resolve to increase your fee 10-20% to the next client you engage.
The second half of the reason behind the “raise your rate when you’re in a slump” strategy is to shortcut the process of making you whole. That is to say, it will take you fewer clients to get back to your previous income level.
The final point about raising your rates: There is enormous elasticity in the fees lawyers charge. You can literally take your rates up with every new client you sign for your entire career. Someone will always pay your fee. No matter how much you charge.
Even if you’re not in a slump you should raise your rates.
Call Everyone You Know and Discuss the Value You Provide
Get out your personal and professional contacts list and call everyone. After exchanging pleasantries, remind them of the value you provide. Don’t act desperate. Don’t be needy. But remind them of the value you provide.
You should be making a few hundred telephone calls. I’m serious. Call everyone, especially the people with whom you have not spoken in years.
You will be happily surprised by the results of this exercise.
Put Yourself In The Position to Have Conversations with Buyers and Referral Sources
Every day there are industry specific groups meeting to network. Go to the meetings of the groups that contain your clients and/or referral sources.
If you do lots of work for construction companies, join the local builders’ association and go to their meetings.
Go to bar association meetings but not bar meetings that contain your peers. Go to meetings of people in other practice areas. Criminal defense attorneys go to family law attorneys meetings. Trust and estates attorneys go to business law meetings. You want to be the only person in the room who does what you do.
Follow Up With Everyone by Direct Mail
The main reason people don’t refer business to you is simply because they have forgotten about you. You should use direct mail to follow up.
Why direct mail? Mainly because people do not receive much mail anymore.
Send a letter each month to the people with whom you spoke in step one. This is not a newsletter. It is just a letter touching base and reminding them of who you are and the value you provide. If you want some ideas, read this article on direct mail.
Offer to Speak to Everyone Who Will Let You Get In Front of a Room Full of People
One great speaking engagement can completely change your business development trajectory. Getting up in front of a room full of people puts you in a position of authority and credibility. This helps you develop rapport with the audience and it makes it much easier to engage them if they have a need for your services.
Speak to any group that will listen. At first, you will want to speak to small groups or groups who may not contain your ideal clients. This will help you hone your craft and perfect your talk. As you become more adept, you should look to speak to groups that contain your ideal clients and referral sources.
As you can see, each of these strategies can be applied to law firms doing well and law firms struggling to find new clients. The intensity you bring to this process will determine the results you receive. Each of these strategies work. The only thing holding you back is your ability to take action. Review these steps. Listen to the podcast. Take action.
You don’t need a magic potion to break out of a client drought. You simply need to follow these steps over and over again and you’ll be on your way to reinvigorating your law firm.
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