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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?
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.