Last week we discussed the role of Gatekeepers in a business. Not the people that keep you out but the people who know the people who have problems that you can help with and will refer to you. So, getting more specific, how do you locate the gatekeepers who will most benefit your business.
Again, let me remind you, to first look at your target market and your business mission statement. Who would be your best client if they walked in your door today? Describe this person in detail. See if you can picture this person. If you had to write a three sentence story about them, what would that look like.
Then take your mission statement and see if that description of your perfect client needs to be changed. Does their problem reflect a need that you can fulfill while being true to your statement. Let me see if I can show you what this means. For instance, you describe your best client as” a person who is having a family law problem”. You even mention that they must have enough funds to hire you.
Your mission statement is “A small, highly efficient form offering services to family law clients through personalized, individual attention while maintaining the highest ethics”. So now what happens if you get a client who wants to hide money from their spouse and wants your help to do that? Where’s the ethics?
So you have to then tailor your target person to have realistic values about the ethics involved in family law or it won’t parallel your mission statement. See how this works?
Now we come to the part where you start identifying Gatekeepers who might help you find your target market. You also need to ask yourself once identified, how can you educate your gatekeeper to screen your potential client for an appropriate match.
How do you do this? Ok, let’s use an example. You have found a Marriage Family and Child Counselor who is very open to referring to you because he or she needs someone trustworthy when they get a request for a family law attorney. But they are very new at counseling and ask you if you can give them some money back for the referral. UGH!
Think again about your mission statement. Where is the ethics here? If this counselor would do this, then you might not want his or her clients as your clients. Of course, it might just be that this person is just so new that they think it is OK to be given money for referrals. If so, you can gently tell them” NO, this is against the Law”. Then you know you have a lot of educating to do with this gatekeeper. However, in the end, you might get a great gatekeeper because you will have trained them to be exactly what you want!
This is another reason why you always handle your gatekeeper very carefully. Be careful how you thank them. They shouldn’t expect expensive gifts, etc. The best thank you is business for them. So once you have vetted your gatekeeper have your referrals ready the next time a client asks you for help.