Look, everyone in your target market is smiling. That should make you happy. Now what doyou sayto them?
FIRST OF ALL THE DON’TS:
Tell them how wonderful you are
Tell them how much you have accomplished
Tell them how much experience you have had
Tell them specifics about other clients
Tell them how much money you can make for them
Tell them that you can solve all their problems
WHAT TO DO:
Acknowledge their problem in specific terms
Outline the gap between where they are now and where you hear they want to be
Ask questions to get as much understanding of their needs as possible
Listen, listen and listen some more
Tell them you understand their problem and this is how you might be able to help
Tell them the ways that you have solved this problem for other clients in general terms
Ask them if they would feel comfortable in talking about how you would go about solving their problem
Ask them if they would feel comfortable talking about what you would need from them
Ask them if they would feel comfortable discussing the cost of the retaining you
IT’S A GOOD SIGN AT THIS POINT IF THEY ARE STILL SMILING
IF THEY ARE NOT SMILING:
Ask them what would make them feel better right now
Ask them if they have heard anything that bothers them
Ask what obstacles are standing in the way of working with you to solve this problem
IF THEY ARE STILL NOT SMILING:
Tell them it has been a pleasure talking with them
Tell them you hope that they find a solution to their problem
Tell them that if you can ever be of help in the future, to call you
Tell them that you hope they find a solution even if it with another attorney because you do see they need legal help
Wish them well
NOW LOOK BACK ON THE WHOLE CONVERSATION AND SEE WHAT YOU COULD HAVE DONE BETTER.
HOWEVER, IF THEY ARE STILL SMILING AS THEY SIGN THE RETAINER, TELL THEM HOW MUCH YOU APPRECIATION THEIR CONFIDENCE IN YOU AND THAT YOU WILL STRIVE TO GET THEM THE BEST POSITIVE OUTCOME TO THEIR PROBLEM.
Last week we went over some ideas in how to figure out who your target market(s) is.
THIS WEEK, WE ARE GOING TO FIND OUT HOW TO CONNECT AND ALLOW THOSE TMs TO KNOW WHO YOU ARE AND HOW YOU CAN HELP THEM.
There are a few rules that should be discussed before we begin:
Always identify what your main TM’s needs are before you start.
Be sure to get as much information as set out last week, about your TM before starting.
Identify any person or entity that your TM might go for legal advice or referral.
Designate these “gatekeepers” as a new TMs and devise a strategy to contact them in the same way you are doing for other TMs.
Widdle down your TM’s description to the specifics. Don’t worry about excluding anyone at this point.(for example- “People who don’t have a will or have an outdated one” TO “Parents who don’t have a will or have an outdated one” TO ” Parents who own their home and don’t have a will or have an outdated one.)
Ask yourself: What could I give to this TM that he/she can’t get anywhere else. (here it can be personal service like coming to their home or with the above example, it might be expert tax and wealth saving information).
Be creative. Think Outside the Box.
Decide what tangible small value you can give to your TM right away. (example: A planning booklet to keep all the necessary probate information in and to let their heirs know what’s available).
NEXT MAJOR PLANNING ITEM FOR YOUR MARKETING PLAN IS TO DETERMINE YOUR BRAND.
How are you going to brand yourself????? As an expert? As an experienced attorney who can save time and money? As a parent and care giver yourself who understands the needs of his/her client?
Whatever your BRAND may be, it should reflect and answer the needs of your TM. No client wants to hire an attorney who doesn’t know what they need and want. Use stories of past successful results to assure your potential client that you want to take care of his/her problems. You have the knowledge and the expertise to do it!
PLEASE NOTE THAT I AM TRYING TO MAKE MARKETING AS SIMPLE AND DIRECT AS POSSIBLE. AS YOU GO THROUGH THESE EXERCISES YOU SHOULD BE KEEPING THEM SEPARATE FROM YOUR OTHER WORK. BE FOCUSED ON GETTING THAT GPS TO ALL THE CLIENTS YOU WANT. MORE NEXT WEEK……
AT A RECENT SEMINAR FOR LAWYERS, I MENTIONED THE IMPORTANCE OF KNOWING YOUR TARGET MARKET. THE RESPONSE I GOT WAS “WHAT IS A TARGET MARKET?”
Since this is the basis of all marketing, I thought it would be appropriate to spend some time talking about what is a target market and how to locate yours!
A TARGET MARKET IS FIRST OF ALL:
Your best referral base
The focus of your marketing
Those sources that have the best possibility of directly becoming your client or referring clients to you (known as your “Gatekeepers”)
A good target market limits the number of cases you don’t want and increases the number you do want.
HOW YOU DEFINE YOUR TARGET MARKET:
Start with your mission statement. What needs are you fulfilling for potential clients? Say for instance your mission statement is: Providing exceptional service to people who have been injured on the job, while maintaining the highest professional standards, then your target market is people who have a work injury, with the expectation of those who might be a bit shady or not being truthful.
Now let’s change that to Providing exceptional service to people who are seriously injured on the job, etc. Can you see that now you are limiting yourself to only seriously injured clients? Your target market is now narrower.
A clear, clean and precise mission statement is necessary to define your market.
HOW DO YOU IDENTIFY THE ACTUAL TARGET PEOPLE TO WHOM YOU WILL SPEND YOUR MARKETING TIME AND DOLLARS ON?
Your best referral base is your old clients because they have been within your target market because you have been able to help them.
The next best referral source for many practices is other lawyers. Perhaps you do cross referrals with these lawyers. Other lawyers refer to you because they have a clear idea of what you do and that you are ethical and very competent (also they don’t want to be named as a co-defendant in a malpractice action! )They also know you would support and refer to them if you have the opportunity.
Gatekeepers beside other lawyers are also in your target market. Sometimes these are your family members or someone that your target market interacts with. An example is a Marriage and Family Counselor who needs referrals for Family Law Attorneys and the lawyers who also needs referrals to counselors for their client. This is maximum cross-referring.
WHAT DO YOU DO AFTER YOU HAVE IDENTIFIED YOUR TARGET MARKET(S):
Now you need to put all their contact information into guess what? YOUR CONTACTS
I suggest you make three lists of contacts. One is A for people you know will refer to you. This includes old clients and lawyers. Second one is labeled B and is people who you have met and might refer to you. Last is C with who you have a casual relationship but who you don’t want to forget you. Outlook will do this for you with different colors.
Important technique is to keep these people on your radar. The As at least 4 times a year. Bs at least twice and Cs at least once.
At this point you will also “Cherry-pick” the people who fit in your target market but haven’t produced yet. Here is where you spend some time and money on reaching out to them. What do they read? How can you provide value to them? Does your website SPEAK to your target market? Does it invite potential clients to call you? There’s volumes on this subject but once you have developed your real target market, you won’t waste time and money trying to get to people on board who will never refer to you. As my friend says: Don’t go to the Hardware Store to buy a Hamburger.
Hint: The best marketing tool I ever used was sending Birthday Cards to old and present clients. Don’t do it to lawyers because they are jaded and can’t believe you really want them to have a Happy Birthday but clients are different…..as long as you are sincere. One client told me it was the only birthday card he got!
SO NOW YOU AT LEAST HAVE SOME IDEA WHAT A TARGET MARKET IS. Please feel free to contact me for a 30 minute complimentary consultation to help you with this if you want to discuss this further.