Client Attraction Series: Part One
Guest post by Nicol Garwood
It still surprises me, even in this day and age, how many lawyers still need convincing that networking works.
“Yeah, networking doesn’t work for me. I don’t like it” or “I know I should be networking more but I don’t have the time” and other such comments.
The fact is networking will generate revenue and save costs.
The biggest issue I believe is one of mindset. Most people just don’t approach networking in the right way so they think it doesn’t work. Usually it’s because they’ve been told that networking is about going to as many events as they can and collecting as many business cards as they can hold and then following up the next day with non-specific action.
Another reason is that many lawyers are in fact afraid to ask for referrals. They don’t see asking for referrals as a safe thing to do. “It means they will think I need the business and think that I am not good”, claimed one lawyer very recently.
Networking is much much more than attending a networking event it includes having the mind-set that everyone you come into contact with could be a potential client or referral source for you.
And in this five part blog series, I will share some ‘behind-the-red-curtain ‘secrets that have resulted in my own successes, secrets that many of you can apply.
Here is number one:
Profiling and understanding your ideal client.
You may think you already know your target market. But I would hazard a guess that you probably don’t … at least not nearly well enough anyway. I have seasoned marketers tell me that what I’m about to share with you was a game-changer for them – even though they’ve done business for years. So here is what you do…
You get crystal clear on whom you want to attract into your business.
After all, clear intentions produce clear results. Vague intentions produce vague results.
And if you’re going to become more proactive for referrals through networking you have to be clear. A successful profitable business cannot exist without deep knowledge about the ideal client. It all starts and ends with them and therefore, it’s your job to know them like the back of your hand. It’s important to determine what end result they want to achieve. Or put another way … what’s their pain?!
Do you honestly know what your clients’ needs, struggles, hopes, dreams, aspirations and frustrations are?
Without knowing this you won’t know how to talk to them in person or on your website and you won’t know what products and services to create for them. You won’t know where to reach them either. I personally feel that this is one of the most important mistakes that ALL business owners (including small law firms) make in not having enough clients or making enough money in their business. It is the number one mistake that I made when I first started my business.
So, here’s what you do:
A. List all current and past clients and grade them “A” to “D”according to the example criteria below:
– Those you really enjoy working with – Those who need your help, badly – Those who get that working with you is essential – Those who can easily be identified and contacted – Those that will happily pay you, without negotiating – Those who get great results from working with you – Those who will tell others about you and refer clients over and over
“A” clients are dream clients who pay without fail and delay through to your “D” clients who are your worst nightmare. They are uncooperative, argue with you, and don’t value your expertise.
B. Then, I want you to think about what your “A” and “B” clients have in common.
Ask yourself why your A and B clients picked you. What is the common denominator that you notice about most of these people? Write that down.
C. Who are they?
The next question is who are they? What segment of the population do they come from? If you work with small businesses is there a particular industry?
D. What are their biggest problems and what mistakes are they making knowingly or unknowingly?
For example, the biggest problem I see with my ideal clients is that they’re very good at what they do but they don’t know how to market themselves or they’re not consistent enough in their marketing efforts. They’re not clear about their ideal client profile. They’re not getting out there in a big enough way. Their marketing message isn’t crystal clear enough and as a result they’re not attracting the right type of client to their business.
What mistakes are your clients making? Again, write those down.
E. What results are they looking for?
Again this is an important question. Simply because you want to communicate with them in terms of the results you provide because people don’t buy processes. They buy results. Once they’re clear that you provide the result that they want then they’ll want to know about your processes. At the beginning however, they’re most interested in the result or the solution to their situation, hence why you must get clear on that.
Your ideal client profile will become the basis for all of your marketing communications going forward, including your “elevator pitch” and email newsletters. It will also act as a screen to help you say “no” when things are slow and you’re tempted to take on a “D” client.
Remember, the goal of the “game” is to gain a deeper level of understanding of your ideal client, within a given context — such as the decision to work with you (or not) because essentially your aim is to attract new clients at higher rates, with the long-term goal of moving away from lower-rate work.
Get the attention of your team, share these questions with them and be sure you’re all singing from the same hymn sheet. In the next post I will share with you how you use this information to bring your networking skills up to a completely new level!
- Have you read Client Attraction: Part Two? How to communicate what you do in three simple steps that will result in you getting more clients.
- Have you read Client Attraction: Part Three? How to find and attract your ideal clients in large numbers.
- Have you read Client Attraction: Part Four? How to reconnect with and expand your network.
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About the author
Nicol focuses her services on client attraction and retention choosing only to work with independent lawyers, sole practitioners and owner/lawyers in smaller law firms who struggle to market their business effectively and who need to attract a lot more clients consistently without pushing so hard.
She is also the Founder and Lead Mentor of Ascension Mastermind, a six-month cutting-edge, total immersion coaching programme aimed at Women Lawyers who want to increase profitable fee income as well as raise to their profile in their field. nicolgarwood.com