Client Attraction Series: Get New Clients Without Being Pushy! Part Four
Guest post by Nicol Garwood
What if, tomorrow you could eliminate all ‘marketing’ activity yet, still increase your business?
Would you be interested?
If you’re eager to increase client retention, build more referrals and better serve your client base without having to engage in the latest marketing fad, then please read on.
With Christmas a few weeks away there really is no better time to be reminded of the importance of putting relationships first. Not only are our relationships valuable for one another but also they’re valuable as they relate to achieving our business goals.
By redirecting your focus and marketing efforts by putting your relationships first, over the next few weeks you will have strengthened your growth foundation as you embark on 2015.
The premise behind which is to build life-long advocates of you and your firm, no matter what practice area you specialise in….
Below are three simple steps as to ‘how’-
Step 1 – Understand the real VALUE you offer clients
The first thing is to go back to your compelling marketing message. What’s the value you offer? What problem are you solving or, what benefit are you adding according to the money or time you save clients? What feeling are they left with as a result of working with you?
Remember people don’t buy products or services they buy ‘feelings’.
It’s imperative that you are absolutely sold on your value yourself. When you are not, no matter how you try to disguise it, you will feel uncomfortable. As a result, your clients cannot help but feel uncomfortable, too.
Step 2 – 300
Here, we’re not talking about the film 300 with Gerard Butler, we are looking at the 300 people you know in your network, not members of the public (see SRA Code Of Conduct. Chapter 8 – Publicity). However, it’s not only about who you know that counts, but who your contacts know that is important. This is what I want you to zoom in on.
Would you like a trained sales force of 300 people you don’t have to pay telling the people they know how great you and your firm are?
To drive home the point further, think of it this way. If I only take care of the people I know and gain their business each time they have a problem, then I won’t be doing much business at all throughout the year. But if I pay close attention to my contacts by expressing a genuine interest in them and updating them of my services or what’s new in my business, then each of those 300 people in my database may refer me to the 300 people they know which could result in over 90,000 potential clients!!! Not that I would want so many clients as that is not my particular business model; however, by doing this quick mental calculation you get the point.
“What if I don’t have 300 current or former clients or business connections?”
Actually, you probably do.
If you took the time to sit down and go through all the people in your network, even those you met very briefly at a conference more than a year ago, you’ll quickly find your list of 300.
Step 3 – Educate your network
Begin by educating your 300 with a letter of introduction about what you do. The people that you want to educate are those that you consider to be or have the potential to be, personal advocates.
Personal advocates are people who know you, who like you and who trust you. You want to let them know what you’re up to with your business but first of all you want to show a genuine interest in them.
I should clarify that if you’re just starting out with your practice, it’s a letter of introduction. If you’ve been in practice for several months or several years then it’s an update letter of how your practice has grown or the new services that you provide since you last talked to them.
Most people who are your personal advocates will be really happy to receive your letter and help you because people love to give referrals. Not everyone expects a fee for making a referral. If you were to ask yourself, “Do I like giving referrals?” The answer might be “Yes.” It makes you feel good. It makes you feel significant. It makes you feel helpful. People are generally happy to give referrals but we don’t usually ask for them.
Instead we think, “I’m going to make them feel uncomfortable and it’s going to seem as though I’m pushing too hard.” Or “Maybe they’re going to expect me to pay them.”
However, if you re-frame this, then it’s not the fact that you’re asking, it’s HOW you ask.
And here’s the catch. Your introduction or update letter cannot be a sales letter or a newsletter because remember, these are people you know, you like, you trust and who trust you. People with whom you have had some kind of relationship with.
Therefore, the letter must be friendly, warm and educational – remember it’s not an impersonal sales letter. For instance, you may say,
How are you and what are you doing now?
Did you ever manage to do XY and Z?
One of the reasons I’m contacting you is to update you on what I’m up to.
My team and I are………and so far the results we’ve been getting for our clients have been amazing.
The only thing I ask of you is that if you know of any friends or associates that could use my services, you will think of me.”
Using this approach, while all the time making sure your letter is relevant, makes you feel better about sending it, which makes you more likely to send it.
Now this is all well and good but what if you haven’t as much as sent a Christmas card to any of your contacts in the last five years?
Good. Don’t be afraid to confess to that!
After taking the time to ask about them, you could follow with something to the effect of;
“I confess that we have not been as proactive in our personal communications as we would have liked, but we’re taking appropriate steps to start communicating more frequently on matters that affect you. Be it a newsletter, a phone call or an email, please know that we are putting our relationship with you first…….”
With so many deadlines to meet, places to go and things to do, we rarely have the time to stop and thank the people who have helped us achieve our goals along the way. But Christmas provides the perfect opportunity to reconnect and in doing so build your growth foundation so that 2015 will be your best year yet. After all, it’s not what you say about yourself that people believe anyway, it’s what others say about you that they believe.
- Have you read Client Attraction: Part One? Nicol’s first article in the series focuses on profiling and understanding your ideal client.
- 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.
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
Don’t miss out on the rest of the series – sign up now to the Business of Law Blog to make sure you’ll be the first to receive all of our helpful free business guides and much more. You’ll only receive content that is really relevant to you as an independent legal practitioner, and we promise you can unsubscribe at any time.