When attorneys first meet up with the Practice Alchemy team for their practice assessment, “How can I get more clients for my law practice?” is always a hot question. And it can be an interesting one to answer. We always try to get to the heart of the issue by asking another question:
Do you mean “I want more clients for my law practice,” or “I want more of the right clients for my law practice?”
Usually, lawyers admit that they really want the second one. They should, since one loyal client that pays their bills on time is infinitely more valuable than dozens who stiff you.
Luckily, there’s a surefire way to get clients just like those back on your list.
Build a Model
You don’t have to be all that creative to paint a picture of your best client, it just takes a little research. Check through the list of your past clients from the last twelve months, or even a little further back if your service delivery hasn’t changed much. Of those clients, which were a pleasure to work with? Which ones paid their fees on time? Finding those gems will more or less give you your answer. You just need to find others like them.
Formalize the process by asking a couple questions and pulling out the key information from those model clients.
- Who - Look at former clients and at prospects you targeted but didn’t close.
- Where - Determine where you’re most likely to make contact with those people.
- Why - Pick out the reason those former clients decided to work with you.
- When - Dedicate time to first search for and then reach out to your new model prospects.
Before you start asking prospects to work with you, take the characteristics you’ve collected so far and flesh them out a little. Answering the “who” question is more complex than it first seems.
In addition to demographics info that you cross-referenced against your past clients, you’re going to want qualitative details. What are some possible interests of your best clients? How do they spend a typical day at work? How about at home? Finding these answers will answer one of the most important (and also one of the toughest) questions, “where.”
Knowing where to look will help you spend your time more wisely and make it easier to choose “when” you’ll contact your new prospects. It could be that your best prospects spend a lot more time on Facebook rather than LinkedIn, and that they’d prefer a quick instant message conversation over an email. Finding the perfect formula can take some testing, but once you have it right you’ll know that every outreach effort is worth your time.
However, it’s going to be tough to engage those new clients if your conversations aren’t valuable. That brings us to the “why.” You’ll likely prepare this alongside the “who,” since the right clients are probably the best because they recognize value when it’s in front of them. They’re appreciative. But how’d they get that way? Did you capitalize on one service aspect in particular, or make a certain offer that drew them in? Replicating that activity will make you more successful when you connect with this new batch of ideal prospects.
Take Two Routes of Execution
What we’ve written so far is focused on preparing to reach more clients, but once you have your model, it’s time to act. The most obvious approach is to reach out directly on your own. And when you don’t have time to do it, you can outsource that work to Practice Alchemy.
Keep in mind that 99% of the time, however, you should also contact your non-prospect connections. In other words, your referral network.
Assuming you have good relationships with the people in that network (otherwise they probably wouldn’t send you business), prospects sourced from referrals are often going to be of the best quality. You can further improve the odds of getting high quality leads by giving your partners a little guidance. Hand them your newly made prospect model.
You can also earn some political capital by letting them know they can use your profile as template to build one of their own. Then you can use that one when picking out good referrals for them in return.
Even if you’re all for setting up this process, it can still be difficult to manage your time. And if you’re lacking good referral partners, you don’t have anyone else to lean on to help you market. That’s where Practice Alchemy comes in. The Practice Alchemy team of legal marketing experts is dedicated to taking on all of this work for members, from building the ideal client profile to actually finding them. As a matter of fact, we help attorneys identify their best client opportunities right in the first meeting - the customized Practice Assessment.
Click here to schedule a no-obligation Practice Assessment for your firm and let us start doing the work for you. If you’d like to learn a little more first, get the information you’re looking for on our Marketing Services page.