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Top Five Marketing Tips for Legal Professionals

by Larry Bodine

Pick two days every week when you are going to get out of the office and have a face-to-face meeting with a client, referral source or potential client. You won’t get any new assignments by working through lunch or joining your law firm colleagues for drinks. Instead, meet a client for coffee, meet a referral source for lunch or dinner, and meet prospective clients at a trade association meeting. 

All new business comes through relationships with other people. Meet with people, find out how their company makes money, and devise ways to help them with legal services. Now is a great time to start a client visitation program. If you’ve never met your client, it’s time to get in your car or climb on an airplane and visit them at their offices. If all you do is send emails, faxes and Fed-Ex boxes to each other – you don’t have a relationship. Most of the human brain is devoted to vision, so get out and let other people see you.  

The best way to sell is by asking intelligent questions. Spend most of your time listening to the other person talk about their business issues and challenges. You can listen your way to a lot of new business. Don’t “pitch” yourself or recite your credentials. Your clients and prospects have no interest in your firm history, its top-notch practices and the cum laude degree you earned years ago.

Build good word-of-mouth advertising by expressly asking your clients if they are (a) satisfied with your work and if so, will they (b) recommend you to their colleagues. You have to ask because clients have no idea how a lawyer builds a clientèle, and don’t know that they’re supposed to recommend you. Ask clients if you can use them as a reference, or summarize the good work you’ve done in a case history on your firm’s website.

Keep meticulous records about the people you meet. When you get a business card, write three things on the back: the date, where you were and what you talked about. Immediately when you return to the office, transfer this information plus the person’s contact information into an Outlook Contact or into your firm’s CRM system. This way you can search it, and quickly call up the record when you need it. Keep adding to the record. When you’ve got names and ages of the person’s children and pets, you’ve gone deep enough. Remember, you can’t search a wad of business cards with a rubber band around it that was tossed into a drawer.

Copyright 2004-2009 Larry Bodine

About The Author

Larry Bodine is a Business Development Advisor based in Glen Ellyn, IL.  He has helped law firm generate millions in new revenue by devising strategies, conducting business development retreats and individually coaching attorneys. He can be reached at 630.942.0977.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.