Friday, October 31, 2008

Client Development: Plan or Random Acts of Golf and Lunch?

As the Cheshire Cat observed to Alice long ago, the path you take doesn't matter if you don't know where you're going. That applies to marketing for too many lawyers and law firms. We know we want more clients and more business, so we go to a trade association meeting, invite a prospect to lunch, send out a newsletter, and hope something sticks.

This scattershot approach is counterproductive. Far more effective is to develop a plan and adhere to it. The two primary ways you can do this are to evaluate your marketing tactics, and the hypothetical client targets they're aimed at.

First, target your strategies. Make a list of five things you do to market yourself, your department or your whole law firm. Rank them in the order of what has worked best. Which activities bring in the most profitable new clients, develop most referral sources or generate the most inquiries? Your list might read something like:

Networking with other professionals and referral sources

Now cross the bottom two off the list. You need to be ruthless, this is no time for sentiment or favorites. Stop doing them and put the money you've devoted to them back into the top three performers -- the ones with the most bank for the buck.

Then, target your clients. Create a profile of your ideal client and develop a marketing strategy that focuses on this target, not everyone. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

What characteristics describe your ideal client?
What is your client's occupation?
What are your client's demographics?
Where are your clients located?
How do you know when it's a "fit?

Then, go get 'em! Increase your revenue by five and six figures while everyone else is sitting still, wondering how you flew so high! When it comes to the strategies you want to pursue and the targets you want to reach, you can't create them until you conceive them.

This post courtesy of LawBiz® and reprinted with permission. "Copyright 1999-2005 Edward Poll." Thanks, Edward!

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