Lawyers Calling Prospects
So following on from my recent blog on the same subject, ie don’t the majority of solicitors just HATE business development, marketing and anything that isn’t related to the specifics of the law they are practising? Btw (sorry, Twitter speak), someone just walked behind my screen and witnessed the word “majority”, in case one of you feels the urge to come back with the contrary.
Business Development & Client Relationship Management =
relationship building/maintaining existing relationships
To develop your business there is a requirement to reach out to your audience. This will be the marketing arm. Do you know who your target audience is? That’s half the battle. Are you confident enough in your own offering of legal services? What is your USP (Unique Selling Point) that puts you ahead of your competitors? Once you are aware of your audience, it’s up to you to call them. Uh oh – how does this make you feel? Like procrastinating? Do those SPAM emails suddenly seem like they require urgent attention?
Research for Business Development
Research the person or company you would like to do business with. Who is the decision maker at the larger companies? If you are B2B (business to business), have you linked in with anyone on LinkedIn? If you have no idea what and how to make the most of LinkedIn there are excellent training facilities out there (Pickled Ginger can help set you up, write your profile and help you with your blog writing and scheduling, or I’d recommend Rachel Tombs from Links2Leads, who is one of the best trainers in the legal field. If your legal services are aimed more at “people” (B2C) – are you on Facebook? Elderly clients, although becoming more and more social media aware, still often prefer a telephone call – remember, it’s just an introductory call.
In my experience, there is a general fear of picking up the phone if it doesn’t relate to a legal matter if you are a solicitor. Why? Every individual has their own reason for disliking calling a prospect if going in cold: fear of rejection; becoming flustered at behaviour of recipient; feeling their role is to practice law and not sell themselves or their business; shyness – the list is an endless one. Calling after marketing your services isn’t about selling them over the phone – it’s about introducing yourself to a business or person. You will have done your research to know that your expertise could offer mutual benefit and something you could add value to or solve a problem they might have. Your call is about building the trust and relationship between you both. It’s about you offering them something they need (either now or in the future). Sole Practitioners and SMEs rarely have a budget to pay for external resources to do this side of the business, so to ensure your hard work pays off by enjoying the independence of going solo or working in a small partnership, understanding that the legal market place is not what it used to be and that clients are extremely savvy. You have to be prepared to at least try marketing yourself and networking in a relevant sector.
Each call will be unique for each prospect. Ask open questions and listen well. Make notes and email or write to thank them for their time. Invite them for an informal coffee to meet you or ask them to drop by your office whenever they are near. If nothing comes of it, you will have made a new connection.
Finally – what do you want for your own business? Know this and you will have the confidence in your business skills to develop your practice.
Get in touch if you’d like to advice on how to manage your business development or marketing to stay ahead of the crowd. Pickled Ginger offers a free audit of your current strategy, please contact Elaine for an informal chat.