Where are you going to get your clients from?
Are you thinking about starting a new law firm? asks Jeremy Streten.
Or are you trying to work out how you are going to expand your current business? Considering where you are going to get your clients into your business is very important for anyone looking at starting a law firm or trying to climb the corporate ladder. The question of how to obtain clients is a complex one. In this article, I will go through a simple process to help you work this out.
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Who do you want to get as a client?
The scattergun approach of marketing to anyone and everyone does not work. Different types of clients are found in different ways. For instance, if you want to obtain work from a government department or a large corporate entity, you usually need to follow a tender process.
If you want to find business or individual clients, then you need to take a different approach. This means that the first step you have to take is to determine who is your ideal client. If your ideal client is a government department, you need to work through the tender process.
If you are looking for a business or individual client, you need to work out who that client is and how you will find them.
Building relationships with trusted advisers
When looking for business or individual clients, the most cost-effective way to find them is to find their advisers, build relationships with those advisers and do work for their clients. To stand out from the crowd, you need to distinguish yourself from the other lawyers out there in the marketplace. There are many ways of doing that and building a successful business.
The key is to build relationships with trusted advisers that work with your ideal clients.
Unfortunately, business owners and individuals are suspicious of lawyers. Whether they have good or bad reasons, we often have a bad reputation so you need to find a way to bust through that stereotype. Attending a networking meeting and handing out business cards to referral sources will not get you many clients.
The first step is to pick those trusted advisers as a group. For example, when you work with businesses, then you need to build relationships with accountants. When your work is in residential conveyancing business, then you need to build relationships with real estate agents.
Putting together a small group of referral sources that are aligned with your values and building those relationships will take time. Small steps and small wins for the referral sources and their clients will help that process. Importantly, you should not make promises that you can’t keep – this will immediately destroy trust. The promise should be that you will provide an excellent service to their customers by making sure that the work is done efficiently and for the price you said it would cost.
This in turn will result in the referral source looking good with their client and help build that relationship.
There are many ways to be right with finding clients for your business. You should try and test different ideas and assumptions, if something doesn’t work then move onto another strategy. Building trusted relationships takes time but once you achieve that trust you, will be paid back many times over.
Jeremy Streten is a lawyer and the author of the amazon bestseller, The Business Legal Lifecycle, which is designed to help business owners understand what they are doing in their business from a legal perspective and give them a plan for the future.