Gary Mitchell's Biz/Dev Coaching Blog
To kick off 2018 I’ve created a new LinkedIn Group-Professional Services Marketing Group.
The purpose is twofold. 1st, to offer a forum where professional service providers can share insights and knowledge, wins and challenges as they grow their businesses. There is power in collective wisdom.
The 2nd goal of this group is to allow you to network ‘virtually’ with other professionals; build relationships and develop more referrals.
The concept of the ‘Mastermind Group’ comes from author Napoleon Hill, in his book “Think and Grow Rich”, published in the early part of the last century. I’ve always loved the concept and many of my clients have and continue to use this strategy to grow their businesses.
And then invite your best referral sources and contacts to join. The more members, the more collective wisdom and the potential to build more relationships leading to more referrals, leading to more business.
#businesscoach #mastermindgroup #growyourbusiness
Many of you already build relationships with other lawyers as a referral source. But think about all of the other professionals that would have access to, or be in front of the people you are targeting as clients. They could be accountants, financial planners, real estate agents, contractors, hair stylists, personal fitness trainers, and so on. It will vary depending on your practice of course. Build your network with diversity. For example, build relationships with real estate agents that target different groups or geographical locations. The same goes for all of the professionals in your network.
Then be sure to reciprocate. You will build a much more loyal following by sending them referrals as well. Another reason you want to build diversity into your network, to make it easier for you to refer clients or leads back to them.
Reward the people who refer people to you with a personalized gift. It could be a gift card to their favorite restaurant, or tickets to a show or sporting event. You will stand out and they will think of you more often. Write a handwritten thank-you card to go along with your gift.
Work with your clients from the very beginning and set up realistic expectations. Never promise anything you can’t deliver. It’s better so say no, then to say yes and not get it done. Walk them through the variables and educate them on the process as much as possible. They will really appreciate it. Remember, you’ve done this a million times. This could be their first time going through the process. Depending on the nature of the file or the work you are doing for them, they could be going through a very tough time. Don’t underestimate the discomfort they may feel, the level of uncertainty. This isn’t about your ‘lawyer’ skills. This is about your ‘people’ skills and level of service which will go a long way in separating you from your competition and providing more potential referrals.
The easiest way to get more referrals is from your clients. The fastest way to do this is to ensure they are completely happy with your service. In my opinion, that starts with effective communication. One of the top complaints lawyers get from clients is that they don’t communicate often enough and make assumptions. Communication is at the heart of your service to your clients. So get agreement from the very beginning on how often and by which method your clients would like you to communicate with them. And also explain, the more that communication is required, this will add to the cost of your services.
The next thing I recommend, is to give your clients permission to give you feedback throughout your dealings with them. Your clients might be intimidated by you and not want to point something out when it’s relatively small. And you want to know if something isn’t quite to their liking so you can fix it in that moment before it grows and festers to the point where they don’t want to pay their bill. Often when mistakes are made, it’s not the mistake that people remember. it’s how quickly and effectively the mistake is corrected or reversed.
Firms are always so quick to throw money at client events. But are you getting the biggest bang for your buck? Why not bring in a coach to work with your team ahead the event and set it up for success. You can use the event as a way of giving your team real practice of tips and approaches they have learned ahead of time.And you can build some accountability into the mix by having them report on their progress in follow up.
There are so many ways you can fully leverage the time of your professionals, give them a chance to learn, better connect with your clients, and watch what happens to your business.
The fastest way to encourage everyone on your front line to take part in business development is to incentivize them. Offer bonuses, and perks. I am aware of some firms that offer this to their law clerks as well as management. Everyone on your team has the potential to bring in more business. And the more people you have bringing in business, the more successful your firm or company will be.
Raindance: The Business Development Guide Book for Lawyers is now available through Carswell. Click here to go to Carswell for more information and ordering.
If you are a lawyer just starting out with business development, or already engaged and looking to up your game, this book is your practical, step-by-step guide to follow in order to achieve your goals.
Working with one of my clients today going through his contact list and something came up for him. Up until now he was overlooking the power of some of his contacts in referring clients to him. He is in a unique situation with his firm and has an excuse to touch base with all of them. I cautioned him not to skip the ‘discovery’ part of this and find out more information about what is going on in their world.