How To Attract Clients Without Hard Selling

Effective Practice Growth Strategies For Intellectual Property Lawyers, By Eria Odhuba

Why IP Lawyers Need To Rely Less On Cold Calling To Attract More Clients

Last week, I came across an advert by a full-services law firm looking for freelance sales professionals willing to cold call prospects. This was the deal – you get them interested, and we will then send a brochure with details of our services to those that are interested.

I genuinely felt bad for the poor soul that decided to take up the challenge – expecially as it was purely commission-based.

One of the surprising things I noticed was the apparent lack of understanding about how prospects like to consume information and then make a decision about the services they really need.  Why on earth would someone want to simply get a brochure of services? If they were offering a free report in exchange for contact details or access to a series of informative seminars, then yes, the freelance salesperson may stand a better chance of getting the leads the law firm was looking for.

I do believe many IP legal services professionals have at least thought about the need to move on from such old techniques and are looking to leverage the Internet to build their profiles/grow their practices, and complement any offline activity they do. What seperates the winners and those that are simply muddling along (I won’t call them losers) is that the former have taken serious action to put systems in place to educate and communicate with prospects, and know that the path to consistent successful client acquisition lies in gaining prospects’ trust first.

The title of this website clearly lets you know how I feel about cold calling,  and this advert really got me rattled. Totally unbelievable someone thinks it would work!

IP legal services professionals, by nature, deal with many complex issues that need to be explained as simply as possible, and most likely in small, easily digestible chinks. If you follow any discussions within the IP legal services community, the arguments and comments would, quite frankly, appear gibberish to non legal services professionals. However, the information and ideas being discussed would be really useful to a lot of companies, inventors, manufacturers etc if they were expressed simply in terms so that they can make more informed decisions as to the next steps they need to take.

Unless you have a fabulous script, and prospects have lots of time to listen to you, cold calling does not give you the opportunity to really show how they can help solve a client’s IP legal problems. So you have to develop and use other methods to provide that information and get the trust that would get  prospects asking for your IP legal services.

For those that need a reminder, you have to think about:

  • The key questions prospects are asking themselves and the information they are really looking for to show them how to solve their problems.
  • The niche market(s) you need to identify so that your marketing outreach and spend is more focused and can be tracked.
  • A platform to share the information you have that you know will address prospects’ fears and frustrations.
  • Systems to capture prospects’ details and communicate with them regularly.
  • The steps and processes you put in place to move prospects from being interested parties to purchasers of specific information, seminar seats and full IP legal services.

Now, I have purposely kept this post as simple as possible – each of the steps above themselves involve a whole range of activities and processes to work. But you get the point – IP legal services professionals should move away from cold calling if they seriously want to build the practices they dream of and have the lifestyle they desire.

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