How To Attract Clients Without Hard Selling

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

Use Simple Referrals To Grow your IP Legal Services Business

I went to the local pharmacist today, and while I was waiting for a prescription, the assistant turned to me and gave me a leaflet for a local Indian restaurant. The whole process was seamless, and all she said was ‘while you are waiting sir, I would like to give you the menu for a restaurant I recommend and hope you have the opportunity to go.’

Excellent stuff from a referral point of view, and the restaurant effectively had a salesperson using word of mouth marketing to increase awareness of its services.

When thinking about referrals, all businesses could do with moments like these and where I live in Redhill (Surrey), very few businesses have really picked up on this.

My only criticism of the process was that there was no specific offer for those that got the menu and leaflets from this specific pharmacy. A token 15% discount (or special deals for families or if you eat on certain days in the week) would have been more powerful and I tell you what, I know enough people with young families that need all sorts of prescriptions…who LOVE curries…and would think about visiting this particular pharmacist to get a good meal deal as an added bonus. Me included!

You don’t need something radical to improve your business. Look at the small improvements you can make to increase awareness, improve the experiences customers have instead of just spending time on huge businesses reorganizations. This pharmacy and restaurant have provided a really simple example of what many professional services businesses and consultants could do to stand out from the crowd.

I also know the financial pressure many smaller pharmacies are facing, having to compete with big chains and supermarkets. Getting more clients through the doors is even more important, and the opportunities to have cross-selling arrangements with other businesses that complement their typical client base is something many should consider.

Now pharmacists may not be able change their prices (as these are governed by the government), but they have something many other businesses would die for – a captive market. People constantly come in to pick something up that, more often than not, is taking away pain. Servicing these same people gives the pharmacists the opportunity to point out various offers for other businesses and, as a consequence, position themselves as more than just a place to get medicines.

Ever heard the quote ‘Little hinges swing big doors’. The context with which I use it here is to hammer home the fact that that little gesture changed a normal visit to the pharmacist into something I’d remember. I might even try the restaurant soon (I would probably ask to speak to the manager and tell him/her to get an offer out to all those that pick the menu up from the pharmacist as I outlines earlier).

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