How To Attract Clients Without Hard Selling

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

How To Develop An Effective Contact Strategy That Leaves You Time To Deliver Great IP Legal Services

If you spend too much time cold calling and chasing leads instead of doing work that actually brings much-needed money into your Intellectual Property (IP) legal services business, then you need a system in place that gives you more time to focus on outstanding service delivery to clients.

One of the main reasons why many IP lawyers spend too much time chasing leads is because they are hitting cold lists or selling their services too early. Cold lists may be those you might get from list brokers, industry associations or local business directories, and include targets you have not built relationships with.

For example. this morning I got a letter from a law firm inviting me to attend a paid seminar exploring employment law issues.

If this firm had done a better job of discovering my personal business situation, it would have known that this is not an issue for me…because I don’t have employees! But there are lots of other legal issues that might interest me when it comes to developing legal contracts with clients and freelancers which I would definitely want to hear more about.

How then should an IP legalĀ  services professional communicate with prospects to get them motivated to become clients, and give back more time for actual client services?

There are a few things that you need to know first:

  1. It takes on average 7 contacts to make a sale. You read that right…7! Most salespeople give up after 2 0r 3 attempts, and many simply do not give enough information to prospects that allows them to make informed choices about the various products and services on offer.
  2. Most people would rather learn how to do something than actually do it themselves, so they feel better asking for help if they know what the potential solutions involve.
  3. The 7 contacts above ALL have to result in positive experiences for the prospective buyer.
  4. Each contact has to communicate value, and how the services you provide will take away the fears and frustrations your prospects have.
  5. Every contact has to have information that shows prospects how to solve their problems, and evidence to show that someone has benefited from the services provided.
  6. Most decisions are made to avoid pain or gain pleasure. Avoiding pain is the greater motivator of the two to take action, so any information you provide should focus more on pain and solutions to avoid that pain.

The key thing to do, then, is to have a communications strategy that captures the contact details of prospects, builds relationships with them and is effective at keeping them informed about solutions to the problems they face. To make this work, you need to automate a lot of the early communications you have. You may not have to do so totally, but a good chunk should be automated as you are wasting valuable time that could be spent developing great free content to share or dealing with clients.

So how would automation work?

Autoresponders.

How should IP legal services professionals use autoresponders?

  1. Lead generation – perhaps using an opt-in form on your website that prospects fill in because they are interested in the your blog, emails, fantastic free reports you might have or a newsletter. This is now a warm list, and the one you want to grow and convert into fee-paying clients.
  2. List and Client Management – if anyone wants to unsubscribe from your list, the autoresponder takes care of that as well.
  3. Email campaigns – when you have a series of email campaigns or responses that go out at specific times to your opt-in list, autoresponders can do this for you very easily. You just need to have the emails drafted, and remember to use direct marketing principles to get specific responses when appropriate to get prospects to take action. Remember the rule of 7!
  4. Information awareness campaigns, in which you keep your opt-in list updated on reports or seminars that they can read or pay money to get.

Now, autoresponders by themselves are not everything, but they give you back a HUGE chunk of time and money that could be spent elsewhere to grow your business. Your conversations will focus less on educating prospects as you have an automated system to deliver the free information they actually need, which is a great first step in the right direction.

If you then really want to be even more effective, you need to integrate your autoresponder with a great contact management system. This will help capture offline conversations and meetings, provide a snapshot of the contacts you have made with prospects and if they become clients, give you instant information on how much money they spend with you. This is valuable because you want to focus more on high-value prospects and clients, and allows you to experiment with various offers to keep them sweet and coming back to you because you know what you can afford to give away.

Again, the contact management system automates a lot of what you might be doing now. There are some really good deals now for autoresponder and contact management software that you can get, so look at this as an investment for growth and improved sanity, rather than just a cost.

So, spend less time chasing people and looking through your filofax or rolodex to see who you have not contacted for a while, and more time focusing on activities that you enjoy and which are more lucrative.

Seriously think about the use of autoresponders and a contact management system to automate the work you don’t need to do.

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