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Potential clients: how can we attract the right ones? (and IV)

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Some law firms think that attracting new clients requires constant presence in the press or on social media by means of articles, interviews, reports, etc. It is true that if the firm “rings a bell”, and does so by dint of positive news, this helps a potential client to choose a practice.

However, people tend to confuse communication with marketing. You may choose to write and write, appear in the press, on social media, the radio, pay for ads, etc. However, this option will not be much use unless you have a distinguishing and winning marketing strategy, a powerful message and the right skills set. Most law firms do not have a message that sets them apart, and their lawyers lack the skills needed to attract the right potential client. This statement is not meant to sound smug. I can speak with authority.

I will give you an example. A medium-sized practice wanted to be a reference point at home and abroad in business law. As far as they were concerned, frequent exposure in the domestic and foreign press was of the essence. They asked Barton Consultants if we could guarantee them continuous and free exposure in the quality press. We told them that we could, but that they would have to improve certain aspects of the firm before “setting out to conquer”: the preparation of a market strategy, selling training, organisational skills, etc. In our opinion, the firm was not prepared to improve and was exclusively short-term focused. Solid business projects are built in the medium-long term.

We invited them to give a talk at a business forum to find out if they knew how to sell their capacity besides transmitting legal knowledge. In our opinion, the presenting lawyer failed to connect with the audience, who lost interest, and neither did he fail to leverage the key moments he had to make contacts and actually sell. We also offered them the possibility of appearing in a prestigious economic publication, free of charge. They told us that they were interested, but did so past the deadline, so they lost the chance.

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself”, said Tolstoy. And you do not have to be very smart to know that changing the world is very difficult. Changing oneself, pursuing excellence, is easier, it is definitely more viable and yields better results.

We might say that a change on the inside is reflected by a change on the outside.

© Francesc Dominguez, legal marketing and personal branding consultant, www.francescdominguez.com .