Join us for this week’s rainmaking recommendation from trainer and coach, Jaimie Field.

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Prospective Ideal clients – these are the people and businesses with whom you would like to do business.  But, often I am asked the question: What if they already have a lawyer or law firm with which they work?

My answer is quite simple:  “So what?”
This answer is because there are so many reasons why a prospective client/business would look for new attorneys or law firms with which to work. While not an exhaustive list, here are a few:  the lawyer/law firm is too expensive, they are not meeting client expectations, they have pissed off the client at some point, and a big one – lack of communication.

Therefore, you want to find a way to position yourself and your firm as the next alternative to the lawyer they currently are using. However, to do so, you have to create a relationship with the prospective ideal client so that if, and when, the relationship with their current lawyer and law firm sour, or has just run its course, you are the person they think of to come and help them with their legal needs.

If you have been looking for exciting and innovative ways to meet your ideal clients and referral sources, here are 10 ways to do so:

  1. Do your homework. Find out everything you need to know about your prospective ideal clients, what they need, and with whom they currently are working.
  2. Contact your ideal clients on social media and connect with them by inviting them to something worth their while (like #2).
  3. Start a podcast and invite your ideal client or referral source to be a guest to speak about what is happening in their industry. (Many Mid-Market and Large law firms are hosting podcasts these days.  Is yours?)
  4. Ask your ideal client or referral source if they would like to write a guest post for your law firm’s blog.
  5. Offer to do a webinar for your prospective ideal client’s company – for free – in which you discuss the most pressing legal needs of that prospective client’s company.
  6. Find out which websites and publications your ideal client reads and offer to write an article on a topic of interest to them.
  7. Discover to which industry associations your ideal clients belong and join.  You can meet them during networking events and conferences, even virtually.
  8. Offer to speak at the industry associations on a topic of interest.
  9. Determine the individuals who work as vendors/suppliers for this industry and network with them to become referral sources.
  10.  Create a system in which you regularly reach out to these prospective clients with information that is of interest or helps them.

And two more bonus ideas:

Give a referral:  When you refer others to their prospective ideal clients you trigger what is known as the Law of Reciprocity.  The Law of Reciprocity says that people will try to pay you back for the good things you do (like give a referral) but usually will give you more.

Ask for a referral:  The one glaring error that many lawyers make is that they don’t ask for referrals.  This is very different than asking for business which seems too much like being a pushy salesperson.  Asking for referrals is asking for help.  And while many attorneys feel that they shouldn’t need help (and this is a topic for another blog), everyone does. There are so many ways to ask that will not make you uncomfortable doing (again, another issue).  People, as a generalization, love to help others but will not do so unless specifically asked – many will not think of you until you do.

So ask.