To quell your marketing fears, here is the second half of my marketing tips for successful rainmaking.
- Follow-Up: If you don’t follow-up with the people you have met, then what was the point of “getting out and about” and being enthusiastic and talking about your Power Niche? You just wasted the chances you created. Your follow-up will help turn these new contacts into potential clients.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Referrals: It can seem scary or you may think you’re being annoying asking friends/colleagues/family for a referral, but it’s very simple. Think about it — if you asked for one referral every business day, then you would be asking for about 250 referral requests a year. If you convert even 5 percent of these referrals to clients, you have 10 to 15 clients. Not too shabby. This is a phenomenal technique and dramatically underutilized, which is surprising since a large percentage of clients come from referrals.
- Never Lose a Contact: In my view, it is a terrible thing, a Marketing Felony, to let contacts in your core industry wither and slip away. You should never, ever let this happen because, as noted at the beginning, marketing is an unpredictable game of statistics. Every contact could lead somewhere. Today’s competitor at a law firm is tomorrow’s in-house counsel. You don’t know what will happen, so keeping as many contacts as possible maximizes your opportunities.
- Stand Out: One of the most important lessons I ever learned about marketing was from a book I read called Purple Cow by Seth Godin. YOU MUST STAND OUT. You have to be a purple cow rather than a garden variety brown cow. And the way you stand out has to be by being different in a memorable way. This is terrifying for most people, but it is the price of admission for rainmaking success. The choice is stark: blend in and fade away or stand out and either fail big time or success big time. I know what I have chosen.
- Don’t Work Alone: Build a team of people you can work with — your colleagues, family, and friends. Make sure it is a group that you trust and you all have the same goal. It is always easier to accomplish something as a team — there is power in it. Even for things like going to a networking event, you just look “cooler” and more relaxed if there are two of you. You have someone to talk to if things get awkward. You have another person with whom to bounce ideas around. If you both have different skillsets, you can divide up what each person does, etc.
- Remember You Are Always Pitching: Some people may say, “Oh, it’s just drinks,” or “It’s just coffee.” Whether you like it or not, you are always “making a first impression,” and even if you aren’t formally “pitching,” you are de facto sort-of pitching by the impression you make. Do you come off as a winner — dressed sharp — and knowledgeable (with your Power Niche) or a sloppy guy who hardly adds anything to the conversation? Bottom line is that even in the most informal setting you still are giving an impression of yourself to the person you meet with.
- Put on a Show: Think of all your prospect/client interactions as performances. Consider making it a core part of your job that when you meet someone, make the meeting so exciting and interesting that the guy or gal you met will want to tell their family/friends about it that evening at dinner. “Honey, I met these crazy lawyers today. Here is what they did….”
Hope you find these tips useful. Now start marketing!
Bruce Stachenfeld is the chairman of Duval & Stachenfeld LLP, an approximately 50-lawyer law firm based in midtown Manhattan with one of the largest real estate law practices in New York City. The Firm is known as “The Pure Play in Real Estate Law” because all of its practice areas are focused around real estate. You can contact Bruce by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Bruce also writes The Real Estate Philosopher™, which contains applications of Bruce’s eclectic, insightful, and outside-the-box thinking to the real estate world. If you would like to read previous articles or subscribe, please click here.