Of course they haven’t for several reasons: no immediate need, forgot 80% of what you said in two days time, or didn’t remember you name, etc. So, what’s a lawyer to do?
Continue to work at developing business day after day after day. You won’t be hired, in most cases, after your first encounter. Hell, maybe not after the 20th. The point is that you have to stay top of mind with prospects (heck, even with clients), so they will call you when they need a lawyer like you.
Ruth Carter has a great post on Attorney at Work that tells a story about how she bought tires 18 months after meeting a guy she liked. Why? First, she didn’t need tires when she met him, and when she did, she bought them from him because she ran into the guy everywhere. He showed up at “business mixers, community festivals, networking groups.” That’s what you need to do.
Aw, come on, you may say. How does a lawyer’s services compare to selling tires. You might even say, “remember that I gave an impressive speech about legal matters for goodness sake.” Well, my good friend, wake up. Developing business is a process, not a one shot deal. As Carter points out, she liked him when they met and got to know him over time, and came to trust him.
That’s exactly what lawyers need to do:
- Show up;
- Develop relationships so potential clients will get to know, like and trust you;
- Make friends (both Carter and tire guy did not try to sell their wares when they met, but rather themselves over a period of time); and
- Most importantly, (in case I forgot to mention it) show up at places your potential clients hang out.
If you want to gain clients, you’ve got to do the things that provide a lasting impression, so clients will keep you top of mind for when they need a lawyer. A speech or a one-time meeting won’t do it.