Lawyers are happier when they are doing the work they like for the clients they like working for. As my long time readers know, I have sung and preached that mantra many times (herehere, here, here, here, and here). Furthermore, your law firm marketing will be more efficient and cost effective, if you focus your business development efforts on narrow market niche(s) that set you apart from the competition.

But, if you are having trouble identifying the “ideal” clients for your law firm, think about this for a minute. Try using the reverse approach. By that I mean determine your ideal clients by deciding the clients you DON’T want. Some may say that is a negative approach, but what the heck if it works for you.

I can thank my friend (actually I’ve never met him, only spoke with him once or twice, but I really like his stuff, so maybe he’ll be my friend) John Jantsch over at Duct Tape Marketing for the idea on this approach.  He explains in his post “Who don’t you want as a customer?”:

“ It’s just human nature I guess, but we seem to have a much better grasp of what we don’t want in our life than what we do. So by first categorizing things like the types of customers that you can’t serve well, the kinds of people you don’t work well with, or the size of projects that don’t fit you may be on your way to better understanding your ideal customer.”

And…

“Now, while you are at this exercise you may discover that you are currently working some of these customers you now admit you don’t want. Do what you can to move them to someone who can serve them better and begin the process of narrowing your focus only to your ideal customer profile.”

Thanks, John.

  • Kane: Identify and keep the clients you “like”.

    While our own Holden Oliver’s on one of his important-but-demented “I love rock n’ roll and hate all things PC” jags, see a great Tom Kane post re: keeping just the clients you want and “like”. Rather than self-indulgent and…

  • “Decide on Ideal Clients by Identifying Clients You Don’t Want”

    Posted By Tom Kane: ?awyers are happier when they are doing the work they like for the clients they like