Law firms should focus on existing clients and referral sources as the best sources of new business. I know, I know you’ve heard that refrain many times from me. But, when you do prospect (after you’ve done all you can with the above), you could do a number of things to maximize the opportunity to land work from new clients as well.

Trey Ryder’s recent newsletter suggests several legal marketing documents you should have at the ready when your “presentation needs a boost.” He lists them under four topics. I’ll cover the first two today, and the others next time.

1. Credibility:

  • Written Fee Schedule (makes clients who are skeptical about the basis for lawyer fees more comfortable, and should allay fears that lawyers will charge what they think client can pay),
  • Reprints of Articles (the more credible the publication, the more impressive it is to have your name as the author),
  • Testimonials (the more letters you have from past clients praising your services the better – BUT be aware of your bar rules relating to testimonials, as some don’t allow them),
  • Client Service Guarantee (NOTE: we’re not talking about guaranteeing the result of any representation here, since we all know that is unethical; rather, you could provide a guarantee as to the quality of your service – returning calls promptly {specify}, meeting deadlines, keeping them informed, sending documents, etc.),
  • Overview of Services (provide a written document of what you will do for them, including the major steps involved, so they will be more at ease and have an understanding of the process).

2. Urgency:

  • Actual Case Histories (may fit better under Credibility. Nonetheless, having past experiences detailed, especially if they related to the matter confronting the prospect, will help persuade them that you have the experience they need),
  • Need to Act Now (list the reasons, with examples of the benefits that are possible, for taking action now),
  • Risks of Not Acting Now (list the dangers associated with delay, with examples of the harmful impacts that have occurred as a result of failing to act promptly).

NEXT TIME: I’ll cover the last two topics: enhancing the prospects’ “Understanding” and overcoming their “Uninvolvement” in the decision process.