People want immediate gratification. Get Rich Quick. Microwave dinners. Build a website in four minutes or less (it can be done). But building a successful law practice takes time. It can’t be done overnight. Do you remember who won the race between the tortoise and the hare? The tortoise did – “slow and steady wins the race.”
You have to build a law practice steadily
The same is true with your law practice. You can’t build a successful law practice overnight. Do you really want 50 new clients in your first week of business? You’d be overwhelmed, and wouldn’t be able to handle the legal work. Your practice just isn’t set up for that yet. But what about one or two clients your first week? That’s more like it. Here’s how you can do it.
How to get your first client
There are two paths you can take to do this. The first path involves building a website, slapping up your adwords account, and waiting for the phone to ring. This should be part of your law firm’s marketing mix, but not the path I would take to generate your first client. Here’s the second path:
- Write down a list of your best potential referral sources. Chances are, they are going to be other lawyers in your area, but they could be other professionals like marriage counselors, accountants, real estate agents, etc.
- Do some research and find 25 of these people that have offices in close proximity to your office.
- Call everyone on that list until you have booked a meeting for morning coffee and lunch everyday for the next two weeks.
- Get your best suit and meet these folks for coffee or lunch. Pick up the tab.
- After the meeting, follow up with a nice, handwritten thank you note.
- At the end of the first week, continue calling the rest of the people on the list to make sure you are booked up for coffee or lunch everyday for the next two weeks.
I can’t guarantee any particular results to using this approach. I won’t be sitting at the table with you and the referral source making sure you are minding your manners. However, if you follow this one piece of advice (which is what I did when I opened my law practice), I would be very surprised if you didn’t have at least one new client that was referred to you because of one of these meetings.
Next time I’ll talk specifically about what to talk about at these meetings.
If you have followed this advice to get your first client, tell us about it below! I’d love to hear from you about your experiences!