An essential part of the legal business development process is identifying new potential clients. How best to do this?
A highly effective way to build a legal practice is to focus your efforts on direct sales to new prospective clients.
One component of this process is the identification of new clients via on-line research – which is a cost efficient and highly effective way to identify new clients.
Essentially, any legal practitioner should first understand the opportunities his or her practice affords potential clients. With this in mind, one can match up those potential opportunities with identifying who may benefit from those opportunities.
For example, if you are a corporate practitioner in America, working within a particular state – one can identify specific opportunities within your practice which apply to specific potential clients, match those opportunities against that pool of potential clients – and then begin directly contacting those potential clients with news of the opportunity or opportunities you know may be of interest to them.
Most importantly, is determining which potential clients you are seeking to assist are currently in need of assistance in your particular jurisdiction or practice area.
By identifying clients with an instant need – you are able to approach new clients who are already interested in the market you serve and possibly – the services you offer.
Take the instant example – a corporate practitioner in a US state. He or she should develop a comprehensive set of Google search terms which are updated and sent to him or her daily — on which companies are entering or making strategic changes in your market. Expanding operations, making acquisitions, and a wide variety of other strategic changes are all things you should design a tailored search effort around in order to effectively find a new daily pool of potential clients.
Should you establish the discipline of reviewing these newly researched pool of potential clients with instant needs on a daily basis, you will find that each day yields a new group of potential clients you should be actively contacting to continue to build your practice.
You should then focus on contacting those new potential clients daily with news of how you can help, and requesting an opportunity to speak or meet in person to discuss how you may be of assistance. This sales process is essential in order to build a practice in the increasingly competitive global landscape of the provision of legal services. If you are not doing this, more and more competitors will be now, or will be in the future. The sales process once associated with other industries, is I believe an inevitability in the legal profession.
Yes, the legal sales process itself is hard work and requires time and oftentimes sacrifice, however if one applies oneself to working to secure discussions with new potential clients based on the research strategy I have just generally outlined here, one will over time build a substantial new client base one would not have thought possible otherwise.