How to Attract Great Clients
Written by Dave Lorenzo on October 28, 2016 / Behavior / Client Selection / Mindset
Around my office, we have a saying.
“We attract the clients we deserve.”
This means if I provide valuable experiences, offer outstanding service and deliver an exceptional work product, I will attract amazing clients.
In reality, that’s only part of the equation.
Attracting great clients also requires respecting myself and the value I provide and communicating that to the world.
It can be a challenge to convey this to the clients with whom I work. Especially when the majority of people in professional services follow the crowd when it comes to business development.
One thing is sure: If you do what everyone else does, you get the same results as everyone else.
That’s the definition of mediocrity.
So what kind of attitude do you need to have to attract great clients?
How should you behave to convey the value of a relationship with you?
Here are some thoughts:
Speak the Language of Value
If you talk about “costs” or “expenses” as they relate to your services, people will view your “fee” as a cost or expense.
Instead, discuss your fee as an “investment.” People invest in you, and they invest in their future when they engage you.
Did you catch that? People “engage” a lawyer. They don’t “retain” him (put him in a pen and fence him in). A business owner “invests in” a lawyer.
If you provide professional services in the legal profession, financial services profession, real estate profession, accounting profession, etc. – people engage you. The invest in you and receive their business or their life improves as a result.
This is the language of value. Always speak this way when discussing your work with clients.
Excellent clients invest in valuable products, services, and experiences. Help them see you as a person who can facilitate the delivery of all three.
Surround Yourself with Outstanding People
Successful people think and act with purpose and determination. Spend fifteen minutes speaking with a successful business leader and this quality will be evident.
Put yourself in a position to interact with people who have clear goals and take massive, decisive action to achieve them.
One of my clients left a comfortable role as an in-house lawyer for a manufacturing business to start a corporate law practice. His goal was to replace his $200,000 annual salary with the same amount of money in profit from his solo firm by the end of his first year and double that by the end of year two.
He made the decision early on that he would reach his goals faster if he went after clients that would/could pay him $100,000 per year versus going after small individual transactions from dozens of clients.
Today, 22 months into this venture, he is working with six clients and his firm will produce approximately $480,000 in revenue by the end of year 2 (and he is still developing new relationships). This income is coming from six different clients, each of whom has signed annual agreements for him to represent them.
If you ask this lawyer what contributed to his success in developing these six relationships, he will tell you surrounding himself with other lawyers who took this approach toward their business strategy.
“Every lawyer I know goes after transactional work on a piecemeal basis. Drafting a $10,000 agreement, putting together an offering memorandum for $3,000. Early on I met a group of attorneys from other parts of the country who only worked with clients on a flat annual fee. Seeing them do this successfully gave me confidence that it was possible. That’s the only way I work with my clients.”
Surrounding yourself with people who have already achieved the success you desire, especially when it comes to client attraction, is not only inspiring, it also provides you with behavior you can model.
Ask People to Invest in the Value You Provide
Great clients recognize value. You must help them see the value you provide.
People value the products, services, and experiences they invest in.
If you do not ask for the investment, people will not value you or your advice. If you give away your advice, they will not view it as valuable.
Do you offer free consultations? What message does that send to your client?
Everyone else does it? Is everyone else successful? Most aren’t. They pretend to be. They tell you they are.
I’d rather do three paid consultations and command a 50% fee premium (compared to my competition) than do six free consultations and make the same amount of money. Why work harder for the same money just because “everyone else does it?”
Great clients take you at your own appraisal. Free consultations say to a prospective “I have nothing of value to offer in an initial meeting and I have little confidence.”
But don’t believe me. Try it.
That’s the only way to really determine if it will have an impact on the clients you engage.
Never Take Anything Personally
Everybody has an opinion and people will not hesitate to share theirs with you.
As stated above, if you want advice, seek someone who has experience achieving the success you desire and ask him/her for assistance. If your client offers you advice on how to work with him/her, listen and take action.
Completely disregard all other feedback.
Why? Because less than 2% of business leaders achieve their goals yet 90% have an opinion on how you should live your life and run your law firm.
If they’ve done it successfully and you respect them, or if they are a client and they pay you, take their advice.
Ignore all others and NEVER, EVER take criticism personally.
When people offer you “friendly advice,” it says more about them than it says about you.
Clients (individuals who pay you) and your peers doing what you want to do, offer a roadmap that will point you toward success. Follow the road map but don’t mistake it for a mirror.
Great clients are attracted to people who provide valuable experiences, products, and services. They will invest in a relationship with you if you create that environment.
These are just a few of the steps you can take to make this happen. First, you must decide if you deserve great clients.
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