• Janis Donnelly-Coode

I have found a potential client - who is this person and how did they find me?

Updated: Jul 20

We are often asked by our clients what they should do with our legal chat bot, what can it do? Our legal chat bot is fully programmable and so clients are probably frustrated when I come back at them with "What do you want to do with it?"

Marketing is incredibly specific to your business and so it is difficult for me to tell you what to do without knowing more about your business. To help with that I am going to step you through some questions you need to ask yourself.

Marketing funnel

The grey graphic above is what we are going to work through. We are going to start with the questions who is your dream client and how have they come to you? What we want to do in this blog post is to drill down on this part circled in red in the graphic above.

When the five posts are finished I will also be sharing a checklist to work through each of the stages of this graphic, to work out your marketing plan or sales funnel. If you scroll down and join the mailing list you will get the checklist and information sent to you even if you are not a FamilyProperty user.

Who is this potential client?

You are all probably sick of hearing about your dream client or your ideal client, but if everyone is talking about it perhaps it is important. It is a foundational question that you should ask before you can set up your lead magnet. I found this defintion to be a really useful starting point -

That seems obvious but sometimes you need to state the obvious. This is a foundational part of defining your ideal client. I took that definition straight from this blog because it hit the nail on the head. Perhaps in your mind you think someone with a high disposable income is your ideal client. Perhaps you have just completed a course on Facebook marketing and you think your ideal client frequents Facebook, or you are thinking about a certain age group like Baby Boomers. We will get to where to find your clients but for now I want you to ask yourself, honestly, does your service suit that particular group? Who is the perfect match for your service?

Now this foundational question will catch too wide a group to define your ideal client. This is the starting point, but it is important enough that I wanted to emphasise it to begin our review of what you are doing with your marketing funnel.

You also need to drill down more than "they need a lawyer" or "they need a family law mediator" or "they need a family lawyer to help with a parenting plan". If we could use the mediator as an example, is this a collaborative law matter? Is it property, property and children, or children only? Is anyone (or both parties) self represented? Is anyone legally aided? Are there any urgent issues to be addressed? Is there an argument about medical or other treatment for a child with special needs?

You need to drill down to this ideal type of matter, the matter that perfectly fits your service and where you can really add a ton of value. Don't panic about getting too narrow, this is just a sales funnel. It doesn't mean you will not take other matters. It doesn't mean that someone who falls outside of those parametres won't be caught by the sales funnel. This is about clearly addressing this ideal client and using automation to help you create a better lead magnet or onboarding process for your ideal client. Once you have this sales funnel working you can create another one for another type of client if you want, but you need to do one client type at a time.

There is so much valuable information on defining your ideal client so I am not going to repeat it here, but if you want more information you could read about it here, here, here and here.

Point of difference

This is another definition that I am stealing from someone else, because let's face it there is a lot of information out there covering these topics. Point of difference refers to the factors of products or services that establish differentiation. Differentiation is the way in which the goods or services of a company differ from its competitors. Indicators of the point of difference's success would be increased customer benefit and brand loyalty.

However, an excessive degree of differentiation could cause the goods or services to lose their standard within a given industry, leading to a subsequent loss of consumers. Hence, a balance of differentiation and association is required, and a point of parity has to be adopted in order to allow a business to remain or further enhance its competitiveness.

I stole this definition from Wikipedia. I don't think point of difference is a difficult concept. I think what happens is people misuse it.

More than one

Firstly, the name is misleading, you have more than one point of difference. Humans beings are not so two dimensional that you have only one point of difference. You are not looking for the singular solitary point that absolutely no one else is doing. Your point of difference is a collection of points.

You are your profession

Secondly, and this is where I find this Wikipedia definition helpful, you can't have an 'excessive degree of distinction' either. You don't need to reinvent the wheel. If someone is looking for a mediator who handles divorce matters then they want a mediator. You aren't trying to be something other than a mediator, you are just trying to tell your potential clients how you are different to other mediators.

It should be natural

Thirdly your points of difference shouldn't be forced or contrived. This is you highlighting something that already exists in your business or in you. It isn't something that you need to remind your staff or yourself of, it is something that already exists that you are highlighting for your potential new clients. For more on your point of difference you can read my Linked in article on it here.

Your points of difference matter, but they should be natural, an opportunity to tell the potential client how you are different, not a mandate to reinvent how you or your business do things.

When you sign up for the mailing list (scroll down), the checklist you get will step you through these questions.

Your time recording

Now your time recording and business reviews should be answering the question "Who is my ideal client" or "what is my ideal type of work". I don't want you to wait to set up a marketing funnel until you get your time recording sorted though. I will talk later in the blog post about using time recording to help you answer this question.

How have they come to me?

I considered doing a separate blog for this point, but in the end I decided that the two are closely connected. Once you are happy with a working understanding of your ideal client, next you need to answer the question how did they come to you? What channel have they come through on?

Do they initially interact with you by telephone? Do they Google you and look at your website? Do they look you up on a social media channel? How they come to you will dictate how you want to interact with them and how you can either land them as a client or get them into your sales funnel. You will take a different approach if a person hears about you on Facebook and looks you up there, to the approach that you will take if they tend to Google you, get your phone number from your website and call you.

This question has both a historical element (where have your clients come from in the past) and a future facing element (where is your ideal client most likely to hear about you?)

Now again my time recording seminar will help with this, your system should not just record the information that you need to identify who your ideal client is but also where they have come from. However if your practice software isn't doing this yet then you will need to think about some real and existing clients.

It is difficult to answer the future clients question but if I could use a firm I consult with as an example, Novus Law Group is a fully flexible (no set hours) and fully remote (we work from home) firm with three women, all mothers. Not surprisingly many of the potential clients who find our style and approach attractive, and who value a firm that values flexible work, are also working mothers who are time poor. Women like that tend to be on Facebook, we tend to get a lot of referrals through other Mums on Facebook, and most views of our website are happening on a mobile phone (not a computer). This will inform what sort of system I use to capture those particular clients.

A previous firm that I ran the marketing for received most of their new work (that was not word of mouth) through Google, as in someone searched for Penrith Lawyer, visited the website on a computer (not a mobile) and liked the website. Generally if they called us on the phone they had already looked us up online.

Both of these channels would require a different funnel, and a different way to move the potential client into that sales funnel.

Again there are some questions in the checklist to help you work through this information for yourself. If you want to get today's checklist then you can scroll to the bottom of this blog and download it. If you want to get all of the checklist and information emailed to you then sign up to the marketing and lead magnet specific mailing list below.

Don't just time cost, make sure you are time recording.

Join us on Tuesday 28 July for our webinar discussing time costing and time recording. We will go through what you should be recording and how that will help your practice generally, what you should be using your practice management software to record, and all of that will help you to refine the questions 'who is my ideal client' or 'what is my ideal matter type' moving forward.

You can register for that event, which we are co - hosting with Smokeball, by clicking here.

Want more information? Like I said this is the beginning of a five part series, so stay tuned for the rest of the steps that you need to set up your marketing funnel.


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