Your better-than-ideal client


If you’re writing or updating the description of your ideal client, you might want to add an additional factor that might make your ideal client even better.

That factor: they’ve hired or worked with attorneys in the past.

People who have hired attorneys usually understand the need and the cost, as well as the process that ensues after they hire them. You don’t have to work hard to persuade them to hire an attorney, you only need to persuade them to choose you.

Okay, but:

  1. How do you find them?
  2. How do you persuade them to choose you?

I’ve covered the second question before and will do so again. Right now, a few thoughts about the first question.

One way to find people who have likely hired attorneys before is to network and speak to groups whose members or clients typically use attorneys. Rental property owners, retailers with collection accounts, homeowners associations, hospital boards, to name a tiny few.

Look at the groups your (ideal) clients belong to. Do they have local events you can attend? Are they looking for speakers? Do they have publications or blogs you can write for or advertise in?

You could also do PPC ads with keywords (and copy) slanted to appeal to members of those types of groups. If you do direct mail, you can rent lists of people who belong to those groups.

You could also rent lists of litigants, gleaned from public records. People who have sued or been sued are statistically more likely to sue or be sued again.

A great way to find prospective clients who have experience working with attorneys is via referrals.

Attorneys who don’t do what you do, or do but have a conflict, can be an excellent source. They can identify clients who are “between” firms and actively looking for a new one, and clients who have legal issues that are a good match for you. When they introduce and recommend them to you, those clients are more likely to trust you and less likely to keep looking.

Accountants, business consultants, and financial professionals have clients and contacts who have worked with attorneys and are also a good source of referrals.

Start by identifying attorneys by practice area who are likely to have clients or contacts who have worked with attorneys (or otherwise quality as “ideal clients” for you). Find out what you can about them and approach them to see if you can work together.

What’s the best way to find these attorneys and other professionals? What’s the best way to approach them? And, most importantly, how do you get them to send you referrals?

I’ve laid out the entire process in my course, Lawyer-to-Lawyer Referrals.