My clients are driving me crazy

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I got an email from an attorney who said, “my clients are driving me crazy”. Apparently, many of his clients don’t appreciate him. They are rude and think they know better and he is finding it difficult to maintain his composure.

What do you do in a situation like that?

The first thing I would suggest is to take a look at yourself. Why? Because your law practice is a reflection of you–your attitudes and habits. If you have a preponderance of clients who don’t appreciate you, that may be because you don’t appreciate them.

We don’t attract the clients we want, we attract the clients we deserve.

Do you appreciate your clients? More importantly, do they know it? Do you show them by your words and deeds that you care about them and will do whatever you can to help them? In what ways do you show them? How often do you show them? Is it sincere or is it something you do because you think you have to?

You can’t fake this. People know.

But you may not know. You may not be able to see yourself clearly. So, ask your staff what they think. Ask other professionals who know you. And ask your clients. Send them a survey they can respond to anonymously and leave room for their suggestions.

The other thing I suggest is that you focus on the clients who do appreciate you so you can attract more like them.

What’s different about them? What services do they hire you to perform? How did they find you? (Clients who come from referrals are often better than clients who come through the Internet or advertising).

Are they at the high end of the fee spectrum or the low end? Are they first time clients or repeat clients? What is their background or occupation? Age? Income level?

Survey them as well and see what they like best about you.

Look for patterns and create a profile of these better clients. Then, work on attracting more like them by focusing your time, energy, and resources marketing to people who fit that profile. Start with your existing and former clients who fit that profile. They will lead you to people like themselves.

And, as soon as possible, start pruning your client garden. Get rid of the clients who don’t appreciate you, first, before you have found clients to replace them. Scary? Yes. But you will feel great getting rid of all that negative energy and soon, the void you create will be filled with the clients you want and deserve.

This shows you how create a profile of your ideal client.

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How to get more referrals

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Every attorney wants to know how to get more referrals. We love ’em, don’t we? They are good for our egos as well as our bank accounts. No matter how many referrals we get we always want more.

So, how do you get more referrals? Mostly, by focusing on three fundamental concepts:

1. Give first

You can get referrals simply because you are good at what you do. Someone needs your help, someone else knows what you do, and the next thing you know, a new client is referred to you. It happens every day.

If you want to get even more referrals, however, you should develop the habit of giving clients more value than they expect or have paid for. Truly serve them. Smother them with attention. Thrill and delight them.

When you do, you invoke the law of reciprocity. Your clients will feel psychologically compelled to reciprocate. That means that not only will they be willing to refer clients, they will often go out of their way to look for them. They owe you. They NEED to reciprocate. And they will.

The same goes for your professional contacts. If you want their referrals, give them referrals first. And look for other ways you can help them. Provide information. Make introductions. Help them solve their problems and achieve their objectives. They too will reciprocate.

But here’s the thing. You cannot give with the expectation of return. You have to give because it is a part of who you are, not the first step in a quid pro quo exchange.

Yes, there will be clients and professional contacts who don’t reciprocate. That’s okay. The more you give, the more you will get, just not necessarily from the people to whom you give.

Call it Karma or The Law of Attraction. When you give, freely and generously, because it makes you feel good to do so, you will attract more referrals. But you will be doubly blessed because you will also experience the joy of giving.

2. Tell people what you want

Make sure your clients and professional contacts know who would be a good referral for you. Educate them about your “ideal client”.

Post articles that describe your ideal client on your website. Link to them in your emails. Print copies and put them in your “new client kit” and in your waiting room.

Be specific about the legal issues and other characteristics of your ideal clients. Describe them by occupation, industry, or background. The more specific you are, the easier it will be for your clients and contacts to recognize a good referral.

Share stories about your ideal clients. Let clients see, in their mind’s eye, what your best clients look like. Every time you share a client success story or case study, not only will people be reminded about the kinds of problems you solve, they will also be reminded to be on the lookout for people like the clients in your stories.

3. Ask for help

Many studies have shown that professionals who ask for referrals, get more referrals.

You can ask directly or indirectly.

Asking directly means speaking to a client or contact and asking, “Who do you know who. . .?” followed by a description of your ideal client. Or, describing your ideal client first and asking people to keep you in mind if they meet someone who fits that description.

Asking indirectly means having someone in your office asking those questions, or, posting that information on your website, in your emails, and in other marketing collateral.

But you don’t have to ask specifically for referrals in order to get referrals. You can ask for other kinds of help.

Ask your clients to refer people to your website, where they can get lots of information about their legal issues and available solutions. Ask them to Like or mention your page, effectively referring that page to their friends and followers. Ask them to forward your report to people they know. Or ask them to invite people to your webinar or seminar.

Ask people to help you, and they will. Especially if you have helped them first.

The Attorney Marketing Formula will help you create a profile of your ideal client. Get the details here.

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