The Best Way to Catch New Clients


Generally speaking, I find that many (maybe even most) younger attorneys I meet – say those born after 1960 - are willing and, in many cases, eager to “market.” They realize that marketing and business development are part and parcel of being a successful lawyer and essential to operating a successful law firm.

In most law firms, existing client relationships tend to be controlled by more senior lawyers. That means that junior lawyers must go outside the firm to find clients and build their books of business. And we all know, it’s just not that easy.

Studies tell us that it takes 8-11 “impressions” to convert a prospect to a client. On top of that, it takes 5-7 times more time, effort and energy to generate a new matter from a new client than from an existing one. Needless to say, finding new clients takes time (non-billable), commitment and perseverance.

So what should a young lawyer who wants to build a book of business do in order to create these 8-11 impressions? Where is the best place to invest that precious time, effort and energy?

To use a fishing analogy, you’ve got to first figure out what kind of fish you want to catch and then hang out where they do. The “fish,” of course, are the prospective clients. The place they hang out -– the “reef,” if you will -- is their association. It’s where they go to be with others like them. It’s where they learn and keep abreast of industry trends. And you need to be there…one of the fish, part of the school, actively involved and, one day, leading the way.

When it comes to organizational involvement, most lawyers join and seldom go. Or they pick the wrong organization for marketing and business development purposes. Our October “Marketing Tip of the Month” counts down our top ten recommendations to maximize your ROI from involvement in associations.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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