One of my favorite words in marketing is “touch point.” Why? Touch points are reasons for clients/prospects to learn more about how you can help them meet their objectives, as well as a way to provide value-add information with follow-up.It is common for professional service marketing and business development efforts to fall flat based on the lack of powerful follow-up (use of touch points). Lawyers build business based on relationships. The efforts of your marketing team can drive brand recognition, but the trust and rapport that is built during the “business development” process is what sells. Having your clients keep you top of mind is essential for success and an easy way to do that is consistent follow-up to keep your name in front of them. Look at these general statistics (from a study from McGraw Hill):
- 48% of sales people never follow-up with a prospect
- 25% of sales people make a second contact and stop
- 12% of sales people only make 3 contacts and stop
- Only 10% of sales people make more than 3 contacts
- 2% of sales are made on the first contact
- 3% of sales are made on the second contact
- 5% of sales are made on the third contact
- 10% of sales are made on the fourth contact
- 80% of sales are made on the fifth to twelfth contact
Now, with that said, follow-up is not just something you do after a meeting. Follow-up, as defined by Dictionary.com is an action or thing that serves to increase the effectiveness of a previous one, as a second or subsequent letter, phone call, or visit. Follow-up is often as important as the initial contact in gaining new clients. Here are a few ways that you can effectively follow-up and add value:
o After a meeting, send a thank you e-mail with next steps (demonstrates your interest in helping meet their needs).
o For positive press (client/prospect), send a congratulation note on the news.
o Inform clients/prospects about a book, article, industry reports or website that might help to them based on conversations they have had with them.
o Reach out to see if a client/prospect would like to grab a coffee/lunch to chat about a new trend your firm is seeing in the industry (this is a great opportunity to bring along another lawyer to chat about the trend and introduce them to another area of the firm.
o Ask clients/prospects if they would like to be added to pertinent e-mail/newsletter lists.
o At firm events, for your clients or prospects that attended, send them an article that expands their knowledge of the topic of the event. The key here is to send a piece that’s adds value (not a product slip – an article, checklist, etc.)
o At firm events, get with your marketing team to see who RSVP but did not show. Contact key individuals to see if they would like to set a meeting to discuss the topic in more detail. Send the slide presentation to those that did not attend and see if they would like to set a meeting to discuss key points of the presentation.
o For those you met during networking portion before or after an event, send a “nice to meet you” or “great seeing you again” e-mail; send pertinent article/information on areas of interest they mentioned to you (to keep the doors open); ask for a lunch/coffee meeting to continue discussions and build relationships.
o Inform them of an upcoming event/webinar that may be of interest to them.
o If your firm has news that can be of interest to your clients/prospect, share it with them (press in reputable publications, new hires of the firm they might be interested in meeting (especially if industry focused or have a niche specialty), new location that is in alignment with their footprint, etc.).
o Reach out to them to refer a prospect to their business.We know that the sales process can take a considerable amount of time to complete. It’s important to stay in front of clients/prospects consistently so that when they’re ready to buy you’ll be there. Another reason to stay top of mind with your prospects and clients is that they may not be ready to purchase today, but they may know someone else who is.
Here’s to taking time to execute touch points and build your business.