Your most valuable business asset is your law firm contact database. This should include the contact information of your current and past clients, prospects, referral sources, media contacts, and potential referral partners.
A good law firm contact database allows you to add new clients quickly and send mailings based on segmentation. For instance, you should be able to filter your list for prospects who haven’t yet become clients in the last three months so you can send mailings and marketing promotions to them. You will want to send a different marketing campaign to each type of contact.
There are essentially five steps to creating a contact strategy you can use to market your services to the people who matter most to your business. These include:
- Decide which law firm CRM software to use. There are numerous CRM software vendors out there, so find one you like such as Sage ACT! or the web-based HighriseHQ. Or, if you are more comfortable using Microsoft Outlook or Excel – use that. The best CRM software is one you will use.
- Add your contacts. Go through your list of contacts, your stacks of business cards, your emails, and so forth to pull together all your business contacts. When you are finished, you should have several types of contacts: current clients, past clients, prospects, current referral partners, past referral partners, prospective referral partners, and media contacts. You will want to note which contacts have given you permission to follow up. Don’t send out a mass email newsletter to all your contacts if they haven’t requested to join your mailing list – that’s spam!
- Follow up with contacts. If this is the first time you’ve put together your database, now is a good time to start reaching out to people one-by-one and reconnecting. Start with your past clients as well as current and past referral partners since they should be less intimidating than prospects or media contacts. Try to set up in-person meetings such as coffee, lunch, or golf so you can rebuild relationships. Then, you can casually ask them if they mind being added to your mailing list so you can keep them up-to-date on the latest happenings in your industry.
- Create your prospecting strategy. Look over your list of potential clients. Which leads are the warmest? How will you follow up with them? If you are targeting consumers and generate leads consistently, you might put together a generic follow up sequence you send out to all leads. If you are targeting large corporations, your follow up strategy will need to be tailored to each prospect. Study the corporation and look for opportunities to get your foot in the door.
- Create your referral partner acquisition strategy. How can you make contact with potential referral partners? Do you know them personally? Do you know someone who can give you an introduction? What can you offer them that will motivate them to send referrals your way?
Now, start working your law firm contact database. Make sure to note when you contact each person, what was said, and when you will follow up next.