Rarely is marketing a one time event. Rather, it is a series of interactions you have with prospects as they try to solve their problems. Here are the 5 steps prospects take when deciding to hire you as their attorney.
Step 1 – Awareness
Nothing happens until someone realizes they have a problem. Sometimes, this is an immediate need -your prospect just was arrested or sued. Other times, this is something they’ve been thinking about for some time – starting a new business, buying commercial real estate, or expanding their business internationally. In the awareness stage, something kicks in and your prospect starts actively thinking of possibilities.
Step 2 – Research
Once your prospect has an issue on his mind, he starts gathering information. What should he do? What possible solutions are out there? Is it urgent or can it wait? Is it risky to move forward? Is he willing to take that risk? Can he solve the problem himself or must he hire outside help? Does he know anyone else that was in a similar situation? What did they do? Are there any books on the subject? What information can he find via the web? At a seminar? In the research stage, your prospect starts trying to find information about his problem, whether he needs to take action, and what possible actions he might take.
Step 3 – Evaluate Solutions
Once your prospect feels comfortable that he’s gathered enough information to make an informed decision, he starts to compare options, weighing the risks and benefits of each. Here, he’ll probably weigh the benefits of solving the problem himself or hiring a lawyer. If he feels he needs to hire an attorney, he’ll initiate contact with your law firm and set up a consultation to discuss his problem. In the evaluate solutions stage, your prospect is much closer to making a decision. Here’s where he’ll want to talk with you to find out what you can do for him.
Step 4 – Hire a Lawyer
Once your prospect has evaluated all the solutions in front of him, he must make the decision to move forward with one. Hopefully, you’ve just signed on a new client.
Step 5 – Re-Evaluate Solution
Signing a new client is just the beginning of your working relationship. Now, your client will be looking for reassurance that he made the right decision. He’ll have expectations for working with you, so it’s up to you to make sure he’s in the loop and is happy with your working relationship.