Attorney Marketing Article: “Anyone Can Do It” Simple And Inexpensive Practice Marketing Tips

One of the requests I hear from time to time goes something like this: “Never mind the philosophy, never mind the talk about ‘branding, ‘centers of influence’ and ‘the buying experience,’ just give me a few, low-cost, anyone-can-do-it marketing tips for financial professionals.”

Okay, here you have it.

NOTE CARDS

Every Monday morning, have your assistant put a stack of 50 fold-over note cards on your desk. Your task is to write a quick, one- or two-sentence note on each card and then send out all 50 cards that week, 10 per day.

You should send the cards out to anyone and everyone. These include fellow professionals and referral sources, your clients, old clients who haven’t heard from you in years, prospective clients, the person you saw in the elevator last week, your minister or priest, to anyone you’d like to meet and to anyone you recently met.

Take this a step further. Go and buy a copy of your local newspaper. In the business section there is usually a page or so devoted to announcements–who has been appointed, who has been promoted, who received an award, who attended an event, etc. Send every one of these people a note.

2,600 PERSONAL TOUCHES

Back in the 1960s, a car salesman in Detroit was something of a legend in the world of automobile sales. One year, he made $200,000, at a time when the chairman of General Motors was earning a salary of $125,000.

When interviewed about his outstanding success, very little about him seemed remarkable. One of his habits seemed strange, however. Every month he sent out 13,000 postcards. Each one said the same thing: “I like you.” Asked why he did this, he replied, “I just want folks to know I like ’em.”

If you send out 50 cards a week, you will send out 2,600 cards each year. That’s 2,600 personal touches that will give someone an overwhelmingly positive impression of you. Many will mention it or show it to someone else. You do the math.

Weekly cost: about $25 in cards and postage.

If you send out 50 cards a week, you will send out 2,600 cards each year.

A WARM WELCOME

Have a welcome sign in your lobby. In the financial services industry, you are in the relationship business. Your relationship with your clients and potential clients begins in earnest when they step through your door. A welcome sign demonstrates the importance you place on your relationship with that client or prospect, your attention to detail, and the courtesy each person can expect from your entire organization.

At Smart Marketing, we welcome each of our visitors with a simple sign that can be purchased at most office-supply stores for less than $85. Hundreds of times every year we hear, “That sign makes me feel so special.”

For a few dollars and very little effort, you can demonstrate your commitment from the very first moment you meet with someone, and for each visit thereafter.

Cost: $85 plus a few pennies for paper and ink.

A SPECIAL GIFT

Print a gift certificate. Make sure it’s graphically impressive. Many of my clients use one that looks like a dollar bill, but you can make it in any denomination you want. The gift certificate entitles the potential client to a one-hour planning session (or consultation, or evaluation).

Whenever the opportunity presents itself–at a seminar or a networking event, or simply when you meet a prospect–give him a gift certificate. However, I suggest you write two things on the certificate: the person’s name (the certificate is nontransferable), and an expiration date (usually in three weeks). This is because you are giving a workshop next month and all your available free consultations soon will be taken.

The gift certificate helps you overcome a number of challenges. First, one of the biggest obstacles of marketing a professional service is that the service is invisible and intangible. The gift certificate gives form to something you do, something you offer.

Another problem you usually face is procrastination on the part of the client. The gift certificate creates a perceived shortage (of your time) and a sense of urgency (he has to use it in the next three weeks). It capitalizes on those two great human motivators–fear (“I might lose out if I don’t make the appointment”) and greed (“I can get a $500 planning session for no cost.”).

Finally, the certificate helps you create an emotional bond that is far more important than any demonstration of expertise. People do not perceive the certificate as a sales effort; they see it as a gift.

Cost: $68 for 200, four-color gift certificates.

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