Having a great marketing plan doesn’t guarantee success for your practice. Once a prospect steps into your law firm, it’s important to know what to do to convert these prospects into clients.

By Liz Wendling, Business Development Coach

Attorney closing a sale

A great marketing plan allows you to attract prospective clients to your practice. A solid sales process enables you to convert those prospective clients into paying clients. Your sales and marketing efforts work together to create the ultimate success equation. Marketing gets you known and sales get you paid.

Boost your marketing efforts and your closing ratio by sharpening your sales skills. This will make a significant difference to your bottom line.

If prospective clients are calling your office, scheduling consultations, and taking the time to meet you, then your marketing is working. However, if those clients are leaving without hiring you, it means that your selling and closing skills need to be refined.

Let’s consider what is at stake. Let’s pretend that an average client means an additional $5,000 to your practice. And two additional clients per month choose to hire you to handle their divorce instead of hiring your competition. This would net you an additional $10,000 per month, or $120,000 per year.

This increased income would not involve any extra marketing costs. You would still meet with the same number of prospective clients, but more clients would hire you because you took the time to update your approach and strengthen your skills. You took the time to understand how today’s consumer makes a buying decision. Plus, you ensured that your closing techniques were more streamlined, strong, and effective. You put in the same effort with a radically different result.

After doing the math, what dollar amount did you come up with? Was that number shocking? Are you okay with that kind of loss?

Without evolved selling skills and a solid sales strategy, your closing efforts will stall. Your marketing endeavors may be producing great leads, but if you don’t know how to switch gears to close the sale, you won’t produce maximum income results.

Many family law firms choose to spend tens of thousands of dollars on marketing, yet nothing on the most critical element that makes earning income possible: updated sales communication skills! For your marketing efforts to be successful, someone has to hire you and pay you for your expertise and services. And that must happen on a continuous basis.

Money wasted on a marketing planI’m never surprised when a managing partner tells me that her firm has spent its entire budget on marketing, with no money left over for training. Few firms have a dedicated budget for sales training. They are in a vicious cycle. They choose to waste more money attracting more prospects rather than investing money to ensure that those prospects become paying clients.

If you are attracting prospects and not converting them to clients, then you have a costly issue that needs to be addressed. Figuring out why clients aren’t hiring your firm is a problem that is always worth solving.

I recently worked with a family law firm that purchased expensive drive-time radio advertising spots. Many new people took advantage of the free consultation offered, but few hired the firm.

Without looking at why the marketing efforts failed, the firm immediately launched into another high-cost marketing campaign to reach an even bigger audience. The partners were convinced that if they cast a wide enough net and spent more money on marketing, eventually they would close more business.

Wrong. A second attempt and enormous amounts of money later, the partners realized that their marketing was effective but that the selling skills of the attorneys were weak and that their sales approach was a mess. Don’t do another consultation until you clean the process up.

Together we created a client conversion and sales process that was smart, solid, and steady. This firm is now reaping the rewards of a great marketing plan combined with a fully functioning and profit-producing sales plan.

If prospective clients aren’t consistently retaining your services, that’s a clue that your sales process is in dire need of a tweak, an update, or a full-blown transformation. Don’t waste another dime on marketing if your sales process is faulty.

Understanding the difference between marketing and selling will help you focus your efforts and improve your profits. A successful marketing plan works synergistically with a great sales strategy. It is the perfect partnership.

Simply exposing your message to thousands of people doesn’t guarantee success. Investing in how to convert interested prospects into invested clients is the best money that you will ever spend on your business, and it pays for itself over and over, every time you win a new client.

Liz Wendling is a nationally recognized practice development coach for attorneys. Using a straightforward and practical approach, Liz designs and customizes programs for divorce attorneys who want to attract more clients, close more business, and differentiate themselves from the competition. www.therainmakingcoach.com

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