An Outline for Marketing Strategy

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An Outline for Marketing Strategy

Episode Summary

Here is your marketing plan all wrapped up with a bow on it. Listen to this podcast and implement the guidance it contains and you will have a winning business plan.

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Outline For Marketing Strategy

Hi, there. Welcome once again to another edition of the Valtimax podcast. Today on our show we are going to talk about the marketing method that you can employ to help your professional practice, your law firm or your business grow at an exponential rate. I’m going to use an acronym that will help you remember this marketing method and use it effectively in the future. The acronym I’m going to use with you today DUNCE. That’s right, DUNCE. D-U-N-C-E DUNCE. It’s not because I think that you in anyway are foolish. I think that you are probably one of the smartest people around because you’re listening to this podcast.

DUNCE is an acronym that makes it easy for you to understand how great marketing really is developed and it gives you some insight into great marketing strategy. Before we get started, let me remind you that this is the Valtimax podcast and I’m Dave Lorenzo and I own two consulting companies. The first consulting company is Rainmaker Lawyer Consulting where I help attorneys make a great living and live a great life. I do that by focusing them on business strategy, practice management, client relationship development, client attraction, and productivity improvement.

Valtimax Consulting is my second company and that’s the company that I use and we work through to train other consultants to help people in business make a great living and life a great life. We have two companies focused on one goal that’s helping attorneys and helping business leaders make a great living and live a great life. One of the ways we do that is through client attraction and relationship development. That’s where this DUNCE, D-U-N-C-E, marketing strategy comes in. The D is where we’re going to start. The D in the DUNCE strategy stands for diversity.

You need diversity in your marketing. The reason you need diversity is because if you focus specifically on one marketing strategy, over the long-term you will end up doing damage to your business as a whole. I’ll give you the Internet as a specific example. I work with lots of attorneys today who have focused their time, their energy, their efforts on building a strong presence on the Internet and there’s nothing wrong with that. I encourage attorneys to build a strong presence on the Internet. To come up on the top of page one when people search for lawyers who are in their practice area.

The challenge for those attorneys comes when that’s their only marketing strategy. If they’re getting 70, 80, 90% of their clients from the Internet, specifically from search engine optimization or from pay-per-click advertising, they run a huge risk of being shut out at a moments notice when Google changes their algorithm. It is better for you to have 100 ways to get one client than one way to get 100 clients. Let me say that again. It is better for you to have 100 ways to get one client than one way to get 100 clients.

What I encourage you to do is focus in at least ten different areas and get no more than 10% of your clients from any one area. That doesn’t mean that you have to go out and find ten specifically different areas to develop clients. In reality, if you are a professional service provider there are probably only four ways that you’re going to attract new clients en masse in a way that you’re able to use to leverage your talent and your natural ability.

Those four ways, we use the acronym SPIN to describe those four ways. First is speaking. You get up in front of a group, you speak. People come to you and they say, “Hey, I’m interested in learning more.” You take their contact information, you follow up. Or you hold an event and it’s your personal event. You educate them throughout the course of a day and then they sign up to work with you for the long-term. Speaking is a phenomenal way to develop business. Even within speaking, you have to have diversity. You need to do a combination of hosting your own events as well as speaking at the events that are hosted by other people.

I would prefer that you speak at at least one event per month hosted by another person and that you host one event per quarter yourself. That’s a tremendous amount of diversity because that gives you 12 opportunities to get in front of audiences to hone your craft and to develop leads that can come into your business, your law firm, and do business with you. It gives you four opportunities to take those leads and convert them into clients by hosting a one-day event either at your office or at a restaurant, at a hotel on content that you’ve fully develop further.

Speaking is a phenomenal way to get clients. I just gave you 12 + 4, so that’s 16 ways to get clients through speaking events, 16 opportunities through the course of a year to get clients through speaking events. You can use the same speech almost every single time when you’re speaking to new people out on the road during those 12 events and you can develop content for four specific days and use other attorneys and other practice areas to help you fill in the content. We can get into that when we develop a speaking system directly for you or you can listen to the podcast I did on speaking way back when, a few years ago.

The second way to create diversity in your marketing plan is through publishing. That’s the P in SPIN. The S is speaking, the P is publishing. You can publish in all different kinds of venues. The first place you should publishing is on your website. You should write at least one article a week and publish it on your website. You can call it an article section. You can call it a blog. I don’t care what you call it. You should be putting up new content, at least one article a week on your website.

You should also be publishing an email newsletter. Take that article that you put on your website and send it out once a week in an email newsletter. You should also be publishing a print newsletter. Take the four articles that you write and publish on your website and in your e-newsletter each week, put them in hard copy, fold it over, put a stamp on it, and send it out to everybody in your email list and your address list and you’ve got a print newsletter. You should also be writing unique article content for industry trade publications. That’s right. Industry trade publications love content. They love content from you. You need to publish as frequently as possible.

If you are an attorney who does corporate work and you focus on, let’s say, the manufacturing industry, there’s two dozen trade magazines that publish for the manufacturing industry. What you should do is you should submit an article every month to the editors of each of those two dozen magazines. You call up the editor, you find out when the deadline is, you send the article in before the deadline. You have your assistant call and follow up to see if the article’s going to get published or not. If it doesn’t get published, you get feedback on it and you write an article that’s better for the next month. You can do this over and over again. There’s hundreds and hundreds of different industry trade publications. If you look for industries where your best clients come from, you can publish in those trade journals and you should be sending articles to those journals each and every single month.

The next area is the Internet. We talked about search engine optimization. You can invest in search engine optimization if you want as part of your marketing mix, as part of your diversity, but it shouldn’t be the only thing you do. You can invest in pay-per-click if you’d like to. You need to have a professional manage it for you. Don’t try and manage it yourself because the learning curve is just too steep. You need to be prepared to spend a substantial amount of money on pay-per-click advertising. You should also focus on delivering traffic to your website via social media using content that you already have.

If you have not listened to the podcast I did just last week on how to develop an Internet marketing system for under $400 a month, you need to go back and do that. Because that provides you with a dozen or more different ways to develop client relationships on the Internet for under $400 a month. It’s a podcast that I did just last week. Go back to the Valtimax podcast and look for last week’s episode. You can find it on iTunes or on Google Play. Look for the episode on how to develop a marketing system for the Internet for under $400. If you’re a lawyer you can put in develop a marketing system for under $400 at in the search bar and you will find that podcast. That will help you create diversity in your Internet marketing.

The N in SPIN for diversity stands for networking. You should be very strategic in your networking because networking takes up a lot of time and most of us don’t have time to spare. Here’s how I encourage you to use your networking. You need to belong to three types of groups. You need to belong to a charitable organization, you need to belong to a civic organization, and you need to belong to a structured networking organization. Those are the three types of groups you need to belong to.

If you belong to a charitable organization, the only way you’re going to get business out of it is if you get yourself on the board of that organization and you help them make decisions for the allocation of their resources. That’s going to be difficult to do if you’re not prepared to invest a significant amount of money yourself. You must do that. Get on the board. Network with the people who are on the board and make sure that you add them to your follow up list for newsletters, your follow up list for contacts, for events at your office, that sort of thing.

Civic organizations like chambers of commerce or the rotary or organizations that give back to the community. I encourage you to take the same tact, follow the same strategy. Get on the board of directors, get on the board of some committees, get involved. Work with people who are influential in the community and add them to your newsletter list. Add them to your follow up system so that you make sure that you stay in touch with them over the long haul. Structured networking is great if you have the time to invest in building relationships. People who are in organizations like BNI. B-N-I, the letters. BNI stands for Business Network International. Or LeTip, that’s another networking group.

People who are in those organizations are there to pass referrals. If you choose to get involved with one of those organizations, know that you’re showing up once a week at a meeting and the meeting is highly structured and you must show up at least 80% of the time or they’re going to throw you out. Then, you need to invest time in building relationships with the people who are in the room along with you each and every single week. If you’re not prepared to do that then you shouldn’t join one of those organizations.

Here’s the thing. Your success in a structured networking organization is only going to be as good as the people who are in the room with you. Make sure you visit lots of chapters of each of those organizations. Make sure you speak with and interview who are in the room to determine what types of businesses they have and determine whether they’re a good fit for you. Networking, three types of organizations, and make sure you’re out and about and following up constantly with all the people who are in those organizations with you. That’s our topic of diversity, the D in the DUNCE marketing strategy. Remember, one way to get 100 clients is bad. One hundred ways to get one client, good.

The next letter in the DUNCE marketing strategy is urgency. Urgency. All too often I see people who get a lead or people who are contacted by a client and they don’t follow up quickly. There is only now. That’s the phrase I want you to remember when it comes to marketing. There is only now. If you don’t make a deal with that client, if you don’t get that client in the door today, you are going to lose out on the opportunity to do business with that client down the road.

Every client who calls into your office must receive a return phone call within two hours. It doesn’t have to be from you. It could be from an assistant, somebody on your staff, and they can say something to the effect of, “Mr. Lorenzo’s tied up with clients all day today. I’d love for him to take the opportunity to speak with you. May I make you an appointment to speak with him on Tuesday? May I make you an appointment to speak with him next week? May I make you an appointment to speak with him at 4:00 this afternoon?” That’s the response clients should get when you’re busy.

Having urgency and getting back to a client or addressing a client’s needs is not something that’s a sign of weakness. It’s not poor positioning. It’s something that is a sign that you respect people and you have respect for their time. You don’t, and I’ll repeat this because it’s really important. You don’t need to call these people back yourself. You merely need to have someone call them back and make an appointment for you to speak with them. Whether that appointment’s later today, tomorrow or down the road, a week from now if you’re in trial. It doesn’t matter. Just the fact that you’re getting back to them and letting them know when you’re going to speak with them live is good enough.

I also have to help you understand that urgency is created when you proactively communicate with the client. A client comes into your office and they want something that’s going to take a number of months. For example, these days we talk quite a bit to real estate attorneys about doing foreclosure defense or short sale process where you’re holding off the bank from foreclosing on your home while you try to sell it. The attorneys that we work with, work their way through this process and they’re dealing with banks which are a big bureaucracy. Quite similar to dealing with the government.

In this case, you need to be proactive and have your staff communicate with your clients each and every single week, “Here’s what we did on your behalf,” and they send emails or they leave voice mail messages, “Here’s what we’re going to do next week.” Even if you’re telling them that you reached out to the bank 15 times and left 15 voice mails on their behalf and you continue to try and call the bank and work something out with them. Your telling them what you’re doing helps them alleviate their sense of urgency and helps them keep from constantly calling you.

Proactive communication with clients, with perspective clients, and with referral sources, especially with referral sources, is critically important in your marketing process. Let’s say in the case that we just mentioned, you get business from realtors. Whether it’s home closings, residential closings or litigation matters that are referred to your by realtors. You must communicate proactively with them and keep them abreast of what’s going on on their matter or on the matter involving their client. If you do that, you will enable them to communicate effectively with their client and you’ll prevent them from calling your office 15 times. They will think that your ability to communicate is off-the-charts good. Even if you call them and say, “Here’s what we’ve done this week. There’s nothing new to report, but we did take several steps in order to make sure that your client’s case is progressing as rapidly as we want.”

That’s diversity, that’s urgency. Now let’s talk about the N in the DUNCE strategy and that’s new. Everybody wants to work on something or with someone that’s new. The shiny new object gets all the attention. You need to continuously dust off old ideas and make then new once again. Here’s how you can dust off old ideas and make them new. First, you can create a flashy new name to concept that’s been around for quite some time. You’ll notice that people who are successful develop systems, they develop names for things and they make them catchy. There’s a certain amount of cachet associated with the things that they do.

Take the ShamWow for example. You may have seen this product advertised by an obnoxious pitchman on TV. That ShamWow is simply a shammy cloth. Shammy cloths have been around for 25, 30 years. People use it to clean their cars. They use it to clean around their house. This guy came up with a fantastic name for it and he markets it as the ShamWow. It’s fantastic. It’s a shammy cloth. It’s a rag for goodness sake and he’s got a great name for it. There are thousands of products out there that are old products with a new name.

Your processes, your systems, you can come up with names for them that can make them seem shiny, attractive and new. If you’re the real estate attorney we were just talking about, you can tell people about your concierge closing practice where you communicate with the realtor and with the client on a daily basis, giving them progress from the time that they start on the file until the time that it’s closed. Whether it takes three days, three weeks, or three months, you’re going to communicate with them everyday because they’re part of the concierge closing process. That’s just one example.

Another way that you can make things seem new or attractive to clients is by offering them multiple testimonials. My friends out there who are listening who are attorneys, I have to tell you that testimonials are completely permitted in every state in the United States, every country around the world once you have a relationship with the client. You have a relationship with the client and you sit down with the client and you say, “I think you’re going to love our concierge closing process. Most of my clients do. Here’s the way it works.”

You explain the process to them, “Here are some letters of reference from people who we have successfully worked with in the concierge closing process,” and you hand them 30 testimonial letters from 30 happy clients, and you say to them, “Would you like the concierge closing process which is 100% more or our standard closing process which we have a few testimonials for and we’ve done good work on, but we don’t communicate as frequently or as often.” Obviously you’re going to do a better job of presenting the two, but you see what I’m trying to do here. You offer overwhelming testimonial support to make something old seem spectacular and new.

Another to make something that’s been around for a while seem new is through exclusivity. You simply tell people that you only accept a certain number of clients per month and then you hold true to that word, “Our concierge closing process is fantastic, but it’s so labor intensive on our part that we only allow five clients to enroll in the concierge closing process in any given month. This is the 15th of the month and we already have four clients. Would you like to be the last client to enroll in this process for this month? Or would you prefer our standard closing process?” Exclusivity is a fantastic way to make something old seem new.

Finally, luxury is a fantastic way to make something old seem new. Luxury can be created by packaging a product with other products and services or packaging a service with other services. Your concierge closing process can involve a limousine picking people up to and from the closing. It can involve also a bottle of champagne given to the people who bought and sold the home afterwards. It can involve closing right in the privacy of your own home where the paralegal or the attorney comes to you and brings you the documents and you sign them. That conveys luxury and that can make something old seem new. That’s the N in the DUNCE model.

The C in the DUNCE model stands for clarity. Clarity is enormously important when it comes to marketing. I see people mess this up all the time. Your message needs to be crystal clear and you should ask for only one action at any time from your clients. One action at a time. If you are speaking to a group of people and you want them to give you their contact information so that you can add them to your newsletter list, you offer them the opportunity to get a free CD in order for them to understand exactly how they can hire a lawyer who does what you do.

That free CD is available to them by passing their business cards through the center aisle. Once they do that, they will get their copy of the free CD and that’s the only offer you make to them, “If you want a free CD, pass your business card through the center aisle and I’ll be happy to give you a copy of this free CD.” That’s the only message you convey at the end of your talk. You don’t say, “Call me.” You don’t say, “Come to my office.” You don’t say, “Let me tell you about what I’m doing in my business.” You give them one message and one message only. That’s clarity. Every single marketing technique, every marketing strategy, every marketing message you use has only one focused call to action. That’s it. Clarity in your marketing. That’s the C in the DUNCE model.

Finally, the E in the DUNCE model is quite frankly the most important and this stands for external. Your marketing must be externally oriented. You do not start any marketing message, you do not start any talk or presentation, you do not start any communication with you and what you do. You start with the client and his needs and the pain that he’s feeling. You walk up on stage and you say to them, “I know why you’re here today. You’re here because each one of you owns a home that you wish you hadn’t bought at the price that you paid. All of you are facing staggering mortgage payments because your mortgages have adjusted and you don’t know what you’re going to do because you cannot make those payments. That’s what you’re facing and I’m glad that you’re here. Because we’ve got five ways that we can relieve this pain today.”

That’s external orientation. Every marketing message begins and ends with the pain the client is feeling, with the desire the client has, and you speak to how you help their pain go away. How you can help their desire be fulfilled. You don’t talk about your 150 years of combined experience. You don’t talk about how great and beautiful your website is. You don’t talk about the fine mahogany and Corinthian leather in your office. You don’t talk about any of that. You focus on your client, what he’s feeling, how you can make him feel better, and how you can improve the situation that he’s found himself in.

D-U-N-C-E. Diversity, urgency, newness, clarity, and external orientation. That’s the DUNCE marketing method. If you put it into practice today, you be anything but a dunce. You will be a marketing superstar and the clients will beat a path to your door. That will do it for this week’s episode of the Valtimax podcast. My name is Dave Lorenzo and I’d like your feedback and comments on this week’s episode. You can call me at 888-692-5531 or email me at [email protected] Here’s hoping you make a great living and live a great life. Bye-bye.

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