Want to know how to pick the right clients?
Start with the right relationships.
Referral sources are critical to the success of any law firm. Marketing to these sources of repeat business is essential. If you are in a consumer-driven law practice area (criminal law, probate law, family law) you need to concentrate your marketing efforts on people who influence others in large numbers. These are the relationships that will deliver excellent results for you.
If you are a transactional attorney and you target corporate clients, you should focus on companies with numerous issues you can work on. Look for companies with many different problems you can solve.
Below is an outline of how you can go about targeting some high value clients and referral sources. Ultimately, the choice of clients is yours. But you need to create enough demand in order to be selective.
How to Target High Value Clients
Look at the Total Potential of the Relationship
Many lawyers have the attitude that any business should be retained at any cost. This is wrong. You should only take clients that fit your ideal criteria.
Each attorney must set the criteria for himself as all clients are not created equal. If you practice law in a field where each individual client has the potential to provide you with several matters, then you can move to a direct client marketing plan.
If you practice law in a field where the clients only have one or two matters in a lifetime, then you should focus your marketing resources on referral sources. These are long term relationships that will have tremendous value to you and your law firm.
Think About the Second (or Third) Matter Up Front
The first matter sent to you by any referral source (or with any long term client) should not be viewed as an opportunity to get rich. This is simply an opportunity to establish a relationship that could last for a long time. Do not cut corners. Do not charge a higher fee than is normal. Use this first matter as an opportunity to establish a relationship.
Keep your mind on the future business this resource will provide.
Target the Big Fish and the Small Ones will Wander Into the Net
The clients with one-off matters will still find their way to you even though you are targeting the bigger clients. Your referral sources will generate enough interest so that your waiting room will be full. If a matter is right for you and your law firm, you should take it. But keep your marketing focus on referral sources and large clients with multiple matters.