If you are like many attorneys, you have tried many things to market your law firm. Marketing for lawyers often includes giving seminars and presentations, going to networking events, writing articles, talking to old law school buddies, meeting with potential referral sources, building law firm websites, and sending out holiday cards to remind clients of who you are.

When marketing your law firm, there are four different groups of people you come into contact with, and which group they fall into will usually tell you how you should follow up with them. It is important to understand the differences between each group:

Leads are people or companies who are unqualified and may or may not need your services or even be able to afford your services. Leads come from a presentation you make to a local trade group, by visiting your law firm website, or perhaps sending you a question in an email.

Prospects are people who have some level of qualification. They have either expressed a need for your services or they fall into a category that you believe has a high likelihood of needing your services. The major differences between leads and prospects are two-fold: you know who they are and you have a good reason to believe they need your services.

Clients are the third group you need to follow up with. A client is someone who has paid you money. Do not confuse prospects with clients. If someone hasn’t signed an agreement and paid you money yet, they are not your client.

Referrals are the last group you need to follow up with as part of your law firm marketing plan. They may be current referral sources, former referral sources (they haven’t sent you any new leads or prospects in the last 12 months), or prospective referral sources.

I have coached and trained over 7,000 lawyers in virtually every practice area. The difference between financially successful attorneys and struggling attorneys is often found in their follow-up.

Top attorneys clearly understand “the fortune is in the follow up”. They plan ahead and lay out a clear game plan for following up with every person they connect with.

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