Every good Marketing Action Plan includes measurable goals or results you want to achieve. For example:
- Increase new inquiries about our services by 10 people per month or
- Generate 2 new client referrals every month or
- Build relationships with 6 new CPAs in the next 6 months or
- Send out a firm newsletter 12 times this year or
- Hold a series of client-only seminars at our office 4 times this year and have an average of 10 people attend each one
We’ve all heard the principle that you cannot manage what you cannot measure. Here’s another one: tasks that are measured are more likely to be completed! Have a clear process in place to measure their results. Be sure they know what your expectations are ahead of time and then hold them accountable for the results and for meeting the deadlines you both have agreed upon.
How are you going to reward them? It may be enough for some staff members to be paid whatever you are currently paying them in order to motivate them enough to help you implement your marketing efforts, but you may want to consider rewarding them or giving them performance bonuses based on the results. Be careful here as you are all well aware that you cannot ethically fee split with a non-attorney. However, you can performance bonus an employee.
Don’t be afraid of being creative with your rewards. It doesn’t just have to be a cash reward. For example, one of my staff prefers paid time off over a cash reward so every time she achieves one of the goals we set for her, she gets some paid time off. Another person may prefer two round trip plane tickets or a weekend vacation when a major milestone is achieved.
One of the good things about running a small business is that rewards can be different for each person based on what motivates them to consistently put forth their best efforts. With every bonus program you want to be sure that you are rewarding the right behavior and the behavior makes the firm money.
One of my bankruptcy clients gave a $10-$15 bonus for each appointment that was set by a staff member. Within a short period of time the number of his appointments doubled, but his "no show" rate skyrocketed. Why? He was rewarding his staff for the wrong behavior! It’s not the number of appointments that matter as much as the number of appointments that show up to the initial consultation! When we changed the focus of the reward, more appointments started showing up, which resulted in more clients signing up with the firm and increasing the revenues.
In general, I am in favor of having your staff assist in the implementation of the firm’s business development efforts, but you want to carefully assess your marketing needs and your internal resources before you turn over your entire Marketing Action Plan to them.
Unfortunately, I have encountered far too many attorneys who attend one of our two-day legal marketing intensives (www.RainmakerRetreat.com) only to go back to their firm and dump everything in the lap of an already overworked assistant who has no experience with legal marketing, and expect them to perform a marketing miracle! Talk about being disappointed.
Basic legal marketing skills are tough to master for someone who has never had direct experience. I have been a serious student of marketing for the past 13 years and for the last 10 years I’ve been focused exclusively on working with over 9,000 attorneys on how to implement the best practices in law firm marketing and I’m still learning new things!
In my experience working with law firms, without a clear plan in place, simply delegating business development to existing staff members often means it just doesn’t get done.
If you want to explore your options of outsourcing some of your marketing, please contact one of our qualified Rainmaker Advisors for a complimentary strategy session to find out what may be a good solution for your unique situation. You can reach them by calling 888-588-5891 or by filling out this form.
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