People don’t remember you. I’m sorry. They don’t.
It’s not that you’re unremarkable. I’m sure you’re about as interesting as they come. Personally, I find you irresistible, and I’m not likely to forget you—ever.
But other people suck. They have their own lives and their own problems, and they’re focused on themselves. They’ll forget you nine minutes after you finish paying for their lunch.
Seriously, they’ve got big problems. They have an unexplained rash, the cat keeps peeing on the sofa, and their spouse is screwing the barista. Not surprisingly, you are not at the top of the list of things to think about.
So you’re getting hungry during a slow month, and you need some new clients. You’d like those absent-minded referral sources to think about you. Actually, you’d like them to do more than think. You’d like some business sent your way. Ideally, the phone would start ringing, right now.
How do you remind them that you exist? A carefully calibrated marketing program aimed at these folks would be ideal. You’d connect with them over time and stay in touch.
But these are desperate times. You’re calling yourself to be sure the phone is working. How can we make it ring—now?
A Five-Step Plan to Get Your Phone Ringing
How do you make things happen today, rather than weeks or months from now?
1. Make a list of your referral sources.
Include everyone, regardless of the recency of their referrals.
2. Make a list of your former clients who left happy.
Only put the people who like you on the list and then narrow it a bit to people you can stand talking to. Leave off the people you already hate.
3. Start dialing.
Don’t e-mail. I know we love e-mail to avoid face-to-face contact. Don’t do it for this project. Use your phone. It’s not doing anything anyway, so use it.
4. With the referral sources, just check in.
“How are you doing? Checking in and making sure all is good. Just wanted to remind you that I exist.” Inevitably, the referral source asks, “How are you doing? How’s business?” Respond with this: “It’s slow. I’m hoping that by reminding you that I’m over here that you might send something my way. I’ve got the free time to help some folks, and I’d like that chance.”
5. With the former clients, inquire about their well-being.
“We haven’t talked since the matter was finally wrapped up, and I wanted to see how it’s going. I like to follow up after some time has passed.” Then work in the statement, “I’m always here to answer questions if you run into issues. I’m also available if you have friends, family, or colleagues who might need help. Please be sure they tell me that you referred them so I will know to treat them special.”
Just Do Something
You get the idea. Call people. Connect. Do something so that something happens. Every action gets an equal and opposite reaction or something. I didn’t do well in science, but you know what I mean. Do stuff because doing stuff makes other stuff happen. (Tweet that!)
The lawyers who make these calls get busy. The lawyers who explain why they “can’t” make these calls to their clients get more downtime. Who you gonna be? Will you be the lawyer they remember or the lawyer they don’t?
Think of the calls as a public service. For the two minutes they’re on the phone with you, they won’t have to think about the rash, the teenager, or the barista. Make something good happen now.