AT A RECENT SEMINAR FOR LAWYERS, I MENTIONED THE IMPORTANCE OF KNOWING YOUR TARGET MARKET. THE RESPONSE I GOT WAS “WHAT IS A TARGET MARKET?”
A TARGET MARKET IS FIRST OF ALL:
- Your best referral base
- The focus of your marketing
- Those sources that have the best possibility of directly becoming your client or referring clients to you (known as your “Gatekeepers”)
- A good target market limits the number of cases you don’t want and increases the number you do want.
HOW YOU DEFINE YOUR TARGET MARKET:
- Start with your mission statement. What needs are you fulfilling for potential clients? Say for instance your mission statement is: Providing exceptional service to people who have been injured on the job, while maintaining the highest professional standards, then your target market is people who have a work injury, with the expectation of those who might be a bit shady or not being truthful.
- Now let’s change that to Providing exceptional service to people who are seriously injured on the job, etc. Can you see that now you are limiting yourself to only seriously injured clients? Your target market is now narrower.
- A clear, clean and precise mission statement is necessary to define your market.
HOW DO YOU IDENTIFY THE ACTUAL TARGET PEOPLE TO WHOM YOU WILL SPEND YOUR MARKETING TIME AND DOLLARS ON?
- Your best referral base is your old clients because they have been within your target market because you have been able to help them.
- The next best referral source for many practices is other lawyers. Perhaps you do cross referrals with these lawyers. Other lawyers refer to you because they have a clear idea of what you do and that you are ethical and very competent (also they don’t want to be named as a co-defendant in a malpractice action! )They also know you would support and refer to them if you have the opportunity.
- Gatekeepers beside other lawyers are also in your target market. Sometimes these are your family members or someone that your target market interacts with. An example is a Marriage and Family Counselor who needs referrals for Family Law Attorneys and the lawyers who also needs referrals to counselors for their client. This is maximum cross-referring.
WHAT DO YOU DO AFTER YOU HAVE IDENTIFIED YOUR TARGET MARKET(S):
- Now you need to put all their contact information into guess what? YOUR CONTACTS
- I suggest you make three lists of contacts. One is A for people you know will refer to you. This includes old clients and lawyers. Second one is labeled B and is people who you have met and might refer to you. Last is C with who you have a casual relationship but who you don’t want to forget you. Outlook will do this for you with different colors.
- Important technique is to keep these people on your radar. The As at least 4 times a year. Bs at least twice and Cs at least once.
- At this point you will also “Cherry-pick” the people who fit in your target market but haven’t produced yet. Here is where you spend some time and money on reaching out to them. What do they read? How can you provide value to them? Does your website SPEAK to your target market? Does it invite potential clients to call you? There’s volumes on this subject but once you have developed your real target market, you won’t waste time and money trying to get to people on board who will never refer to you. As my friend says: Don’t go to the Hardware Store to buy a Hamburger.
- Hint: The best marketing tool I ever used was sending Birthday Cards to old and present clients. Don’t do it to lawyers because they are jaded and can’t believe you really want them to have a Happy Birthday but clients are different…..as long as you are sincere. One client told me it was the only birthday card he got!
SO NOW YOU AT LEAST HAVE SOME IDEA WHAT A TARGET MARKET IS. Please feel free to contact me for a 30 minute complimentary consultation to help you with this if you want to discuss this further.