Law firms need clients like a hog needs slop. But much like a hog, lawyers need to be mighty impressive in order to earn the good stuff. Clients with high net worth can open the door for you into a wider industry. They can also leave you a negative review that sticks with you for life.
So, let’s go over five ways to attract clients with high net worth and satisfy them.
The biggest mistake lawyers make is calling themselves “lawyers”. Are you a trial lawyer? A real estate lawyer? The law is so complex that practically no one can call themselves a general practitioner without sounding like they would be outclassed by actual specialists.
You might be thinking, “But what if I didn’t specialize in anything in law school?”
This is a common problem, and sadly it is becoming more common every year. But the great thing is that most clients will not be able to tell an expert, a specialist, and someone who knows nothing apart just from meeting you. What does that mean? Simply put, it means that you can market yourself as a specialist as long as you are studying to become a specialist.
It’s not like you have to take a second bar exam to go from being an unspecified lawyer to a specialist of a given field. All a specialist in a niche of law needs is experience and knowledge, and either one of those can make up for the other.
Choosing the right niche for high-net-worth clients is all about knowing their needs. Divorce law, contract law, and business law are all the most popular niches among the rich.
This comes second because you really need a specialty before you can begin marketing yourself properly. Think about this for a second: Have you seen ads for law firms looking to represent people in class action lawsuits? What about billboards for personal injury lawyers?
Certain kinds of lawyers advertise themselves in certain ways. And if you look for other lawyers of your selected niche, then you will certainly find the kinds of marketing strategies you need.
This is especially true for high-net-worth clients. The tacky billboards and low production value commercials of personal injury lawyers will not work to attract clients with money. You need a tailored digital marketing strategy (for law firms). This means search engine optimization, a blog with paid copywriters, and a database of information to pad your credibility.
One of the things you have to understand about clients with a lot of net worth is that they are not looking to save money, nor are they looking to spend money. They are looking to turn their money into something they can use. They are looking for optimized value for money.
This is the best logic you can apply to creating the price of your services. Don’t go pricing your services by what you expect them to be able to pay—that will lead you to overcharging. And don’t go pricing your services by solely what you need—then you’ll undercharge.
Focus on justifying every dollar you charge for your services. Come up with a list of reasons as to why your legal counsel costs what it costs. At the same time, be sure not to bombard your clients with reasons to pay you more. A long list of reasons for your pay is good for reference, but it is bad etiquette to bring it up all the time, show it off, or make it seem like a big deal.
Instead, start with a basic lawyer salary in your area. Then, add multipliers based on the complexity of the tasks involved with your niche.
If you are dealing in contract law, then factor in the research required for writing a contract. You can’t just write it; you have to know what you are working with. That research is time out of your life, which is money out of their pocket.
Go category by category, always knowing what you need to do, but only bringing it up if asked.
One of the biggest mistakes lawyers make, especially new lawyers, is treating their client like they can do no wrong. This is bad for you, it is bad for your client, and it is bad for your practice.
Flattery will get you nowhere in this business. If a client is coming to you, high net worth or low net worth, then they need you. They are not going to walk away just because you were a straight shooter. If you treat a client with kid’s gloves, they’ll know.
The worst part about treating a client with kid’s gloves is that you miss out on leaving an impression. You don’t always have to leave a good impression either.
Suppose you have a client that is a chronic liar. You don’t have to call them out on their lies—but if you let them know that you know that they are lying, then they will definitely walk away knowing you are smart.
And that is critical. You cannot get a client if you blend into the background. You cannot get a client if they think anyone could replace you. The goal of every meeting, from your first to your last, should be to give them the sense that you are one of a kind, for better or for worse.
So, be honest. Be patient. Don’t be afraid to respond, but don’t be in a hurry to speak.
Much of the art of securing high paying and high net worth clients at a law firm is being direct. Get directly to the niche, get directly in front of your client, get them their product in as direct a manner as possible, give them direct answers, and say it directly to their face.
Only then will you seem like the powerhouse that high paying clients need.
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