Building your brand and increasing your firm's name recognition is a full time job. It is essential, though, because it is part of the foundation for your future growth, a necessary component to raising retention of existing clients and attracting new clients. But, marketing without business development is only one-half of the story! In order to make the most of your hard work, you need to find ways to convert your marketing to generate new client engagements. There are many different things you can do to help transition from marketing to practice development.
When you host an event, follow up with a personal outreach to anyone who attended who is not already a client of the firm; when you pubish your newsletter, be sure to send it to potential clients as well as to existing clients; when you have the opportunity to invite guests to local business events, consider including a potential client on your list. (You may already be doing this - and if so, that's terrific. But my experience has indicated that too often we forget to make a concerted, consistent effort to include prospects in some of these activities) .
When you are at lunch or in a networking setting, and you have met someone interesting, before you leave be sure to say, "I think we might be able to help each other. I would like to explore the possibilities - what should our next step be?" Don't leave it to chance, but instead, be proactive in your approach to these situations. Ask if you can set a date to continue the conversation you have begun. If there is a meaningful dialogue going on, leverage it - pursue it - and finds ways to build on it.
Rain makers or mist makers, whichever you have in your firm, find ways that work for you that can help you do more with your marketing initiatives so that yoou can generate opportunities and pursue quality prospects! What has been a best practice for your firm? We'd love to hear from you.