You can attract desirable clients to your practice by communicating a message that is relevant to the clients you want to attract. This means communicating what your clients/referral sources are interested in hearing verses what you are interested in saying. Creating a relevant message requires preparation and having a solid understanding of your target markets most important problems and goals. This article explores what does and does not work for effectively communicating the value of collaborative law practice.
What does not work? Too much emphasis on the practitioner:
Example: We assist divorcing individuals with a cooperative process that gives families resources and options unavailable in traditional divorce models. XXX is a group of independently practicing family law attorneys, mediators, business valuators, mental health professionals and financial advisors specializing in divorce issues. Each practitioner, while in business independently in their field, has XXX to provide cohesive, multi-disciplinary services to divorcing clients.
1. A message that starts with a point of relevance to the audience:
Example: Divorce does not have to be slash and burn.
2. A message that relates to a problem the audience has and provides a solution:
Example: “A significant advantage of collaborative law is that all personal and financial matters are kept private rather than open public records of a case tried in court,” adds Carlton R. Marcyan, “For clients going through divorce, especially business owners and clients with high assets, keeping personal and financial matters private is an important value.”
3. A Message that conveys a story the audience can relate to:
Example: "One of the more unique holiday plans Galvin has seen is a couple in collaboration were caught up in a power struggle over who got to spend Christmas morning and day with the children. With the help of the collaborative team the parents were able to focus on the importance of honoring the children's tradition rather than fight over who would be with the children on Christmas morning. Traditionally, the family opened presents in their home and then went to the wife’s parents’ home for a meal and to play with all their cousins. In collaboration, the couple agreed it was in the children’s best interests to maintain that tradition and the ex-husband would be included in the festivities for the next few years while the children were still young rather than alternating holidays and depriving their children of something that they looked forward to."
This type of arrangement is in contrast to what can happen if parents do not communicate. For example, if parents cannot agree on how to divide time with their children over holidays, it is common for a Judge to try to give everyone a little something and order alternating holidays year to year which often results in tradition and the holidays being less enjoyable for the children in order to satisfy the parents’ demands.
With more than half of the marriages in the United States ending in divorce, there is no doubt Collaborative Law is something that could help parents minimize the damage of divorce on children. January is the month when most parents begin divorce proceedings. “The greatest gift you can give your child in 2010 and beyond is to love your children more than you hate your spouse and work cooperatively with the other parent to co-parent your children,” advises Jim Galvin.
In summary, the following are four steps to increase the effectiveness of your message so you can attract desirable clients to your practice:
1. Believe in your message. Your personal belief in your message will come across. Authenticity is essential for effective communication.
2. Develop talking points. Define the primary benefits of your service and stay focused in your communication. Avoid getting too detailed about the process before you have communicated the value of what you do.
3. Know your audience. Understand what is most important to your audience, including their problems and the solutions you provide. Tailor your talking points to address the concerns and goals of those you are communicating to.
4. Use multiple communication channels. Communicate your message consistently and frequently. Opportunities for getting your message out include, face to face meetings, on-line directories, firm/organization bios, articles, on line press releases, and web site, LinkedIn and facebook profiles.
Send me examples of how your communication has worked and what challenges you are facing to consistently communicate your "message".