Marketing Mondays: Outsell the Competition with the 8 Contacts Rule

By Stephen Furnari - November 18, 2013
Marketing Mondays: Outsell the Competition with the 8 Contacts Rule

This edition of Marketing Mondays discusses the 8 Contacts Rule of sales, and how solo attorneys who follow the rule at part of their law firm marketing strategy engage more clients simply by outlasting the competition.

If you’re an attorney whose income is directly tied to the rain you make, then like it or not, you are in the business of sales.

The single most valuable rule of sales – the one that you must know and follow — is the 8 Contacts Rule.

The rule is simple.  On average, it takes up to eight points of contact with a person from the time they first become aware of your law firm until they convert into a paying client.

Nurture Prospects into Clients

Think of sales like a funnel. Prospective clients enter at the top of the funnel and exit at the bottom as customers. Your marketing campaigns, like speaking appearances, advertising, article writing and networking, drive prospective client into the top of the funnel. This is generally the first point of contact.

Once a prospect enters into your sales funnel, it’s your job to nurture them to engage your firm, or they tell you that they do not have a need for your services (at which point they leave the funnel). This is where you begin your eight additional contact points.

The points of contact are a mix of active touches (like phone or in-person consults or status emails) and passive touches (like receiving  a copy of your firm’s newsletter).

Manage your Eight Points of Contact

While the Rule itself is simple, for most attorneys, consistent execution is not. For the small firm attorney, whose schedule can be erratically hectic, it’s critically important to put a system in place to manage your points of contact.

Setting up the system in four steps:

  • create a place in your contacts list to organize your prospective clients and set up a spreadsheet to manage the contacts,
  • create templates and scripts for the touches,
  • schedule the points of contact starting at the date of the initial contact; and
  • delegate the tasks to someone to an assistant or law clerk.

By leveraging a system, the passive points of contact will get completed automatically, and the active ones that require your direct involvement can be cued up by someone else and executed by you quickly.

The Advantage of Using the 8 Contacts Rule

Marketing Mondays:Outsell the Competition with the 8 Contact RuleHere’s why the 8 Contact Rule works so well for attorneys: most of your competition is giving up on prospective clients after four or fewer points of contact.

Of the universe of prospective clients, only a small percentage (10% or less) are ready to hire your firm now. The 8 Contact Rule forces you to stay in front of the other 90% of prospective clients who aren’t ready to buy today, but will be in the future.

In many cases, the competition will have long given up, and you’ll be the last man standing.  An easy close in any book.

And here’s the beauty of it, by using the 8 Contacts Rule, your firm will close more new business:

  • without any Jedi sales skills;
  • without improving your legal skills;
  • without changing your marketing strategy; and
  • without any significant additional expense (if any at all).

Success comes with sheer persistence, something there’s no shortage of in the legal profession.

About Marketing Mondays

Marketing Mondays is a weekly blog series aimed at helping solo and small firm attorneys attract and retain new clients. It will focus on real-world marketing strategies that have been executed successfully by small firm attorneys, particularly those with offices in shared law office space, including Law Firm Suites.

photo credit: romanlily via photopin ccphoto credit: EJP Photo via photopin cc

About Stephen Furnari

Stephen Furnari is a self-employed corporate attorney and the founder of Law Firm Suites, the operator of coworking spaces for law firms. Through Law Firm Suites, Furnari has helped hundreds of attorneys launch and grow successful law practices. He is the author of several eBooks, including “7 Deadly Mistakes that Prevent Law Practice Success” and “An Insider’s Guide to Renting the Perfect Law Office”. Stephen has been featured in the ABA Journal, Entrepreneur, New York Daily News and Crain’s New York. Connect with Stephen on Twitter (@stephenfurnari).

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