Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Marketing to your prospects triggering events

When I speak with attorneys about their client development strategies I often hear about leveraging existing clients, referrals, and attempts to cross-market with other attorneys.  The top rainmakers are effective at all of these things and more.  A lot of business gets left on the table, however, because while trying to secure new business, attorneys listen for active needs rather than latent issues that may arise from a prospects day-to-day operations. 

These molehills that become mountains are known as triggering events and by being first to help a client or prospective client identify and navigate these events, you have the greater opportunity to be the one who they ultimately choose to help solve the problem and achieve their goals.

There are several services beyond the local business journal that provide this information and it doesn’t take long to set your Web 2.0 strategy to deliver information to you:,, LinkedIn, RSS feeds ,Twitter, and my new favorite NimbleCRM.

In fact, just like playing in the RFP world, by the time it’s hit the business journal, it’s too late. Everyone knows and everyone is trying to get in. 

Would you rather compete with everyone to get the meeting after, or be the one that gets the call from a prospect when they don’t want the news hitting the papers?

Below are examples of triggering events. Think about: 1) What are the issues driving the change? 2) What business level job title would be responsible for making decisions? CEO, VP of Sales, COO, VP of HR,etc. 3) How have I helped other clients with these issues in the past? 4) Do I have any contacts that I could leverage into a business discussion with the key players involved?

Internal Triggering Events
• Poor quarterly earnings - or stellar results
• New product/service announcements
• New management or ownership
• Name changes; new positioning
• Venture capital funding
• Expansion into new market segments
• Opening up new geographies
• Real estate and construction activity
• Layoffs, downsizings or rightsizings
• IPOs (initial public offerings)
• New relationships, affiliations, partnership
• Personnel changes in key positions
• New customers; lost customers
• Job openings
• Corporate relocations

External Triggering Events
• Legislative changes: new laws, regulations
• Natural disasters
• Changes in the competitive landscape
• Trends impacting customer base
• New technologies

This is where your network and cross-marketing comes in. In previous blogs, I have talked about feeding your network.  What triggering events would help your network or team? Is that the open door to that prospect that you have been looking for to secure business in your practice area?

If you are interested in learning how other attorneys have created a repeatable process to leverage these types of events and grow their practice feel free to contact me at:, 850-893-8984