As of July 1, there were 176 days until Christmas. The countdown has begun. Children are adding new toys to their wish lists. Parents have started looking for deals. Business owners are looking for new ways to appeal to customers.
Lawyers can learn a lot from the marketing practices of retail stores, which have had to make significant adjustments to compete with online shopping. What are some retail marketing lessons and strategies that estate planning and elder care lawyers can implement to maximize the end-of-year excitement?
- Buy one, get one free. A solid classic. For lawyers, offer to provide a “mirror” estate plan to a spouse for free when one spouse engages you to draft an estate plan.
- Black Friday frenzy. For an immediate influx of cash, create deals too good to be true and limit the time of the offer. For example, offer a Revocable Living Trust plan for the price of a Will-based plan (essentially the trust is free), but only if clients schedule an appointment by a certain date, or only if they call on a certain Friday to schedule the appointment (for a later date).
- Cyber Monday. Provide special pricing for clients who find you through your website or who schedule an appointment directly from your website.
Success through Exposure. Retails stores spend extraordinary amounts on advertising to get the word out about their sales. You will need to do the same. It is not enough to provide discounts; the public needs to know they exist. Include the special rates and dates in your newsletter. Mail out sales flyers to your referral sources. Send your current client base a pre-season holiday letter – encouraging them to give the gift of an estate plan to their children. Add a “pop-up” on your website about the Cyber Monday deals. Budget extra money for the additional print and postage investment.
The “big boys” have been planning their holiday season marketing strategies all year, rolling them out beginning in July. You are or can be one of the top dogs in your area. But, you must begin before the others and offer outrageous deals that other lawyers are not willing to do. This will get you noticed and get you clients. Embrace the energy and spirit of the holidays, plan early and enjoy the profits.
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Victoria L. Collier, Certified Elder Law Attorney; Entrepreneur; Author; Speaker; Co-Owner, Lawyers with Purpose, LLC; Founder, The Elder & Disability Law Firm of Victoria L. Collier, PC; and Co-Founder, Veterans Advocate Group of America.