Post Update 7/8/19 noon: Apparently I spoke to soon in recommending a purchase of Marketing to the Affluent prior to reading it. I’ve been receiving some negative feedback from those who bought the book both about Kennedy’s political views as well as the organization of the material in the book and its value. I’ll read the book myself, but you may want to keep this in mind if you decide to buy a copy.
Ask most lawyers about who their ideal client is, and most will answer with something along the lines of “anyone who can pay.” Moreover, most lawyers imagine that those clients who come to our door and can pay, actually will pay – and it’s only a matter of finding those clients. But turns out, there’s a little more to it than that.
In this excerpt from his new book Marketing to the Affluent, Dan Kennedy shares some observation about a particular category of affluent: those who are self-made. This group includes business owners and entrepreneurs. Kennedy writes:
They may have nearly unrestricted spending power in reality, but not necessarily mentally and emotionally. Most are conflicted about money. They know they need to think, feel, and act rich, but they also battle guilt, fear, anxiety, and abhorrence of waste.
A very valuable sub-segment of these self-made affluents is business owners and entrepreneurs. Here you may very well find your best customers, clients, or patients.
So how can solos and smalls target this desirable category? The good news is that most likely, there’s a natural affinity between the self-made affluent and solo and small lawyers who, after all, are also self made. In fact, Kennedy describes that the self-made affluent will reward you with their business if they admire you.
On the flip side, the self-made affluent “pride themselves on being smart about money, getting good deals and bargains and negotiating successfully” -a trait that lawyers don’t particularly appreciate in clients. In fact, I’ve often heard lawyers complain about wealthier clients who simply don’t want to pay their bills even though they have the money. Memo to clueless lawyers: sometimes it’s not about the money, but the value. And that’s the most important takeaway when it comes to marketing to the self-made applicant. Don’t assume that they’ll pay your fees just because they can. Instead, you need to show them why the work that you do can bring them value – maybe help them to make more money or to transform their life or business or protect what they have (provided that you have the data to show that the cost-benefit of risk reduction make sense).
As for me, I haven’t yet read Dan Kennedy’s new book but it’s loaded up on my phone for my trip this weekend. Hope to review it when I return.