In New York, whenever you need something done – a car repaired, a tooth filled, a wall painted – you need to find “a guy.” This isn’t a sexist statement, mind you; there are plenty of women out there who can be the guy you need. But it’s always “a guy.”
Last I looked in the Yellow Pages there was no listed for “Guy.” And when I search online for, “a guy,” I end up with a bunch of search results that would make most people blush.
So here’s how it works in the real world. I tell someone that I need to get new brakes, to which they respond, “I got a guy.”
If you’re looking for more bankruptcy clients, you want to be the guy. Yes, even if you’re not biologically male.
Who Is Your Client?
There are lots of people who may need to file for bankruptcy. Your first task is to determine which of those people you want to become your clients. It’s not easy to accept, but you’ve got to realize that you’re not going to be a good fit for everyone – so why try?
Maybe you work better with high-income married Latinos with young children. Or perhaps you’d like to attract members of a particular religion.
You want to focus on those folks, not the entire world because when you pick a specific group you can narrow your efforts to only those that are most likely to be successful.
Who Does Your Client Talk With?
If you’re looking to connect with someone, you want to trace their steps. Figure out if your potential client goes to a particular type of house of worship, accountant, or even supermarket. Perhaps they’ve got young children and work full-time, in which case you want to look for day care centers and pre-schools.
This, too, may take some brainstorming. Still, it’s worth it. Once you figure out where your clients can be found, you know who they talk with.
Connect With The Connector
In The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell talks about connectors – the people who spread ideas. These are people like the person who refers me to a brake shop or a dentist. He’s someone who knows people, and is happy to give out a name when called upon to do so.
When you find the connector, you get the benefit of an introduction by a trusted source. You’re no longer a stranger to your potential client; rather, you’re someone who comes with a seal of approval. The client’s more likely to work with you as opposed to anyone else.
Connectors can include accountants and clergymen, but also baristas at Starbucks and the employees at the day care center. Anyone who your potential client is likely to entrust with a little information is a potential connector.
By educating a connector rather than your potential client directly, you’re making life easier for yourself. You arm the connector with the ability to do a good deed, you avoid crass promotion and commercialism, and you make it more likely that your best client will find you rather than someone else.