Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Legal Marketing - What Your Firm Needs (Part 3) or "Who Moved My Clients"

Many law firms are shocked when they lose a client. Even though much has been written about the serious reduction in the number of firms engaged by Fortune 1000 companies, attorneys too often think the downsizing will not effect their practice.

If you are looking for new clients or working like mad to hang onto the ones you currently have (and beware if that part about "working like mad to keep clients" sounds foreign to you!), you need to employ marketing and businesss development techniques. Remember, people do business with people they know and like.....but out of sight is also out of mind (If the use of cliche bothers you....too bad).

The fact that you have done good work for a client in the past is not reason enough for them to call you for their next matter. If they use the services of other firms you run the risk that your competition will figure out the power of cross-selling before you can cement your relationship with the client. Other lawyers also do great work for the client, too, (put your ego aside and look at this through reality colored glasses) and they might have enough influence to get their firm the work in your practice area.

Do not wait until someone moves your clients out of your arena before working on showing them how much you appreciate their business. Go out of your way to deliver good work on time, but beyond just billing them for your hours, thank them for the honor to serve them. You would be surprised how far a sign of gratitude can go to keeping the competition at bay.

You need to develop the habit of constantly having interactions with your clients that are outside of the matters at hand and collection of your invoices. Newsletters, blogs, client parties, closing dinners, phone calls just for fun, etc.... should all be part of your normal business life.

If your firm is fortunate enough to employ marketing, business development and client relations professionals....embrace them. Allow them to know your clients and ask them for constant feedback on how you are doing with your efforts to cultivate your relationships. You might be surprised how helpful these people can be to uncovering unique opportunities to advance your ever growing practice.

Have A Great Day.


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