As I mentioned in my last post about making the non-marketing staff a part of the firm’s business development efforts, Stacy West Clark’s article on that point gives some suggestions on how to accomplish that with at least two groups of staffers.
But first, the lawyer’s role. Educate those who work for you as to:
- How you want clients treated and informed (getting to know them, phone procedures, what to say when you are unavailable, and reaching out to key clients),
- Tracking Google alerts for info about specific clients,
- Remembering important client facts and dates (wedding date, birthdays, etc.),
- Scheduling marketing activities,
- Keeping mailing lists up to date, and
- Encouraging questions about cases, referrals sources and the like.
Legal assistant’s role:
Carrying out all of the above per your lawyers’ instructions. Additionally, be proactive in asking your lawyers about marketing goals, important cases; and staying abreast of the firm’s web site, your attorneys’ bios, and important information about existing clients and referral sources, and most importantly, developing (professional) friendships with clients.
I facetiously said in one of my earlier posts, and have suggested in my speeches for years, that tellers should be the highest paid people in banks, since they have the most direct contact with the money people (customers). Likewise, a law firm receptionist should be the highest paid staff person, because he/she has the most contact with clients (by phone) and with visitors of all kinds. As such, the receptionist can have a profound influence on how the firm is perceived. Put another way, a receptionist person can have an extremely positive or negative impact on the firm’s brand. I can (and do) tell horror stories in this area.
Just some of the important attributes of a good receptionist include:
- Professional attire and grooming,
- Enthusiastic and warm in answering the phone and greeting visitors,
- Remembering and addressing clients by name, and
- Caring about the firm’s clients and showing it.
All staff members can play an important role in a firm’s business development efforts. Just think of the many ways they come in contact with clients and the world outside the firm. Each is an opportunity to advance the firm’s brand or to damage it.
For some of my other posts on staff involvement in marketing….