Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up! Next to doing something every single day… follow-up is the next most important thing you can do to succeed at business development. Be honest… on a scale of 1-10 how good are you when it comes to follow-up? 

Do you need some follow-up ideas? I ran across a blog post by my friend Larry Bodine on Lawyerist that will get your imagination going… Follow-Up: The Marketing Step Lawyers Miss.

Larry writes… ‘Rainmakers know better than to make empty follow-up calls saying, ‘Anything new?’ or ‘Is there something we can do for you?’ or ‘How would you like to  meet one of my partners?’ These calls will fail because they offer nothing of value. It is essential for each follow-up message to offer the recipient a reason to continue the relationship with the caller. Following are 10 ideas to choose from.

  1. Offer free training or CLE at the client’s premises. If they liked the general conference, they’ll love the intimate tailored workshop.
  2. Invite prospects to attend your Web seminars, speaking engagements and public seminars. Not only will they learn something, they’ll more likely perceive you as an expert.
  3. Send congratulations — personal and business. This is why it’s useful to learn another person’s birthday and to notice their career promotions.
  4. Invite potential clients to social events, mixers and firm outings. If you plan to have a good time, you can win new business by sharing the fun with clients.
  5. Send a link to a relevant blog or online news story. The other person may already know the news, but will appreciate that you thought of them.
  6. Distribute a case study that analyzes an actual situation that the person you are pursuing can relate to.
  7. Send a checklist that the other person can keep on hand, such as ’10 things to do after a traffic accident” or ‘Estate planning steps to take when an elderly parent goes into assisted living.
  8. Publish a ‘Biggest Mistakes’ newsletter recounting cases and transactions where a legal disaster happened to someone like your target. Good topics might include ‘How a local construction company went bankrupt’ or ‘Lessons learned after a costly divorce.’
  9. Ask people to ‘Rate Yourself’ against best practices. People love quizzes. Any prospective client will appreciate a one-page list of policies and procedures that your most successful current clients are using.
  10. Give a GOT. I credit this idea to David Ackert, a business development consultant in Los Angeles. A ‘GOT’ is a Gesture Of Thoughtfulness. An example is a Chicago lawyer I knew who would personally deliver finished documents to a bank client, and bring along several coffee cakes that he had baked for all the staff and clerical personnel."

Try some of Larry’s ideas… remember that anything you do that will help people remember you and stay top-of-mind is moving in the right direction for business development. New ideas will breathe life into your follow-up strategy. Good luck!