Readers of this blog have most likely picked up on the fact that my number one most effective legal marketing tactic is to visit your clients at their place of business, off the clock, and not for the purpose of asking for more business. It often leads to immediate work.
Prior to Meeting:
- Set clear purpose for visit (and don’t mix purposes, as in if you are there to learn more about a client’s business, don’t ask for work; or you’re there to discuss a problem issue, don’t ask for work… you get the idea. If you are there to ask for work, call it a “presentation” not a “client site visit”.), and
- Plan your visit (do client homework, decide on best person(s) to meet with, and prepare specific questions),
- Start with small talk (office pictures will give clues to person’s interests – of course, you should already know your client’s interests. Otherwise talk about the weather – just kidding),
- Let client do most of the talking and really listen while taking notes,
- Don’t ask for work (oh, I covered that), and
- Don’t overstay your welcome.
After The Meeting:
- Send handwritten Thank You note,
- Follow up on points or issues raised at meeting,
- Send information (especially if it is of personal interest to client) relating to topics discussed,
- Develop a “client-specific action plan” as a result of the meeting, including calendaring your next client site visit.
As I have mentioned many times, in the vast majority of client visits, if done properly, will lead to new work even without your asking for it. If you are relationship building, and you come across as being interested in the client’s business as well as them personally – as John suggests in order to become a “counselor or trusted advisor” – the work will indeed come.