Some law firms will feel the pinch more than others during the current downturn. But all firms will feel it one way or another. Whether it is less work, losing clients because of mergers/acquisitions, or because of difficulty in collecting fees from financially stressed clients. When it comes to making payroll or paying your lawyers, what do you think clients will do?
Thus, it is very important for firms to do everything they can to minimize the impact of what certainly will not be a smooth road for the foreseeable future and beyond. One way is to work very hard at “bullet proofing” (as Gerry Riskin advises) your existing clients (or in Gerry’s words “crown jewels”) as much as you can.
And as Thom Singer at Some Assembly Required accurately tells us in an article that applies to any company that it is the “relationships with those (with) whom you do business that…(leads) to beating the competitor in good times and in bad times." Those relationships are even more important in a down economy, because business is just that – “down”- and competition definitely gets more intense when times are tough.
So, how are your client relationships these days? Does everyone in the firm realize the importance of their interaction with clients, referral sources and prospects? From the receptionist to the firm couriers, to the associates and partners, everyone has a role in developing and enhancing client relationships – and avoiding damaging those relationships.