Recently, I did a post on how important it is to stay close to your clients in these troubling economic times. Well, it seems that the idea is supported by Hildebrandt’s “Special Client Advisory: Fall 2008.”
The special advisory suggests nine steps for firms to consider in weathering the storm; and includes such things as concentrating on collections early vs. end of year, work on next year’s credit line now, scrutinize vendor support expenses (even consider hiring an outside vendor contract negotiator like my client, Mattern & Associates), review under-performers and excess capacity, and consider shedding undesirable practice areas, while reassuring key partners and associates who may be anxious.
The one step mentioned that is closest to my heart has to do with marketing and client relations. The advisory states:
“… stay in close touch with your clients, especially those key clients that are important to the firm’s future. Now is not the time to save money by cutting back on productive marketing expenses. Your clients are experiencing the same anxieties and uncertainties as the firm itself, and ramping up communication to them will stand the firm in good stead when economic conditions improve. Lawyers have time on their hands, so put it to good use with increased focus on client development, client teams, and appropriate business development training.”
As I mentioned in that earlier post, in times like these stay close to your family, and closer to your clients. But, don’t just take my word for it.