In today’s competitive legal environment I think many lawyers are looking at a client and the legal matter they bring to the firm in the here and now. "How many hours can I bill on this matter and I’ll think about tomorrow… tomorrow." That is a very short-sided position to take. Conventional wisdom in marketing says that it takes 7-9 times more money to acquire a new client than to hold on to what you already have. So I ask you my friend… What are you going to do in 2012 to make sure you hold on to the clients you have?
YES… it goes without saying you must do good legal work. Now, having said that… what are you doing to nurture the RELATIONSHIP and ensure that work continues to flow from this client? The thing I want you to think about is your client’s EXPERIENCE! What is it like doing business with you and your staff?
Your interaction by phone? Is the person that answers the phone pleasant and eager to help in anyway possible OR are they annoyed by the interruption and can’t be bothered to help? When you are on the phone do you listen… no, I mean REALLY LISTEN?
Your correspondence by email? Do you take the time to have a little personal conversation before you get down to business OR is it strictly business?
How do you build loyalty? Do you help your client with issues that you don’t charge for OR are you always on the clock?
How well do you understand their business? Do you genuinely understand OR only enough to deal with the legal matter? Are you INVESTING the time OR do you expect to bill for the time it takes to really gain an understanding of their business?
Do you manage their expectations? Do you under promise and over deliver OR is it the other way around?
These simple things could make the difference between a "one matter" client and a client with a continual flow of work… because the experience is as pleasant as possible and you are considered a TRUSTED ADVISOR. Shouldn’t the life of a client be YOURS? It can… if you are the provider of VALUE and an outstanding legal experience.