It should be patently obvious that when a client or prospect has a legal matter that needs to be addressed, you would want them to think of sending the work to you . If you are not the first lawyer or law firm they think of, you have some work to do.
Ric Willmot has a post in his Weekly Wisdom series on LinkedIn’s Legal Marketing Group that sets out five tips on “Staying front of mind” with clients and prospects. They are: (with my comments in parenthesis)
- Understand your prospects and clients. (The best way to do that is to visit or at least talk with them by telephone off the clock regarding their plans, problem issues within their company and industry. A goal is to find out what makes them tick and what keeps them up at night. You can’t understand the client or prospects if you don’t spend time getting to know them better, as well as their problems, interests and business.);
- Provide value when you do touch base. (When you talk to the clients, prospects and referral sources give them something of value. It could be some insight or knowledge that will help them personally or with their business goals. It might be a referral or just information that brings greater value to the relationship. Don’t make the call about you or how you can gain from it.);
- Expand their knowledge of you. (This does not mean bragging about your capabilities or your achievements, but you do want them to know more about who you and what you stand for. Tell stories about your life, interests and dreams. Yes, they do need to know about your capabilities, but that should not come across as selling.);
- Bring diversity to the way you make contact. (This is a good idea and, quite frankly, one I hadn’t given much thought to before. One contact might be by email, another by telephone, or a handwritten note passing along an article or press clippings, or whatever. Other times it might involve a lunch or invitation to a cultural or sporting event.); and
- Build relationships rather than continuously attempting to sell. (This one and 2. above are pretty similar in my mind. Rather than sell yourself, try to figure out a way to help them first. It’s the old “give to get” reasoning where you try to help the other person first, before trying to get something from them.)
All of these tips involve building a meaningful and value-filled relationship. With the right kind of relationship, you will find that you will stay top of mind and get more legal matters from clients, referral sources and prospects as a result.