Doing a little extra for clients can have big benefits. No brain surgery here. Simply provide clients with extra attention, help, education, and otherwise build on the existing relationship by value-added activities.
In a very succinct article by Stacy West Clark in a recent issue of The Legal Intelligencer, she lists “Twenty Things You Can Do for Clients for Free.” It is well worth a read. I like so many of her suggestions, that it is hard to pick out my favorites, but here are a few that pop out:
- Visit your client off the clock and listen to what they have on their mind. As Clark says “If you do nothing else on this list, do this.” (I completely agree and have it as my No. 1 Top Marketing Tip for lawyers. Moreover, often times lawyers return with more client work);
- Conduct client seminars. (Not just for CLE, but other sessions that will help them in their business and save them legal costs);
- Attend industry conferences with the client to learn more about their business (and you might just pick up other similar clients while you’re there – or at least make some great initial contacts);
- Offer to have your accounting and/or IT staff sit down with theirs to hash out client preferences in those areas;
- Invite clients to come in and brief the firm’s lawyers on their “goals, obstacles and challenges, and the kinds of services” they want from outside counsel; and
- Don’t charge for quick emails and telephone calls, but include them on the bill marked “no charge” (I’ve liked this one for a long time, and it gets the point across that you do provide services without charging them every time).
There is a lot more in Clark’s artice. You don’t have to adopt all 20 of her suggestions, but I’m sure you can find a few that you would be comfortable doing, at least for key clients. Many of them will increase your value to clients; and they are neither hard nor expensive.