A litigator with 57 years of experience was recently quoted in an article on Law.com’s Small Firm Business on the art of attracting clients.
One might think that someone who started practicing law in 1952 might be a bit long in the tooth when it comes to developing business in this day and age. The world is different today after all. Well, maybe it is and maybe it isn’t.
Frank Love, Jr., formerly with Powell, Goldstein, Frazer & Murphy (now part of Bryan Cave), gives some very sound advice that is just as valid today as it was in the “days of old.” Some of his sagacity: (with my usual comments in parenthesis)
- “When the economy is bad, litigation explodes. And when the economy is good, litigation goes down and corporate goes up;”
- What hasn’t changed in this world is “the need to attract clients;”
- And you “have to do something…,” Love says. “If people don’t know you, they’re not going to hire you, and if lawyers don’t know you (including in your own firm, I might add), they are not going to refer business to you;”
- Ask clients for work (I have clients you have told me they are afraid to ask). If you don’t, “they won’t think of it,” according to Love.
- “Happy clients are a good source of business” (so find out if they are, and correct what makes them unhappy); and
- Take clients “out now and then,” and don’t eat “lunch on your desk.”
And maybe his sagest advice of all involves the use of the telephone:
"One of the big problems I have with all this electronic communication. Instead of picking up the phone and talking to the client, you send e-mail. There are two things wrong with that. One, it creates a record of whatever you said that is difficult to get rid of. And two, it’s not personal. You don’t get a personal response. You get another e-mail in response. And oftentimes they’re misconstrued."
Now there is some old fashion advice worth paying attention to. According to French author Andre Maurois (July 26, 1885 – October 9, 1967) “Growing old is no more than a bad habit which a busy person has no time to form.”
So, follow Love’s and Maurois’
sage advice. Get busy and crank up that marketing.