Most lawyers forget to ask themselves a key question when working with a client. This question has implications beyond law firm marketing but it is a critical component of any law firm marketing strategy. Lawyers should constantly ask themselves: “What’s next for my relationship with this client?”
This video will help you bring this into focus.
The majority of lawyers in private practice today only think about the matter directly in front of them. They only focus on resolving a specific issue. Once the issue concludes, the relationship with the client is often drawn to a close as well. The attorney makes the assumption the client will not have a need for this particular service for a long time, if ever. While that premise may be true, the thinking that leads to this conclusion is flawed.
The most valuable asset an attorney can ever obtain is the trust of a client. Once you have that trust, it can work for your law firm for years. Although the client will probably not need you for that specific service in the future, he may need you for something else. Your job is to figure out what that something else is and provide him with it.
If you are unwilling or unable to provide the next legal service for your client, you should at least maintain the relationship for the referral value it can provide. Every client you work with knows a minimum of 250 other people. If you keep in regular contact with them and you teach them how to refer to you, you can harvest 3 to 5 referrals per year from each of your clients.
The key to making this strategy work is to continue to invest in your relationships with your clients. Provide them with valuable information. Communicate with them regularly. Show them you appreciate their support and friendship.
In many cases, asking: “What’s next?” will lead to immediate follow on work. When it doesn’t it should, at least, lead to a great relationship that is beneficial for the client and the lawyer.