Law firm marketing is not just about finding new clients. A big focus of successful attorneys is on deepening relationships with existing clients. This is a critical component of any law firm marketing plan that must not be overlooked.
If you think about some of the rewarding relationships you have developed over the years, I’m sure you’ll find they all have a few things in common. I have outlined five of those qualities and highlighted them in this video.
The five qualities of great client relationships are:
You listen for what is behind the words. Find out what the true problems are and get to the root cause. Help the client fix the problem and not just the symptoms of the problem.
You don’t want to be “just another lawyer”. You want to be a trusted advisor. To achieve this status you have to be bold when giving advice. Don’t just state the obvious. Occasionally, you’ll need to do more than you and the client originally expected.
Note: Very few people who charge by the hour ever achieve this status. The client just doesn’t see them at that level. People who bill by the hour are usually viewed as employees, not as advisors.
You must be different than everyone else. People must know you for something. A market niche is helpful in this differentiation process. The client must perceive you as an expert.
You need to be around after the original work is done. Many attorneys focus on completing the initial assignment and then they move on. Your goal in getting the initial assignment is to develop the relationship.
This is true even in the consumer practices. Someone who has just been through a divorce will eventually need help with other legal matters. If you are that person’s first call, you will be able to refer them to a colleague – who may just have a reciprocal referral for you some day.
It’s not about you. In the client’s eyes it never was. It was about solving the client’s problem or improving the client’s condition. Always put the client first.
Relationship development is law firm marketing. Some of the best work you can do from a marketing perspective is with people who already know you, like you and trust you.