Allocating Resources to Keep Your Clients

Everyone knows and has heard the theory about how it costs less to retain clients than get new ones; that you should focus on expanding work with existing clients and consider that to be your core business development strategy. Recent studies indicate that firms that increase client retention by just 5% grow revenues by 25%. Who wouldn’t vote for 25% more revenue? However, focusing on current clients can sometimes be something that doesn’t get a lot of institutional or firm-wide attention or acceptance.

Be More Like a Political Candidate in 2016

As we enter the throws of an election year and become bored, immune and maybe a little disgusted by all the campaigning, a few things are interesting to note. There are striking comparisons between how a candidate works to get elected and how a law firm or lawyer can develop new business. So, if you get overly sensitized by all the campaigning, refocus your attention on the process and you might find a few good ideas to try for yourself.

Rule 7.1 and 7.2 #DigitalWorld

Recently I had the pleasure of attending an Indiana Lawyer CLE program on how lawyers and law firms should interpret the professional code of conduct regarding digital advertising and communications.

My conclusion from the entire discussion is that there are a few things that are clear and there is a lot that is still pretty fuzzy.

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Delivering content throughout the buyer journey

According to the Harvard Business Review, 25% of B2B sales take over seven months. The buying decision for legal services is probably on the high end of this range and possibly even longer. It is more important than ever to track your sales pipeline and deliver the right information at the right point in the buyer journey. Consider that 77% of buyers want different content at each stage of their research. It sounds complicated, but it’s not. It just requires discipline and developing an automated content strategy that aligns with 1:1 interactions to move buyers along their path to a decision to hire your firm.

No one likes a smarty pants

If you are new to the practice of law and have a mentor to teach you all the ins and outs of the legal profession, congratulations. You are fortunate indeed. Hopefully, you will become a mentor to younger lawyers to pay back this favor. If you don’t have a mentor, or could use a good refresher course on some wise advice for what it takes to be a good lawyer these 49 tips offer some good insight. Even the most experienced attorneys may find a valuable tidbit or two!

Tell your story. Get more work.

Take a moment and think about conversations you remember well. Or people who you immediately made you feel like they were very competent and capable from the moment you first spoke with them. Chances are these people told you a story about something that made sense to you. They gave you an example of a something that they recently encountered and made it easy for you to visualize the problem and how they solved it. They were convincing.

If you keep this in mind when talking to prospects and clients you will probably be more successful.

Website mistakes: Are they on your site?

No matter what size firm you are, your website is your window to the world. Like it or not, a firm’s website has become the way your prospects and probably current clients evaluate and validate their choice to hire you to help them with their legal problems. You don’t need to break the bank to have a decent website that looks good, says what you do, is easy to navigate and allows people who visit the site to find what they need. There are a few things that you should consider as you evaluate your website and whether or not there is a need to make changes.

Please stop talking

Recently a general counsel told me that as a young associate at a law firm he was very excited to be asked to attend his first meeting with a client. He said after the meeting the partner who was with him called him aside and said, “You need to shut up.” He was quite offended at the time, but in hindsight he believes it was some of the best advice he ever received.

Whitepapers or eBooks:  What is the difference?

Content that is of interest to your target audience positions you as a thought leader and a reliable resource when the need arises for your services. You want to remain top of mind with your client and prospect base. There are many ways to do this, but recently (see the first article to the right) the whole idea of whitepapers seems to be one of the least preferred methods of getting information. EBooks on the other hand, seem to be on the rise. My view is that the “old” whitepaper can easily be turned into an eBook once you understand the differences and similarities.

Build multiple streams of referrals

When you get a new client and you ask, “So, how did you hear about me?” My guess is that a large percentage of the time the answer is that someone you know or already do work for sent the new client your way. If this is how you are currently generating many of your new clients, doesn’t it just make sense that you should also be focusing the majority of your business development time to being diligent and strategic about your referral relationships? Amicus Attorney offers some great low cost/low risk ways to grow your business, complete with a quote from Zig Zigler.

Blogs for business development

Do blogs really work?

Do they generate business?

The answer to these questions depends upon how committed you are to blogging and what you post to your blog. Here are some “best practices” for you to consider if you currently have a blog or are thinking about starting a blog. But before I get to best practices consider these statistics.

How’s your email etiquette?

Maybe you are thinking, “What does email etiquette have to with business development?” Generally, quite a lot. People will judge your ability to communicate, your responsiveness, your diplomacy, and your organizational skills by how you handle your email. Here are a few guidelines that may help you identify where you might improve your personal brand and your client service. Disclaimer: The author is guilty of violating most, if not all, of these guidelines at some point in time. It’s not easy to get it right all the time, but it is definitely worth a try.

Business strategies to do and not do in 2015
The beginning of a new year always seems like a good time to look at what’s working and what’s not in terms of your business development strategies. There are many resources available on this topic that include how to organize your time and efforts, and how to do a better job of staying motivated and on task.

I'm pretty sure my clients love me

Most small to mid-sized companies use on average three to five law firms. Larger companies use even more. So, each and every day you are being compared to your competitors. Knowing how you compare to them in terms of your service and client satisfaction is good to know.

Rooms full of strangers freak me out

As most good rainmakers know, it is all about networking, and sometimes this means talking to people who are total strangers. It can be daunting to attend an event that your firm is sponsoring or a conference that your target market attends and be expected to “go out there and make new friends.” There are ways you can make this easier on yourself and be more strategic about how you use these opportunities. 

Native advertising

Is native advertising right for you?  It may be a perfect fit for your marketing strategy. 

50 simple ways to market your practice

Some good tips in this list. The important thing is to have a business development plan and to monitor your progress regularly.