Is every prospect who contacts you going to be a good fit with your firm? Unequivocally, no. In some cases, you may not offer the service that they need; the prospect may also be highly price sensitive – a commodity shopper. In others, the firm’s goals and focus might not be a good fit for the client’s. Then, too, are the cases that would require so much effort that the firm would end up losing money and should be declined on the basis of sound business practice. Ultimately, it is acceptable to turn away business or refer prospects to a more suitable law firm.
In a best case scenario, you want clients who are looking for a long-term relationship with your firm. Clients who believe the same things that you do and will work with you as a partner throughout the relationship. The firm will have more success, and hopefully garner more referrals, with a client/partner.
Some best practices for building that long-term relationship:
- Communicate. Make certain you maintain regular contact with clients as you work through their cases. Many people are reluctant to call their attorneys for a status update. Do not assume they aren’t interested! Even a call or email saying nothing has changed or you are still waiting for medical records will let them know they are important to you.
- Stay “front of mind”. People are extremely busy and tend to push things to the back of their minds. Your efforts to stay in touch on a periodic basis will keep your firm in the forefront. This can be a monthly e –newsletter, quarterly printed newsletter, periodic article with a note that you thought they would find it interesting, or even a copy of your latest brochure with a note that you’d love a referral.
- Utilize social media to provide value to clients and prospects. Ask people to “like” you on Facebook or follow you on Twitter, and then give them valuable information in the form of legal tidbits, articles, current events or links to other informational websites. As an example, injury attorneys might provide a link to the Coast Guard’s YouTube channel in early May to promote boating safety.
- Hold a free educational seminar. Choose a topic of interest to your clients and invite them to hear you speak on selecting a nursing home, estate planning, etc. You might be able to cut the work required by partnering with a related business or speaking at an already planned community event.
In short, there are many ways you can build relationships with clients and prospects that will keep your firm’s name in front of them. When they need an attorney or a friend asks for that referral, your name will be the one they remember. Please let us know if you have some CRM practices that have worked well for you. Click here to learn more about client relationship management programs.