If ever there was a business development cheat sheet, this is it!
Once again, I have looked at my most successful clients and their activities over the last month or so and thought I would give you another snapshot of what is working so you too have a blueprint to follow.
- Went on a listening tour at a client’s headquarters for the sole purpose of seeing what regulatory and compliance issues the client was facing. He met with several managers, off the clock and came back to his office with amazing intelligence as to how next to best help the client.
- Flew to a client’s golf outing in the Midwest – on her own nickel– and enjoyed meeting more folks in the organization.
- Gave a story ideas to a reporter at a local business paper who then quoted the lawyer in the story she wrote.
- Took a different member of a Board on which she served out to lunch each week during the month to get to the individual better and understand any challenges they face.
- Went to a client’s son’s Division 1 soccer game to cheer him on.
- With her main practice area being slow right now, looked at pending legislation in Harrisburg and identified a new law that would create opportunities for her practice to grow in a different direction. It’s always great to see the next big thing around the corner and be the first to seize this real estate.
- Put together a referral network dinner between lawyers who did not compete that all went to the same undergraduate school. Her college did not have a law school—but former grads all loved the chance to connect in this meaningful way.
- Talked to his personal financial planner and accountant about ways they could now send him work. I love this—everyone you buy a service from should think to send you work as well. This includes physicians, architects, interior decorators, car dealers and anyone else who you are paying for some service. Why shouldn’t they feel the need to make this a reciprocal relationship?
- Wrote a very simple and short article for a trade magazine and then circulated it via social media to the public. This same lawyer then turned the article into an on-site talk for two different clients and sent it out as an e-blast to her entire mailing list.
- Looked at his list of top 5 clients and thought of ways—off the clock- to do something for each of them that would advance the client’s professional or personal goals in some way.
- Quietly observed how his receptionist was answering phones and greeting guests and reinforced, via praise, some of the excellent service she was providing.
- Reviewed the Philadelphia Business Journal’s upcoming nomination scheduled and decided to nominate a client for the “BEST CEO” competition.
- Sent two referral sources actual referrals.
- Participated in a law school alumni networking event and got re-acquainted with 2 former classmates who are now (but had not been) on her radar and vice-a-versa. Two days after the event, one tried to send her a matter. This points to the efficacy of “showing up” and focusing on just 1-2 people at networking events.
- Sent a client a work anniversary hand-written congratulatory note.
- Asked a client for the name of his favorite charity in case his law firm could lend a hand and help in some way.
- Secunded an associate to a top corporate client for 2 years.
- Discussed a service protocol with his new client including how the client wanted to receive news (email/snail mail), what his definition of responsiveness for phone calls and return emails would be, and how much of the strategy decisions he wished to be included in on. At this meeting, the lawyer made sure to have his assistant and paralegal come into the room to personally greet the client and shake her hand.
- Drove 2 hours to a client’s place of business just to check in and have lunch and see what problems the client had on his plate today.
- Walked the halls of the lawyer’s law firm to find out what things other lawyers were working on so that she could cross-sell these activities to her clients.
- Gave his client a subscription to Philadelphia Magazine so that once a month, when he receives it, the client will think of him.
- Took her secretary out to lunch to brainstorm on ways they could collectively ratchet up service to clients. It was particularly important for the lawyer to hear from her assistant what specific obstacles lay in her way to completing some of the desired tasks—so that these issues could be rectified.
As the list shows, good marketing comes in many shapes and sizes. Pick the ones that work for you and get going.
Reprinted with permission from The Legal Intelligencer, October 2, 2017. Copyright 2017 ALM Media Properties, LLC.