Do you want to know something that can make you millions of dollars over the life of your law firm if you just listen to it, absorb it and DO IT? It’s so simple that you might read it or hear it and pass it by – missing it entirely or dismissing it as too obvious.
But if you are not living it, it’s not so obvious.
The secret is to be totally different from any law firm your clients have ever heard of or encountered. Sounds good so far, right? So, how do you do that?
Simple. You build your practice around them, not yourself. Are you doing that? Read on and find out about a few low cost, high leverage strategies that can literally make you rich as they have for other law firms.
Killer Strategy #1. Reach Out and Touch Someone
That’ right. Instead of being the big dog, master of the universe killer litigator who people should feel honored to be around… turn it around and make your client the star. Honor them. Serve them. Put their interests first.
Here’s one tactical application of this distinction that is so powerful, it will instantly transform your clients’ view of you and of the legal profession forever.
Ready? It’s pretty simple. Call them before they call you.
In most law firms, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease” principle is unconsciously followed by partners and staff when it comes to client service.
As many cases as possible are signed up and then left to their own devices. The clients are expected to chase the very busy and very important lawyers and when the very busy and very important lawyers can spare a moment they deliver a crumb of information, time and attention to the hungry, desperate little client.
Some firms do a better job of keeping clients in the loop, but there’s always a feeling in the client’s mind that they’re chasing – and therefore are a second class citizen. (I have personally conducted many dozens of interviews with law firm clients all over North America – and I always hear these concerns).
Call your clients before they call you. Call them personally if you can. Or have a highly trained and efficient person with excellent phone manner call them — before they have a chance to call, asking for an update on their case. They will be astonished and they will instantly conclude that your firm is different from any law firm they’ve encountered or ever heard about. What do you think that’s worth?
Always remember, it’s not what you say about you that’s important. It’s what they conclude in the privacy of their own mind about you that is true for them. So, this is one of the ultimate methods for leading them to a favorable conclusion about you. Said another way, if your strategic objective is to get your clients to conclude that your firm is unique and different…there is no better way than calling them before they call you.
Take a moment to calculate the value of this simple strategy. What does it cost you to attract a client through your normal marketing activities? How much does a referral cost? Would multiplying your referrals be a good strategy? Would differentiating yourself from all other law firms be a great way to increase referrals? What if your rate of referrals increased by 25%? How about 50%?
Do you “get” how powerful this is? And why? Because it flies in the face of everything people know or think they know about lawyers.
I don’t have to tell you that people have perceptions about lawyers. Rightly or wrongly lawyers have gotten a bad rap. If you do nothing to correct these perceptions – then by default you are volunteering to have them applied to you. But if you can take a few proactive steps to differentiate yourself, people will think, “These guys aren’ t like most lawyers!”
I know from personal experience how incredibly dedicated personal injury lawyers are. But there is something
you must know: the level of satisfaction a client feels is not directly related to the quality of the legal work done on their behalf.
Very rarely so.
And it’s not directly related to the size of the settlement.
The perceived value of the lawyer’s services is directly proportionate to the quality of the communication – and the quality of the relationship. Understanding this fact and masterfully applying it to the way you do business could make a bigger difference in your wealth and life satisfaction than just about anything else.
When people sign up with a lawyer they are hoping to be kept in the loop. They are hoping to be respected. They are hoping to be listened to and really heard. They want to be acknowledged – and included as an intelligent participant. They want justice, yes. But, their deepest need is in the domain of relationship.
I know some okay lawyers who have fanatic fans who refer like crazy. And I know some excellent litigators whose clients don’t fully appreciate the brilliant legal work that was done in their behalf.
From a lawyer marketing perspective, the relationship is even more important than the result. In the consulting world we call it “managing client expectations”. A beautifully managed project with a mediocre result will produce much more satisfaction than a project with brilliant results and only okay client management.
Admittedly, some clients are a pain in the neck and call too often. You cant always be interrupting your schedule four times a day. But your client has a reasonable right to expect regular updates on their case, to be given documentation, and to be included in the process. Some clever law firms create artificial milestones for the simple purpose of keeping the client in the loop and constantly “papering them with information” as the events unfold.
This is good strategy. Once it’s set up it’s easy to manage and creates significant “perceived value” in the mind of the client.
A better strategy is to nurture that relationship, to honour that person, and to do it in a way that is personal but doesn’t require you to stay up to 11:00 every night. Make it personal as much as possible. If you can’t call personally, have a very personable person make the call for you.
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