Today’s lawyer is so focused on getting the message out that will persuade the potential client to call the firm; the lawyer fails to look within to see if a change in the thought process, management, or delivery of the product can create new clients. From someone who spends a great deal on marketing, I have become quite savvy on how to generate free clients.
Traditionally, the client used to have one lawyer who handled everything. Then, due to fast paced technology, coupled with a much smarter client, lawyers could not depend on repeat business. The advent of lawyers doing marketing by touting cheaper rates or other hooks knocked the old- time family lawyer right off the top rung. Those lawyers today are still trying to figure out what went wrong and how to change the practice in order to meet the 21st Century’s client consumer.
Today’s firm marketing has to be more than yellow pages, television, or other media markets. Firms must simply figure out what the client wants and deliver it in such a fashion that they become mini-marketers for your law firm.
Today’s client wants more than just a lawyer. I don’t recall one client who has asked me where I went to law school, what my class ranking was, or even if they could see my law license. Clients were looking for me to get on their level, talk to them, and be available to them.
I’m a keeper of statistics, and it became apparent when we implemented our strategic plan back in 1997 that my most valuable commodity was my high rate of client rapport. A good portion of my business came from clients who genuinely liked me, and told everyone about me long after their case was settled.
Over the years, I started noticing that there was a big difference between ‘just satisfying’ the client with the right results, and developing a relationship with the client that lasted far beyond the settlement of the case. Thus, I created and designed a client loyalty program within my firm that accounts for approximately 33% of my new clients, many of which were referred by clients I represented over 15 years ago. Ask anyone at my firm and they will vouch that my development of client loyalty versus client satisfaction is non-negotiable. I don’t care how much money you generate, you are tasked with creating client loyalty.