By Beth Rosenfeld, Lisa Peskin and Brynne Tillman
Special to the Legal
One of the best ways to grow a practice is through client marketing. When we visit our clients there are five things we are looking for to leverage the relationship:
We want to ask the right questions to uncover new opportunities with the same client. For example, if you are a patent attorney, identify other projects and discuss all legal needs and timelines. Probe and directly ask to be a part of the new project(s).
Depending on the size of the client you tend to work with, there are often additional contacts within the company who also have legal needs. Ask your clients if there are other departments you should be talking with to explore additional opportunities to work together.
Asking your clients for referrals can be very effective in growing your client roster. It is a simple question: "Mr. Client, do you know of anyone who could potentially benefit from my legal expertise?" The challenge with this can be that your client doesn't know who they know that would make for a good introduction.
This is where you can maximize the power of LinkedIn. First, connect with your clients on LinkedIn. Next, analyze your client's connections. Finally, select four or five people who would make great introductions for you and your firm. Once those appealing connections have been identified, approach your client by saying: "Ms. Client, I noticed that you are connected to five professionals on LinkedIn whom I would like to meet. Can I run those names by you?" Most likely, from the five introductions you request, you can count on one or two actual introductions.
Case studies and testimonials can be a great asset in the pursuit of new clients. However, many attorneys do not take the time to write case studies and request testimonials. The best time to ask for a testimonial is directly after a client expresses how grateful they are for all of your hard work. As soon as you receive this type of compliment, it is appropriate to ask: "Mr. Client, I sincerely appreciate your kind words. I am currently in the process of building my LinkedIn profile and if you are willing to write a brief synopsis/testimonial of your positive feedback, I would greatly appreciate it. May I send you a recommendation link from LinkedIn to simplify the process?"
Identify your client's accountants and other professionals that they work with and then reach out to introduce yourself to those people. These are great relationships to develop and grow as the two of you obviously target similar clients and can potentially make great referral sources for one another.
Simple steps, big results. Client marketing just might be the most effective way to grow your practice.