Poll reveals why firms should invest the time and money required to create alerts, seminars, attend trade shows and visit clients
December 3, 2014
Why should firms spends tens of thousands of dollars and hundreds of attorney hours year-after-year writing alerts, developing trainings and client seminars? Why discuss their client’s business strategy, visit client offices and tour client facilities? Add in the expense of attending the key meetings and trade shows their clients attend so they are fluent in and understand a client’s industry?
Those are staples of law firm marketing plans we write for local and regional law firms. A poll of in-house lawyers now reveals their value.
“A client relationship is not a one-way street of the client paying and a firm providing legal services. Clients expect you to add to the relationship—bring new insights, help avoid costly risks, leverage lessons learned to improve efficiency, and help in ways you haven’t helped before. Your investment is the cost of new business. Clients want to invest—financially and emotionally—in equally invested firms. If clients sense a lack of investment, the work will be bid out,” wrote Michael Rynowecer of BTI Consulting recently.
Firms that invest in their clients, Rynowecer wrote, “are enjoying quantum leaps—6% to 11% higher growth—in performance and earning more business than before.
“The challenge for any firm is to stay one step ahead of clients’ goals and outpace competitors looking to unseat you as a client’s primary provider,” Rynowecer said, adding that “Legal advice is widely available. Targeted guidance meshing with clients’ specific needs is the rare four-leaf clover clients seek.”
The alternative: compete on price. That’s fine as long as you are the cheapest in town, but when the time comes that you’re not, and that time inevitably does come, your clients have no incentive to stay with you.
What does a firm gain from the time and money these marketing efforts require? Well, your clients invest in your firm’s success in return. According to a poll of in-house lawyers by Rynowecer’ s BTI Consulting, 41 percent of clients do it in the single most important way any professional can help another professional—by enthusiastically referring you and your firm to a peer. All of us know nothing is more powerful or valuable than a personal recommendation.