Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Importance of Client Relationships

Ballard Spahr (500-plus layers) has hired a full-time “client interviewer,” and Stanislaw Ashbaugh (19 lawyers) prominently links to their Chief Results Officer from their home page. Also, Ward and Smith PA (80 lawyers) has a partner who is devoted to visiting clients nearly full-time.

Apparently other firms have similar positions. This development exhibits the number one rule of business success: keep the clients you already have. Its been estimated it costs ten times the amount of time and money to get a new client as opposed to keeping an old one.

Take this approach to heart and grow your existing relationships today. The best investment any lawyer can make is to spend fifteen minutes each week thinking about new projects he’d like to do for existing clients. We’re always pursuing the next client - when we should be pursuing a better relationship with our existing clients.

Adding value to the client relationship is the best way to grow revenues and keep clients. One path is to offer them more than words. Demonstrate the simple fact that you bring something to the table beyond the ability to provide what they ask for.

Spend a few minutes researching your clients' competitors. Google a few statistics, then put it all down on a single sheet of paper (or e-mail). Offer the client your solution to a problem they didn't even know they had and reap the rewards!

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