As lawyers, sometimes we focus so much of our time and energy on getting our prospects to sign on with us, that we forget to look at how to continue the relationship after the relationship begins. As a result, they walk out of our office after writing a big check, and promptly forget your name, or may even feel buyer’s remorse. Fixing this aspect of your practice can have a huge impact because you’ll start getting loads of referrals from your existing clients that pay off many times over for your life and law practice.
One of the most important things you can do as a lawyer is to ensure that your relationship with your clients is one that will have them raving about you for years to come. We have seen great success with our member lawyers in this area and here are some of the top tips that they have used to create long lasting clients and consistent referrals.
1. Send an email immediately after they sign up with you welcoming them to your firm
This would be a warm, personal note from you welcoming them and making them feel great about their decision. Ideally, this is automated and goes out with the simple click of a button once they’ve engaged your services. Supporting our lawyers to set these systems up in their offices is part of what we offer our Personal Family Lawyer and Creative Business Lawyer members with done for you emails and systems.
2. Introduce them to your team
After your initial welcome email goes out, send a series of introductory emails over a 2-week period introducing your new clients to the members of your team. This allows them to connect with them in a warm and inviting way. When they do come into your office they will already know who they will be meeting with.
If you are a true solo, then these emails would be designed to let your new clients know where they are in the process of their work with you, so they feel in the know even if you are not speaking with them directly.
3. Always Schedule the next meeting before they leave the office (or you hang up the phone)
Whether it’s a phone meeting or face-to-face, book that next point of contact in order to keep the process moving in the mind of the client.
And, it also gives you deadlines to work towards, so that your client matters don’t end up falling into a black hole of your “I’ll do that later list.”
One of the ways lawyers fail their clients is to begin a process and not finish it. I consistently had clients come into my office who had started the estate planning process with another lawyer, and then never signed their documents. Why? Because the lawyer didn’t have a system in place to keep the process moving forward. You can be guaranteed those clients aren’t referring their friends and family to that lawyer.
When you have a system in place for keeping their matter moving forward, and keeping them in the know about what’s happening, and always having the next meeting on the books, they will trust you and speak of you whenever someone needs your services.
4. When the matter is complete send a gift
Sending a gift to your client once you are complete with the service is a fantastic way of building reciprocity. Reciprocity is a phenomenon that has your clients want to give back to you because of how you’ve given to them. We have found, in our experience over the years, that food works best. Each time a client completed an estate plan with us, we sent a chocolate cake with streamers shooting from the top to celebrate the birth of their plan. It was an above-and-beyond connection with that specific client that had made them feel truly valued and special and turned them into raving fans. I can assure you they never forgot our firm name and told many of their friends and family about us.
5. Keep the connection alive
Ensure that you keep communicating with your clients once your service is complete. Our favorite way is through informative plus interesting weekly newsletters delivered by email and monthly newsletters delivered by mail plus a special offer made each month to bring new clients into the office. This keeps you at the top of their mind and gives them a reason to send their friends, family, clients and colleagues. And that equates to lots of no-cost marketing for you.
One of the resources we create “done for you” for our Personal Family Lawyer, Creative Business Lawyer, and Family Business Lawyer members are weekly articles that they can use in their blog posts, weekly email newsletters, on social media and in publications directed to their target audience. This is a great way to keep in touch with your existing clients as well.