Do you know where your best clients come from? I’m betting a good number of them come from referrals from your current clients. So, if you want to welcome more “A” clients into your practice, start by focusing on the relationships you have with your current clients. Your current “A” clients can be ambassadors for your practice. If you pay attention to the relationship, your current clients can become your best referral sources.
Ten Tips for Strengthening Your Client Relationships
- Communicate. Communicate. Communicate. Call it a failure to communicate or simple neglect. One of the biggest complaints from clients is lack of communication. So, this is your starting point. Communicate with your clients. Be proactive. Let them know what is happening with their case. Do this early and often, and by the means that THEY choose. (See #6.)
- Listen. One of the greatest desires of the spirit is to be heard. Listen to what your clients want. Just because you think you may be able to pursue a certain legal course of action doesn’t mean that’s what your client wants.
- Pay attention. Paying attention means listening for what your client is not saying and asking the right questions.
- Show you care. I remember a conversation I had with a business man who had just lost a lot of money in a deal gone bad. A lot of money. Here’s what he said to me: “I don’t blame my lawyer. I know he did the best he could. But you think he could pick up the phone and ask how I’m doing?” Your clients want to know you care about them.
- Be true to your word. If you say you’re going to call a client or email a client or “get back with” a client or do anything for a client, do it. Period.
- Personalize your services. Do you know how your clients like to communicate? By phone? Email? Text? (Yes, I said text. It’s 2017. If you’re not using texts to communicate with clients, check out Zipwhip. It’s an app that allows you to text from your existing business phone number. A client who likes to text told me about it.) This is just one way to personalize your services. Brainstorm with your team about other ideas.
- Ask for feedback. If you’re communicating, listening, and paying attention, asking for feedback is the next step. Create process for client feedback, not just at the end of representation, but throughout it.
- Make them feel welcome. Your clients are going through a stressful time. Maybe the stress is good – like launching a new business. Maybe the stress is bad – like going through a divorce. Whatever the stress, you want your clients to feel welcomed by your office. From how your phones are answered to how your office is decorated, you can make your clients feel welcome – or not.
- Smile. I know what you’re thinking . . . “She’s nuts.” Law is a serious business. Yes, it is. All the more reason to smile. Research has shown that our emotions are contagious. Be a good contagion for your clients and everyone around you. Simply smiling (genuinely smiling) more often can help to lighten the load for your clients.
- Thank them for every referral. Simple as that. Thank them for every referral. Can you call and thank them? Yes. Can you email and thank them? Yes. Can you even text and thank them? Yes. You can do all of these things, but if you really want to get their attention, send them an old-fashioned, personalized thank you note.