Of all the marketing initiatives that are critical for lawyers to commit to, the most basic and seemingly obvious is the “sin” of omission - - the failure to follow up.
We have worked with lawyers who have invested innumerable hours and thousands of dollars chasing after new clients and prospects but have largely been unsuccessful in retentions because of a gap in their business development process: following up.
Do any of these example ring familiar:
• A very sociable corporate partner attended numerous networking events a month, engaged easily with others attending, handed out business cards, but rarely received calls or new clients as a result. Because of her frustration, she curtailed her networking activities and short-circuited this important business development action step.
• A New York labor and employment boutique law firm hosted an annual educational program which featured leaders in the field and attracted high level CFOs and HR professionals to the event. They received high marks on all aspects of the events but few, if any, calls from prospects. Members of the disappointed team deemed the effort a “failure” and asserted that seminars don’t “work” to get new clients.
• The managing partner of a Connecticut firm received a referral from a trusted client who was searching for new counsel in this attorney’s “sweet spot” of legal practice. The partner attended a prospective client interview in which he thoroughly espoused all the ways his firm could save this prospect’s firm significant amounts of money, given the specific legal issues at stake. Day after day, the managing partner didn’t receive a call or email to discuss retention and getting started. Why did this prospect waste his time was the only thought the frustrated managing partner ruminated upon.
While each of these examples highlight effective marketing initiatives (targeted networking; educational seminars; in-person client interviews), they all share the same flawed result: lack of follow up and planning.
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