By the time you’re a senior lawyer, your technical skills should be sharp and focused. The bad news? So are the skills of every lawyer at your level at most other firm. So how do you stand out?
Clients have an expectation for a level of competence they should be able to find at any firm. To be retained, you need to be able to offer something more.
Engaging with your clients on a person-to-person level is essential and should be at the centre of all client relationships. We’ve already spoken about lawyers being wary of “selling” their services , but a good pitch and even better interpersonal skills are the best tools for winning clients and keeping them.
Law firms aren’t just about the brand anymore. People follow people.
Taking a few extra steps – providing regular non-chargeable updates, for example – will let them know that you are working hard for them.
What can you offer?
Understand your clients’ problems, desired outcomes, and expectations. Listen to them carefully when they explain what they do and what they are struggling with. Be authentic in your advice.
Anything from capped fees, to putting them in touch with non-legal professionals, or cross-referral within the firm are all services that your clients will find helpful.
Maintaining the Relationship
Don’t forget to focus on developing a long-term relationship. Check up on clients even after their matter is over. Keep in touch regularly. Remember – you don’t need a reason to give someone a call.
Cultivating a relationship that doesn’t look just like a business transaction will show clients that you care about them, and not just their business.
Continuing to add value throughout your relationship with a client is the easiest way to retain them.
If you are continually exceeding the expected level of service, there’s no reason a client would move to another lawyer, no matter how qualified.