Some of these will work for you and your firm and some
will not. None of the activities alone will help you get clients.
Marketing is a constant and cumulative effort. There are no brilliant
"new" ideas listed. These are simple, practical and
cost-effective ideas to help build your practice. Do not dismiss some of
them because they seem simple. Ask yourself if you are actually using some
of the tasks that are recommended. These tips are in no particular order.
Ask for referrals.
Most new business will come from referrals and negative referrals will
travel faster than positive ones.
Monitor who refers you business. If a particular person stops referring
you business, ask why.
ALWAYS thank the person in writing who refers you a client even
if you do not get the client.
Tell all of your clients and referral sources what services you
provide. Provide current clients with all the necessary information about
the firm and the services provided so that they can be even better
referral sources. Do not assume that everyone knows all the areas of law
that you practice.
Refer business that you do not take to other attorneys.
Network. Network. Network. Remember this is a neverending process. It
also takes a long time to develop and benefit from many in your network.
Ask Your Clients What They Think:
Do not be afraid to survey clients and ask them about their
satisfaction level. Some insights that can be determined from a client
- level of satisfaction with the work performed
- client's perception of you and all of the employees with whom they
- whether the client would use your services again
- whether the client would refer you other clients
- what criteria the client used in selecting you
- what suggestions the client may have for improving service
- the client's future legal needs
- whether the client is aware of all types of legal services
The common wisdom is that 80% of marketing efforts should be spent on
cultivating current clients and 20% should be spent obtaining new
Always return your phone calls within 24 hours. If you can't personally
return them, have someone else return them.
Availability or non-availability is the single most important factor in
your being selected as or not being selected after you have been
Make certain each person in the office knows how to greet clients.
Do not assume that everyone shares your attention to personal service.
Never make clients wait longer than five minutes to see you.
Introduce clients to your secretary.
Get to know your client's business. If appropriate, visit your client's
Let others know you are interested in doing their work.
Bill monthly and with detail. Show that there was effort in the work
you performed. Consider writing a short note on each bill.
Write a little "no-activity" note to clients whose matter had
not been worked on in 90 days.
Send clients copies of all correspondence related to their case.
Consider investing in some folders with the firm's name on it to give to
the client to keep all their papers. This is extremely helpful for elderly
Send welcome letters to all new clients.
Communicate as much as possible with your clients, prospective clients
and referral sources.
Be perceived as an expert. Write articles, be a speaker. Many local
trade associations and organizations are always looking for short articles
for their newsletters. Many groups are also looking for speakers or panel
Send press releases. Small, local newspapers are especially interested
in press releases. Information should be timely and short.
Never say that you are working too hard or that you are too busy.
Indicate that business is good and you are always looking for more.
Always have your business card and hand it out.
Remember client's special events, especially birthdays, anniversaries
Remind clients of obligations, such as lease renewal dates, business
name registration dates, and other important dates.
Send congratulations to clients and thank them for their business.
Come with new ideas for clients or their business. Even if the ideas
are not acted upon at that time, it shows the clients you are thinking of
them and that you are creative.
Add "client service" language to your standard engagement
Develop and maintain a computerized database (Rolodex) of all your
current clients, potential clients, referral sources, business associates
etc. Include as much information about the individual as necessary.
Include information about why the client came to your firm, the last time
a referral source sent you business, where you met a potential new client.
Send information that you read in magazines, newspapers, etc. to
clients who may have a an interest in a particular area. Simply send it
with a short handwritten note the at says "Thought this might be of
interest to you." Make a commitment to send at least two each week.
If you are a solo or in small firm, consider limiting the type of
clients and business that you take. This will allow you to focus your
efforts more effectively.
Use lunch productively. At least twice a week, every week, go to lunch
with a client, referral source, potential client. Make lunch an
opportunity for marketing.
Every Monday morning (or even Sunday before you go to the office) write
down five marketing activities that you will accomplish during that week.
(More if you are super human).
Make certain EVERYONE in your firm knows exactly what type if
law you practice and what type of clients you are interested in having.
Share information about case successes with staff. (If you think everyone
in your firm knows what type of law you practice, actually ask them to
describe to a potential new client some information about your firm.)
Actually put in writing a short (30 second) description of your
practice. This should be used whenever someone asks, "What type of
law do you practice?" Everyone in the firm should have a copy of the
Make a list of 510 people/businesses you would like to realistically
have as clients. Then determine what you can do to make that happen.
Make a list of your ten best clients or the last ten new clients you
added. Determine why they came to the firm. This will allow you to
determine which or your current "marketing" efforts are
successful. Increase those efforts.
Never participate in any activity just to "get business."
Always participate in an activity that you enjoy or have some interest in.
If you are not interested in the group, you will not give it your best
effort and you will not benefit in any way. It may in fact, hinder you
Never apologize for the size of your firm. This is especially important
for solos and small firm practitioners. There are a lot of good reasons
for clients, regardless of size, to use a solo or small firm practitioner.
Know what they are and let your clients and potential clients know. The
same is true for larger firms. Always stress your strengths.
Be available. Let your clients know that you call them at home if you
will be out all day. If you work on the weekends, you may want to set some
time to talk with clients. You have to make a decision as to whether or
not you want to allow clients to call you at home. This is a very personal
decision. You might want to have a separate line installed at home that
will be just for clients to contact you during "nonbusiness"
If you have email and give your address to clients (which you should
be doing), make certain that you check it as often as your voice mail.
If there is more than one attorney in your firm, learn to cross-sell
services to other clients. Discuss what other services clients may need.
Very often clients are not even aware of the services provided by the
firm. Spend time discussing clients' needs with attorneys in the firm.
Consider sending well written letters to the editor especially about
issues related to the type of law that you practice.