- On August 20, 2017
Lawyers are in the service industry. Whether you are at a firm or in-house, you need to build your client base and have them come to you with their problems. How do you get loyal clients? I recently attended a career panel by NAPABA and gleaned these 5 tips from leading attorneys:
- Develop your craft. Become the subject matter expert. Build your reputation, and soon it will precede you. When you are known for your work, clients often come to you.
- Become your clients’ business partners. Know their challenges, and anticipate when they will need your advice. For example, a client of one partner has a monthly business meeting, so the partner provides slides in advance and stands ready to answer any questions.
- Get mentors and clients invested in your career. Impress them with your work and responsiveness so that they will ask only for you over time.
- Be kind to everyone. One executive, when starting out, was told by a big firm associate to give up law and to get married instead. Another executive, when junior, met a law firm partner who would only greet those he deemed important enough, and she was consistently snubbed. A decade later, these rude external counsel are still remembered and will never receive any business from these now-important lawyers.
- Share knowledge freely. Relationships are not quid pro quo. Even if potential clients don’t go with you this time, if you treated them well and gave good advice or referrals, they may come back.