Last week, a package arrived at my office from Bloomingdale’s. It was no surprise - I had ordered the items a few days earlier and anxiously tracked their arrival from the distribution center to my office. When I opened the box, I was greeted with this card:
Not only did it give me pause (and a smile), it made me think about how often we, as legal marketers, and our attorneys/firms send the message of ”I value you” to our clients. Do the services you provide to your attorneys convey that they are, in fact, like no other “customer” in the world? And do your attorneys carry this message to the firm’s clients?
On his blog, “Practice Smarter,” Judd Kessler outlined some ways that attorneys can show clients that they appreciate and value their business. Suggestions included:
- Keep up with what is going on in a client’s industry, understand their competitive landscape and keep them aware of how legal developments may affect their business.
- Help the client obtain more valuable business. Kessler says, “If ever you are able to actually expand the client’s business by introducing the client to other clients or to other lawyers in your firm who can do the same, that is always a plus.”
At last fall’s Virginias Chapter CME Conference, John Hodder, Chief Marketing Officer at Paul, Weiss led a session titled: “What Does It Mean to Me? Increasing Your Value As A Legal Marketer”. The session was eye-opening- Mr. Hodder introduced a concept that I hadn’t thought of before:
As legal marketers, we should be doing the same things with our clients (the lawyers) that we tell/help our lawyers to do with their clients.
How does this translate into actionable items for legal marketers? As suggested above, keep track of the developments and news affecting key firm clients, practice areas and industry groups. In terms of introductions, network with your colleagues to learn about what other lawyers at your firm are doing, and understand how their activities fit with those of your attorneys.
Finally: How do you show your supervisors and attorneys that you are like no other legal marketer in the world? Here are some additional tips from Mr. Hodder’s presentation:
- Communication is key – sharing information strengthens EVERYONE’S position.
- Celebrate your strengths – find a resource to help you with your weaknesses.
- Identify creative ways to discuss business issues.