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How Top Attorneys Use These Hidden Practices To Fill Their Practice, Part Three

May 23, 2008
In the previous two articles we discussed how top attorneys use a proven system to build powerful relationships with Strategic Referral Partners, like CPAs, financial planners, bankers, and other lawyers to market their law firm. We also covered several ways you can use the internet to market and grow your law practice.

In this third part of the series we will focus on ways to keep in touch with your clients to obtain repeat business and generate more and better referrals for your law firm.

The third strategy top attorneys use for law firm marketing is to stay connected with their current and former clients.

Law Firm Marketing Secret 3. Stay Connected With Current and Former Clients

After working with over 6,000 lawyers to help them build financially successful and personally satisfying law practices, I have found many of them do not have relationships with their clients. All they have is a series of transactions that they handled for their clients. A true client-attorney relationship is meaningful, long-term and influential. It is more than just handling their estate planning documents or filing a personal injury lawsuit for them.

To build a true relationship with your clients you need to stay connected with them. And since the best source of referrals is a satisfied client, you need to be sure your clients remember you when one of their friends or colleagues needs your help.

If you're like most attorneys, you have helped hundreds of people over the years, so staying connected to them every 4-8 weeks can be an overwhelming task, unless you know how to leverage technology and automate the process.

Here are a few tips we recommend for building meaningful, influential, and long-term relationships with your clients:

* Use a database management program. Have your assistant enter their contact info into a database program like ACT!, Goldmine or Salesforce.com. Information is only as useful as it is accessible.

* Collect their email addresses. Add a place for their email addresses on your intake form.

* Send out a Keep In Touch letter to former clients thanking them for the opportunity to serve them.

* Conduct an Annual Client Satisfaction Survey (this is a good activity for the end of the year). Ask them what they liked most and least about your firm as well as what upcoming challenges you could assist them with.

* Offer them a special report or Top 10 Tips sheet and request they update their contact information.

* Send them practical, educational information every 4-6 weeks. Electronic newsletters, called e-zines, are the best way to stay connected. Make them short. Focus on informing, educating and adding value to your clients (do not turn this into a sales pitch). We recommend Constant Contact to manage your e-zine.

Be creative when thinking up ways to stay connected to your clients, but above all be consistent. A few months ago I used a business attorney to create an independent contractor's agreement for me. He recently sent me a birthday card with a short handwritten note in it (I don't even recall where he learned what my birthday was). I honestly had not even thought about him since the last time I hired him, but because he stayed in touch with the birthday card I immediately sent him another piece of work, creating an operating agreement for a new company I was starting. The first piece of business was for less than $3,000, but by the time this matter is finished it will be closer to $10,000 more. All because he stayed in touch!

Take a minute and write down 2 things you can do in the next 30 days to touch base with your top 10 clients.

In the fourth part of this series we will cover ways to create a Unique Competitive Advantage for your law practice, which answers the question, Why should I hire you versus your competition?
About the Author
The Rainmaker Institute is the nation's largest law firm marketing company that specializes in helping small law firms and solo practitioners generate more and better referrals and fill their practice. Over 6,000 attorneys have benefited from applying our proven Rainmaker Marketing System. Stephen Fairley founded the company in 1998. For more information visit www.toplawfirmmarketingtips.com
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