Many lawyers entered 2022 determined to step up their business development efforts to acquire more clients. And they pledged to spend less time on paperwork so they could spend more time practicing law.
“The most satisfying thing you can have as a lawyer is a solid relationship with a client where they trust what you tell them,” says a law firm’s business development consultant. John Rose, founder of Rain BDM. Building that trust in customers takes time and expertise, and it needs to show up in your marketing, business development, and service delivery.
the Thomson Reuters 2021 State of Small Law Firms Report found that “Indeed, many lawyers reported putting more emphasis on marketing and networking, improving communication with clients, updating websites, increasing social media presence, [and] change marketing strategy.
The report examined the activities undertaken by companies to generate more new business, especially to attract potential customers. According to the report, “Most respondents plan to increase their spending on video marketing, social media marketing and pay-per-click advertising, although networking, reputation management and websites were also down. popular choices.
That’s a lot of content to generate. So how can overworked lawyers satisfy these growing content needs while developing their own legal expertise?
With the right legal research technology, lawyers don’t have to start from scratch. Practical Law’s legal know-how content can help lawyers demonstrate their expertise and connect with potential clients. Many lawyers use available resources, including:
- Dynamic Search: Efficiently find the best answers quickly using artificial intelligence and human expertise
- Legal Updates: Get updates and changes specific to your practice area on a weekly or monthly basis
- Checklists: ensure that all phases of the case have been covered
- Model documents and clauses: Model drafts with notes and advice from Practical Law’s team of experts
Practical Law also helps elevate their business development and marketing efforts. For example, they can reuse Practical Law’s legal updates to keep clients, newsletter recipients, blog readers and social media connections informed of new legislative developments, trends and actions.
Reed notes that these marketing tactics can also present a great opportunity to strengthen a relationship with existing customers. “When you’re writing about a tax law update, reach out to a client who can add perspective,” he suggests. “It’s a great way to build relationships without selling anything.”
Winning new business and developing relationships with existing customers is not easy. You need to make people feel confident that you have the expertise and skills to work effectively on their behalf.
You might have the legal expertise and intellectual curiosity to tackle anything that comes your way. But how quickly can you demonstrate it? Practical Law can help you and your firm respond quickly to inquiries from clients and prospects:
- Legal training: Preparing and updating presentations for client trainings can take a lot of non-billable time. Instead of starting from scratch, download and customize Practical Law’s ready-to-use and regularly updated PowerPoint presentations. These documents help you explain legal issues in terms that everyone will understand with recent and relevant examples.
- Quick response to tricky questions: You can use Practical Law’s updated materials and resources to react quickly when a new issue arises and to ensure you can meet key deadlines. When your customers see this speed, they will be more likely to send you new topics.
- Competence at all levels of your company: Associates sometimes make mistakes and often don’t know where to start. Even seasoned lawyers sometimes rely on outdated precedents. Practical Law can help ensure that lawyers at all levels receive step-by-step advice that reflects current law and practice.
- Expanded Practice Areas: As clients turn to you for more support, they may need help in areas of practice outside of your expertise. Instead of referring this work to other firms, use Practical Law’s practice notes and checklists to get up to speed quickly and tackle new issues with confidence.
Of course, none of these resources replaces the expertise of the lawyer applying wisdom. For example, Reed notes that delivering a presentation on tax issues is a start — but there’s even more power in turning that presentation into a conversation about tax and other business needs of the audience. “By asking intelligent questions of your audience, you give them confidence that you understand their situation and you give answers that really help them,” he says. “And then you can identify the real business development opportunity that’s in front of you.”
Increasing your visibility through marketing efforts and building relationships with prospects through great business development are two great ways to grow your business. Of course, growing the volume of work with your existing clients is also crucial to the overall health of the business.
Reed encourages businesses to be strategic in developing relationships and referrals from existing customers. “I like companies to look back three years and see who their best customers were then – and who they are now,” he says. “Then we can ask questions ‘Who fell on the list? Who rode? What are the reasons for these changes and what can you learn from them? »
The more you learn about what makes or breaks bonds with your customers, the more you can build on your strengths. “If you can establish a trusting relationship status with clients, they will be your best source of referrals,” says Reed. “And if you’re so attached to your client that you don’t have to worry about them leaving your practice, you’ll enjoy your practice more.”
It is an ambitious and inspiring approach to the practice of law and the development of new business. You don’t have to do it alone. Find out how Practical Law can help you demonstrate your expertise, connect with clients and inspire confidence to win new business and grow your work with existing clients.