Every lawyer wants the shiny new object in marketing. The shinier, the better. But the fancy, new marketing toy inevitably disappoints and you end up back at the drawing board. Truth is, nothing works better than old school marketing.
So, let’s brush off the marketing toolbox and go back to basics. These little tips can make all of the difference for your law firm.
Tip #1: Birthday Phone Calls to Your Clients
My financial planner calls me once a year on my birthday (hell, my mother doesn’t even remember my birthday). Most of the time, my financial planner leaves a voice message, but it’s the thought that counts. And who else is doing this? No one! And that’s exactly why you should.
Have your assistant prepare a list of your clients’ birthdays and wedding anniversaries and enter them in your calendar with your clients’ cell numbers. Take a couple of minutes to call your clients on their birthday. 80% of the time your clients won’t answer and you’ll leave a voice message (or sing Happy Birthday). This small, seemingly insignificant personal touch instantly sets you apart from every other lawyer.
Tip #2: Framed Photos for Your Clients
When a case settles, take a photo with your clients, put the 8” x 10” photo in a custom frame, gift wrap the framed photo and hand deliver it to your clients as a gift. Your clients will never forget this.
Yesterday, I called a former client, Patricia, to wish her a Happy Birthday (see Tip #1). Patricia told me that she was looking at the framed photo hanging in her kitchen as we spoke and added, “This is what makes you special.” Made my day and there’s no reason you can’t do the same.
The framed photo is a constant reminder of the relationship with your clients and keeps you “top of mind” with them. These little touchpoints, e.g. birthday calls and gifts of framed photos, don’t cost much, but the long-term value is…well, you get the point.
Tip #3: Parties for Your Clients
Want to transform your relationship with your clients from professional to personal? There’s no better way than a party. Invite your current and former clients (and their families) to a dinner party at a local restaurant and treat them to some fun, laughs and grub. Your clients will never forget this.
I invite our clients (and their families) to a 2-hour cruise on the Hudson River. While chit-chatting during the cruise, a client told me, “I never knew you thought of us as friends.” Wow, made my day. A party or dinner shows your clients that you care about them and deepens the bond in a way that nothing else can. Try this just once and you’ll be kicking yourself for not doing this before.
Tip #4: Monthly Lunch Dates with Your Clients
Want to show your clients that you care? Take one client to lunch with your team every month. Don’t talk about your client’s case—ask about their kids and their hobbies. Show that you care, e.g., invite clients to your holiday parties.
Money isn’t everything, but for the severely disabled, it can make a helluva difference. At the monthly lunch dates with your clients, your team will get to see first-hand the impact of their hard work. Nothing will do more to motivate and inspire your team.
Tip #5: Home Visits with Your Clients
For some strange reason, most lawyers meet clients at their law office. Big mistake! Your law office is a cold, sterile environment where few clients feel comfortable. Instead, meet your clients in their home. Get to see what their lives are really like, e.g., see them trying to get up the stairs or getting in and out of their car.
Your clients will appreciate that you took the time to see what their lives are really like. Home visits deepen the bond between you and your clients and as a side bonus, you’ll be better prepared to tell their story in court.
Show Up Like No One Else
Don’t have time for this brand of old school marketing? That’s exactly what your competitors are saying too. But when you show up like no other lawyer, you build a deeper bond with your clients and in turn, they learn that you’re different from every other lawyer.
Try a couple of these tips and see how things turn out. With a little time and effort, these tips can transform your relationship with your clients from strictly professional to a deeper, personal relationship. And the beneficiary? Well, you can decide.