By Liza Vasquez ICF CMC and Jeffrey F. Silber CPA MBA CMC
Certified Master Business and Life Coaches
The end of the year can be a difficult time for lawyers because many of their clients have some legal or tax matters that need to be resolved before December 31st. Certainly, these are important matters that must be attended to, and yet they may just be a lot of busy work as compared to your need to keep your marketing efforts moving forward.
Here we will cover what we consider to be a few of the most important activities you should be doing from now until the new year dawns.
With your current clients, this is the time of year to show your appreciation by taking them out for a nice lunch. On one hand, this furthers the all-important Human Connection that you need to ensure that they remain loyal clients well into the future.
There is also a specific point to be covered at a year-end lunch. That is, you will want some feedback on how your firm’s services have been during the year. Ask what the client would like improves in 2023 such as the frequency and details of your reporting on open matters; how was the quality of the lawyers who worked on their matters, and so on.
If you can find even one thing of your clients/ suggestions to implement going into the new year, the client will feel heard and appreciated.
Holiday Gifts for Your Clients
Another way to show your appreciation of your clients’ loyalty will be by giving a holiday gift. There are some clients which cannot accept any gifts at all due to company rules or actual legal restrictions imposed on publicly traded companies. If you are not able to give even a small gift, then as mentioned above, at least take them to lunch.
The gifts should be proportional to the amount of legal services you perform for the client with the most expensive gifts being subject to a reasonability test. Bottles of wine, fruit baskets, tickets to sporting events or concerts, a good pen are all reasonable gifts.
Some law firms like to give coffee-table art books or books with scenes of nature. These are usually quite heavy and should be given only when they can be delivered by a messenger. If your clients are from out of your country, keep in mind that space and weight are important issues for international travelers. If it is a heavy gift such as a book, send it to your client’s office – do not force them to carry them because your expensive book might get left behind in their hotel room.
Our suggestion for clients from out of your country is a local cookbook. Send them a Mexican, Brazilian, New England, Californian, Cajun (New Orleans) and so on cookbook to their office, with a note “Here is a taste of Mexican/Brazilian/New England cooking until you return.” This book will get a lot of use and the recipient will be continuously reminded about you.
Law firm holiday cards that are sent to everyone in the firm’s database do very little to make the recipient feel appreciated.
Our suggestion to further the Human Connection with your current and prospective clients is to send a photo of yourself with your life partner and your children. In the age of electronic communication, this is easy to do. Do not worry if you do not have children. Any photo of you: with your mate and your dog; or you with your dog, or you alone in front of the Parthenon in Greece, on the ski slope, on the Great Wall of China, or even a picture of you speaking at a conference.
Together with a personal note. “Merry Christmas, Eduardo, and may you and your loved ones have a great year ahead in 2023. Signed by you”
If you know something specific about this person and/or their mate, children, or dog, by all means, make mention of it. This will make the recipient feel very close to you. Sending these individual holiday cards, each with a personal note, will certainly take time. The result you will achieve will make the effort worthwhile.
These holiday cards and the personal notes will be sent in some electronic form, of course.
Post An Article: Prepare Your Clients for 2023
Let us not overlook your legal skills and knowledge. Write an article, post it on LinkedIn, your firm’s website, on your Blog and send it directly to all your current and potential clients, giving them some advice about measures they can take before the end of the year that will prove to have been wise steps in 2023.
If we do not have a chance to speak with you or take you to lunch for the end of the year, let us wish you lots of good health, business successes, joy, love and personal fulfillment in 2023.
Coaching and Support in 2023 and Beyond
What we have discussed in this article is only a small fraction of what we teach our lawyer-clients in how to attract more new clients and bring more important new matters to your firm, in our coaching course. We can help grow your practice as your business coaches. And we can train you and your firm’s lawyers to become more effective marketers and stronger rainmakers. For specific questions about this article or about the Coaching Programs we have for you and/or your law firm, please email us at:
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