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These days, it is not enough for lawyers to handle clients’ instructions in a professional, timely, and cost-efficient manner. The market for legal services is extremely competitive and clients are increasingly looking for firms that go the extra mile by investing in providing ‘added-value’ services, usually free-of-charge. So, if one of your key clients requests such services, what should you do?
There are two issues here: what services should you be making available and how much investment – usually non-chargeable time – should you be putting into each client?
As the time and cash invested in providing these services is a cost which reduces the overall profitability of that client relationship, it makes sense to invest more in the firm’s key clients, ie those which currently generate the greatest billings and profits, or those where there is the greatest potential to grow income.
As a rule, I would advise investing up to 5% of total billings in providing such services to key clients, but make sure that all members of the team record their non-chargeable time invested in each client in this way. This way, the investment can be monitored and ROI analysis can be carried out.
In no particular order, and certainly not an exhaustive list, firms should consider offering the following types of activities to key clients, remembering to consult each client on which they would find most useful.
There can’t be a law firm in the land that doesn’t provide legal updates or newsletters to its clients, but how many of you produce bespoke updates for each of your key clients, ‘cutting and pasting’ the relevant bits from each of your regular practice area or sector updates, to give the client just the information and insights that they need to do their jobs more effectively? This information can then be provided as a PDF or online.
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Kevin Wheeler has been advising professional services firms on all
aspects of marketing and business development for nearly 30 years. As a
consultant he helps firms to manage and grow their key clients as well
as to win new ones. As a certified coach with WABC he works with
partners and those approaching partnership to improve their BD skills.
0330 161 1234