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How to Keep Your Clients Close By Keeping Your BD and Marketing Team Closer‎

An article by Robus Legal Marketing was published in the June-July 2015 edition of PSMG magazine, dealing with the importance of keeping your clients ‘close’, using the marketing team

Robus Legal Marketing is the Israeli affiliate of PSMG – one of the largest legal marketing associations – Professional Services Marketing Association. We wish to thank Mr. Matt Baldwin – Editor – for his assistance. Enjoy the article, for the full PDF version, please Click Here


How to Keep Your Clients Close By Keeping Your BD and Marketing Team Closer

By Zohar Fisher, Founder of Robus Legal Marketing

In our days, one of the most important factors that can lead a law firm to great heights, and just as importantly, help it remain there, is building strong and trusting bonds between the lawyers and their clients. However, more frequently than not, the BD and marketing teams in law firms are not used to their full potential in this aspect. Despite their relative distance from the law firm’s end-clients, BD and marketing teams can actually have considerable influence on this important survival factor

In an ALM Legal Intelligence study published in October 2012, it was found that only 22% of lawyers were well-informed and educated about their clients’ businesses. How can a lawyer who does not show fluency in his client’s business build a strong connection with him

Below are 3 different categories, based on the level of time and effort spent, that show how very useful BD and marketing teams can be for law firms in the process of creating and maintaining warm professional relationships with their clients

Novice: Make Clear You Hold Them Dear

At the “Novice” level, the law firm must show its clients they are always in its thoughts. One standard that can be suggested in order to make a satisfied client into a returning one is sending birthday and holiday cards. Writing a short, heartfelt message shows care and appreciation. Another minimum-effort attention-boost, which carries great meaning for its receivers, is sending the clients newsletters and essays that have to do with their line of business

These e-mails, which appeal to the clients’ interests, once again remind the clients you are thinking of them

In both cases, these meaningful messages must communicate graphically the same message as other marketing tools used by the firm, altogether creating the firm’s unified personality. This task requires a close cooperation between the BD and marketing teams with the graphic design team. For example, if the tone the firm wants to set is of modernity and ingenuity, the card could contain special graphic effects or a witty phrase. Once the sending of such materials is established as a cross-practice must, the lawyers will never miss a chance to show their clients they are in their mind

Advanced: Make Clear You Want Them Near

Mastering the “Advanced” level is no easy feat. This stage introduces the art of face-to-face interaction, otherwise practiced in open seminars the law firm organizes. In these seminars, be they 2-hours long or half a day, the law firm can bring in relevant speakers, lead enriching activities, or simply act as a networking platform for its clients. By bringing in professionals, introducing clients to recent rulings and provoking discussions and debates, your clients become better-informed businessmen, while the lawyers look more professional and valuable

In this stage, similarly to the lawyers, the BD and marketing teams have a lot of work to do. They are usually the ones to design the invitations, handpick the speakers and activities, coordinate with the press in order to receive media coverage and more

Along with the logistical preparations, the BD and marketing teams can influence the lawyers’ chances of having positive one-on-one interactions with their clients in these events by equipping them with handy and useful tips. By going through the guest list with the lawyers and practicing elevator pitches with them, the BD and marketing teams can help prepare the lawyers for what’s to come

Expert: Make Clear You’re Truly Here

Lastly, in order to “seal the deal” with the clients, the BD and marketing teams must help the law firm adopt a customer centrality approach, in which the client’s needs and wants are at the center of every action delivered by the law firm. This mind-frame can be made into a reality in a number of different ways. One example is the occasional CSIs – otherwise known as Client Service Interviews

What better way to show your client you are there for him other than to ask him every so often? If taken seriously, these seasonal questionnaires can easily detect and prevent future client issues and improve the service provided by the lawyers to each individual client

Another example of such project, which aims at a deep understanding of the client and his needs is instituting a Strategic Account Management (SAM) program. Similar to a Client Team (also known as Client Service Team), in which the BD and marketing teams meet with key lawyers on a monthly basis in order to follow up on the goals and overall action plan that was originally established between the two, a SAM program goes the extra mile

The SAM program shifts the lawyers’ gaze from the short-term, internal focus to the long-term value that can be created for their clients, and ultimately, to the law firm. Embedding such a client-focused strategy in the law firm, one that will be consistently monitored and improved, can lead the law firm to a systematically formulated bond with each and every client

In conclusion, these 3 levels are comprised of ongoing tasks, and are independent of each other; however, it will be quite difficult to establish an Expert-level relationship without the constant carrying out of the first two beforehand. Nonetheless, the BD and marketing teams’ assistance throughout these stages will lead to stable and fruitful relationships for the lawyers with their clients, and for the law firm’s services to be perceived as invaluable and unparalleled


About Robus

Robus is a leading Israeli-based strategic consulting company which provides business development services, and holds unique expertise in the niche market of Legal Marketing for law firms. Robus accompanies both Israeli and foreign law firms in a wide variety of marketing and commercial endeavours. Robus is also behind Israel Foreign Law Firm Conference the only annually held conference devoted to foreign law firms and their practice in Israel

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