Out of Adversity Comes Fantastic New Law Firm Creativity

JD Supra Perspectives
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...your clients need you more than ever. Be the solution for them

We have seen tremendous resiliency on the part of many legal and business professionals in law firms and departments, dealing with the pandemic over the past six months. The profession is undergoing a longer-term, structural shift away from traditional client interactions and relationship management. What started as panic due to the unknown, in March of this year, has moved to increasing amounts of creativity, collaboration and productivity. It is getting hard to recall those unpleasant red virus banners many law firms first adopted as they created redundant COVID-19 Resource Centers.

Law firms and their marketing, business development, operations, and client value departments continue to develop novel and imaginative ways to reach out to and connect with their clients.

Data-Driven Leadership

Many firms are using data intelligently before starting down new paths. And it is the right time to scrutinize the projected growth rate of each of a law firm’s most important targeted industries. Conducting an analysis of strengths and capabilities compared to other competitive law firms can be eye opening – especially as the pandemic continues and client needs continue to shift. This is a particularly opportune time to find unique and distinctive ways to enhance relationships, both within the law firm as well as with clients.

Firms that quickly morphed and “pivoted” to innovative and relevant content marketing in ways that assisted clients in meaningfully increased positive engagement and attracted new connections. This has been a time when many lawyers, who had been resistant to learning about new ways to drive revenue, began to be schooled on the specifics of implementing new and successful strategies and tactics.

A Time to be Social

For some, this new-found time — from not commuting or driving to client meetings — opened up a window of opportunity. Lawyers are realizing they have time to add new contacts, search their clients’ LinkedIn posts, and successfully comment and engage with them. Others reached out to clients to find out their needs and industry problems and included them in posts by tagging them. Over the past few months, we have witnessed many lawyers repurposing blogs and articles on social media and engaging with clients on their industry posts and using strong hashtags.

Mastermind Groups

Other attorneys and firms have reached out to CEO Axxess to form new mastermind groups.

Law firms invite clients and potential clients to become part of a new group, facilitated by former Vistage Chair and Entrepreneurial Operating System expert, Paul Wirth. Paul understands how challenging it can be to attract and retain key clients. His unique offering inspires client loyalty while helping law firm partners grow their business and their bottom line. Some firms invite clients from the same industry. Other times they form groups of their most important clients to collaboratively solve business problems and issues for group members. What a great leadership and problem-solving tool which can create clients for life.

Learning New Skills

Quite a few attorneys and marketing professionals have used this time to jump into refining or learning new skills by participating in webinars and Zoom meetings. Training options have been almost limitless.

At the Legal Lean Sigma Institute, several cohorts are being offered to train both attorneys and in-house counsels. This knowledge sharing identifies key business problems and then explores options for solving them together. These interactive Zoom trainings teach the basics of process mapping to create sustained and meaningful change, bringing relationships to a closer and more long-lasting level. Picture the client delight when a law firm partner reaches out to invite their clients to solve business problems together.

Upcoming: Fall Retreats

Many firms are planning their virtual fall retreats.

Imaging bringing all of the attorneys together, some firms including all professionals and staff in the firm, to participate in identifying their Communication Style. While many personality assessments are available, we choose the I-SPEAK Your Language program, which provides online training and application of each professional’s style. This increases effective communication within the firm between staff and attorneys. And some savvy firms host such training events with their clients to enhance those relationships. What a strong value-added opportunity for partners, law firms and clients.

AI Solutions

Some challenges require tech or AI solutions. Neil Sahota, IBM Master Inventor, continues his work with law firms, clients and related industries to help create AI solutions when warranted. His recent JD Supra article shares clear strategies and examples of where AI is headed in the legal industry. For those waiting for this to happen, well, it has already proven to be wildly successful in creating solutions and opportunities which enhance those client relationships. Law and Justice Powered by artificial Intelligence? It’s already a Reality! is worth the read.

In this unprecedented time in history, your clients need you more than ever. Be the solution for them and not just the restater of the issues and problems. Creating win-win strategies for you and your clients together is abundant thinking that works.

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[Merry Neitlich, Managing Partner of EM Consulting, is located in Irvine, California. We assist law firms with strategic business development, branding, websites, legal operations, and client enhancement programs. Merry can be reached at 949.260.0936 or merry@EMconsults.org]

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