4/Although this website is dedicated to helping you find new potential clients to increase the amount of new business your law practice takes in, we must stress how vitally important is it to turn new clients into lifetime clients. Especially with the current “what can you do for me” mentality most consumers subscribe to, creating long-lasting relationships with clients has become more important than ever if your law firm is going to survive in this economy.
Most of the time clients, look for legal advice when they find themselves in a situation where they need an expert’s opinion. Some reasons that new clients contact lawyers include seeking advice after receiving a car accident injury , looking for help with filing for bankruptcy, or they might need help with emergency estate planning after an unexpected death.
A key step in understanding what your new clients need is to create client profiles before they come into your law firm so you can provide the best possible service. Once a new client walks into your office or calls you on the phone, you can match them with the correct profile and have a strategy on how to create a long-term relationship already set in place.
Keep in mind that for each area of law that you practice, there are many different types of client profiles. The more client profiles you make, the more prepared you will be to establish long-term client relationships.
So, enough talking, how do we create customer profiles?
Step 1: Create Broad Descriptions
In the first step, it’s best to not get too specific. For example, do not include demographics. Think of what types of clients would walk into your law firm.
Here are some examples that personal injury lawyers could create for their new clients:
1) Someone who was the victim of an accident
2) Someone who was hurt by a doctor due to negligence
3) Someone whose loved one died from a construction accident
Step 2: Add Unique Qualities To Each Persona
Now it’s time to go more in depth with each of your broad descriptions. What would someone need in each scenario?
To continue our example:
1) Someone who was the victim of an accident might need help paying their medical bills, money to help replace lost income, and/or help to deal and negotiating with insurance companies.
2) Someone who has suffered from medical malpractice might need alternative medical treatment, help to recover lost wages, etc.
3) Someone who had a loved one that died a wrongful death might need help identifying the right person who is liable, collecting life insurance, and how to go forward with estate planning procedures.
Step 3: What Can Your Law Firm Do For The Client?
Now that you know what each type of client might need, can your law firm accommodate them?
For example, Person 3 – she might need help in two different areas of law – personal injury and estate planning. One of the best things you can do for client retention is to help them in any way that you can, even if that means referring them to another lawyer for a different service. Building trust is important because that one client can become your biggest advocate and lead to even more new clients.
Step 4: How To Identify Client Personas
In our examples of personal injury law, it’s not hard to determine which client persona the client falls into, but with other areas of law, it might not be so black and white.
First, listen to the client’s problem and identify what language they use. Once you know what problem they help in solving, you will be able to identify which persona.
For estate planning attorneys, phrases such as “I want to be able to leave money for my children in the event that I die” is very ambiguous.
Try to figure out more in-depth info on what the client is looking for: do they plan on creating a trust, writing a living will, or do they need help in other ways such as determining available assets? Once you solve the core issue, then you can proceed with the plans you’ve created in your client personas.
Having a plan of action as soon as the client walks through the door will not only make your law firm run more efficiently but will also ensure happy clients who in turn become your personal referral network. It will also establish a long-term relationship between you and your client.