It is well known in this industry that clients want more out of the firms they work with than ever before. In years past you could take a client out to dinner a couple of times per year and that would be enough to hold onto that healthy retainer. Today, however, it is all about extras – the “value-adds”.
One of the most effective value-adds is a knowledge transfer event. This type of event provides an opportunity to meet face to face with several clients and prospects at the same time, while providing lawyers an opportunity to showcase their knowledge and expertise on a specific topic. When held in your office, it also provides an opportunity to show off your technological and other competitive advantages.
Knowledge transfer events can be a lot of work, but the results of worth it. Coming up with a topic, creating the right mailing list and developing the materials are only some of the components to creating a strong campaign. Most firms, however, have this part well in hand and can pull off a very good event without too much difficulty.
But what happens after the event? And more importantly, who will speak to the clients after the event is over?
A follow-up email or phone call is one of the best ways to find out if your client was satisfied with the information provided, if they need more information or if they have a file that you can handle as an expert.
In many sales organizations, the follow-up is often a mandatory component for the sales group to undertake with a customer or prospect. In our industry this is not the case, yet it is another interaction that is essential to continue to build the relationship.
We often hear that you need seven to ten interactions with someone before they become a valuable member of your network. While the number of interactions is debatable, the concept of repeatedly putting yourself in front of your client isn’t. By proactively following up, you will speed up this process and secure their loyalty sooner.
A follow-up plan is an essential part of the event strategy and should be considered at the outset rather than as an afterthought. This will ensure buy-in from the people involved and provide an opportunity to script the follow-up. Depending on the size of the event, the strategy may include a mass communication from the firm along with individual follow-ups by the lawyers involved. It should also include a deadline. The follow-up strategy should include everyone that expressed interest in attending, not just the individuals who were able to attend.
The follow-up is the best way to cultivate tomorrow’s business today. Without it, you may find yourself without anything to do tomorrow.