While the burden of business development falls primarily on attorneys, staff members such as secretaries, administrative assistants, paralegals, technologists, librarians and directors can and should make significant contributions to the firm’s business development efforts. Here are eight ways staff can make a difference.
- Provide remarkable client service: For many clients, an attorney’s secretary or assistant is their lifeline to the firm. Attorneys rely on staff to help them be responsive to phone messages and email while they are busy with cases and deals.
Staff members, especially assistants, need to take the time to get to know their clients. Have your attorney introduce you in person. Get to know the client’s voice when they call. Do some research on their business and the details of the matter. Understand what is at stake for the client professionally and personally. Learn their communication styles and preferences. Develop a relationship with the client’s administrative assistant and other members of their team (especially the accounts payable folks).
Remarkable client service is defined differently by each client. Remarkable client service will open the doors to new and interesting work, and retain profitable clients. Remarkable client service will drive referrals and word of mouth advertising.
Look for ways to WOW your clients in an individual and person way.
- Create a Verbal Business Card (VBC): A verbal business card is an effective way to introduce your firm to other people. It is often used in social and professional networking situations. Some people call it an elevator speech.
How would you answer these questions at a cocktail party? “So, where do you work? What do you do?”
Many of us might answer in lawyerese, “I’m a litigation support specialist for a PI firm that handles med-mal cases.”