In The Practice-Building Newsletter for Expert Consultants, February/March 2014, expert witness marketing consultant Rosalie Hamilton writes on leveraging the value of your clients. Ms. Hamilton is the leading authority on expert witness marketing and founder of Expert Communications.
Leverage the Value of Your Clients
The value of an established client cannot be understated. He/she already knows you do good work, and how to work with you effectively. Little promotion, or convincing, is needed. In addition to providing repeat business, a satisfied client can furnish referrals to other attorneys, sometimes in great numbers.
The cost of leveraging that client relationship, compared to the cost of acquiring a new client, is negligible. Yet many people fail to nurture and use previous clients to expand their practice. Why?
One reason might be complacency. "I helped Attorney Jones win a big case, so he will certainly remember me and call me again when my expertise is needed." Maybe, maybe not. Hopefully, he will, but everybody gets busy and needs reminding.
An expert might feel it would be pushy to contact former clients. That viewpoint might be because the expert thinks (and perhaps communicates) in terms of selling, rather than networking, a strategy respected by all professionals.
I think the primary reason experts are missing potential repeat and referral business from clients is a combination of not comprehending the benefit of staying in touch and not knowing how to do so.
A surprising number of experts, when I ask whether they have a database or at least a list of former clients, reply that they do not. So that's my first suggestion - develop a usable list, preferably in a contact database like Access, or at least a written list.
Then develop a system for staying in touch, preferably up to about four times a year, but at least twice. My book and articles, as well as materials and seminars from other marketers, are full of ideas for contacting and staying in touch with former clients. Send a short letter enclosing an article of interest to the attorney, whether written by you or someone else; a letter, email or professionally printed post card announcing an event in your professional life; or a short note enclosing a clipping you found about the attorney, acknowledging or congratulating her. You can also invite the attorney to lunch.
Another tip: In the "client" database I recommend that you create, include the inquiring attorneys with whom an engagement did not materialize for one reason or another. They are more likely prospects than are "cold" prospects who have never spoken with you. And don't forget opposing counsel - they have seen you work and might want you on their side next time!
-- by Rosalie Hamilton, the Expert's Expert on marketing. She consults and coaches and provides full-service marketing for experts, including web site development. She is the author of *The Expert Witness Marketing Book* http://www.expertcommunications.com