While there may be some areas where lawyers can be chained to their desks, estate planning and Elder Law practices are not like that. Your practice is deeply personal, and your clients want to know who you are, which is why lawyer videos are so important to your websites. But what about maintaining long-term relationships with clients who have met you once or maybe twice in the last decade?
Client Appreciation Events–Target your event to your client base. Are they all snowbirds who head south for the winter? If so, plan an event for when they return in the springtime. If your clients spend their summer weekends at the lake house, then don’t plan an event for a Friday night. How to find out what your client base is up to? Take a survey, using your E2-CRM. Once you have an idea of when your event will attract the most people, come up with something clever and unexpected. Another night at a restaurant might not appeal to clients who would go there anyway. But a night with a well-known local chef giving a cooking lesson could be a winner. Two extra notes: make it an annual event and tie in with a local not-for-profit.
Maintenance programs are good for your clients and good for you. If you only meet with a client once when they are forty and then never see them again, chances are good that their estate plan is going to be out of date when their family reads the will. That’s why some practices institute a maintenance program to ensure that clients return on a regular basis. Their legal documents don’t go stale, and neither does your relationship.
If they add value, workshops can work. Legal consumers are more sophisticated than they were ten or twenty years ago, so you can’t expect to do a “same old” workshop and draw people who are looking for a free lunch (or breakfast pastries). If your market is saturated with estate planning attorneys running workshops, yours will need to stand out to succeed. Don’t do a one-time only workshop and expect it to impact your practice. An on-going series of workshops will be more productive, combined with the E2-CRM to gather information and conduct follow up.
Attending community events is great—being part of the event is even better. If time allows, being a part of a community organization and involved with the planning is a two-fer opportunity. Not only do all of the organizers and volunteers get to meet you, but you may be able to contribute by presenting or moderating a program.