Client development in the post-Covid-19 era
Farone Advisors, New York City
Deborah Farone, Farone Advisors, New York City and Outreach and Education Officer, IBA Law Firm Management Committee
Anja Kreutzahler, Kirkland & Ellis, Munich
Gia Altreche, Newmeyer Dillion, Newport Beach, California
David Burgess, Legal 500, London
David McClune, Hogan Lovells, New York City
The webinar, which tool place on 8 July 2020, was attended by more than 900 guests from around the globe. The discussion was lively, involving updates as to what firms around the world are doing in terms of business development in response to the pandemic. With business development being a challenge for lawyers during the best of times, trying to grow an existing client base, developing new clients and building a reputation require rethinking during the time of Covid-19.
The panellists agreed that the emphasis needs to be more on solidifying one-to-one relationships with existing clients rather than on traditional macro-marketing (mass client memos and one-size-fits-all approaches). Their advice ranged from having lawyers directly involved, reaching out to spend time on the phone with clients and showing empathy, to spending a few minutes each week dedicated to LinkedIn. We each agreed that collaboration between offices and between practice groups will be essential as firms try to continue to strengthen their practices.
We discussed the fact that marketing professionals within law firms can be a huge asset and are probably underutilised in terms of applying their talent. Marketers should be brought in to meet with clients. Not only will marketing people have good ideas for how to build the business, they will help solidify additional connections within the client’s company.
The panellists also agreed that those firms that are innovative and willing to take small risks by trying new techniques in marketing, will succeed in the future.
The webinar is available here.