One of the most difficult obstacles to overcome in the legal profession is undoubtedly the development of a clientele. For a young lawyer who starts a career alone, building a clientele can seem like an impossible task.
Of course, there is no magic solution, but there are things. This is what we heard from Michel Mondor, Caroline Haney, Luc Audet, Jean H. Gagnon, Jean-Gilles Boisvert and Jacques Sylvestre Jr.at the symposium entitled “How to develop a practice with SMEs”, which was held last December. Although these lawyers work in the field of SMEs, what they had to say applies equally to all areas of law.
Count to 3
First of all, perseverance is certainly the best quality a lawyer who wants to build a clientele. According to M e Haney, a lawyer gets 80% of its orders after three contacts with the potential customer. But most lawyers give up at third contact! So do not be fooled.
You should not see the time spent with people who do not give a mandate as a waste of time, because you never know what can happen. The important thing is to have continuous personal contacts, said M e Gagnon. There are even people with whom he has been in contact for over 20 years, and he still has not obtained a mandate!
Choose your camp
Some lawyers develop their practice in all areas of law. Yet we can not be good at everything. We must first determine what area we want to serve. According to M e Gagnon, ” he must learn to put up barriers, delimiting its territory, his playground .” As for him, his market is circumscribed in terms of geographical territory and industry, or even size of industry.
Invest the public square
Then you have to circulate his name, make his skills known. But it’s not enough to talk about your skills, but you have to demonstrate them! For example, writing books or articles, giving lectures.
The man who saw the man who saw the bear
However, the most important, according to M e Gagnon is to serve customers well. A client who has received good service will always come back to his lawyer. Better yet, he will send other clients to his lawyer. According to M e Gagnon, most customers come from other clients; word of mouth would be the best way to get customers: ” Marketing is above all to serve its customers well, because 80% of them are brought by another customer. , the warrants will eventually arrive . ”
Good weather, bad weather
And as Michel Mondor, Regional Director, Business Services at the Bank of Montreal puts it : ” Just as the banker is accused of offering the umbrella when the weather is nice and removing it when it rains, it’s the same with lawyers: your loyalty to your customers will be evaluated in difficult times . ”
A bc of fidelity
In this context, emphasize some tips given by M e Gagnon, that some lawyers would probably interest to practice.
First, remind customers. How many customers complain of never being able to reach their lawyer?
Then, listen to the customer. Some customers sometimes feel they have not had a say. This is their case!
Also, be flexible as to fees. A client who feels he or she has been fooled by his lawyer will not come back, nor will he recommend it to anyone else.