Solo/Small Firm

Beat Your Competition!

Stay top of mind to win more business.

Written by Martha M. Newman

Working remotely and communicating with prospects and clients without seeing them in person makes it more important than ever to ensure your firm’s visibility through frequent interactions that bring value and build trust. Chances are many law firms have stopped doing business development, thinking pessimistically that virtual contact will not produce new business. You can take advantage of that misconception.

Go Beyond Legal
Whether you represent small companies or large corporations, familiarize yourself with their current markets, business trends, and legal challenges. Set up Zoom meetings or phone conferences to ask questions about their businesses and demonstrate your market knowledge. Provide guidance on how new legal developments will affect the client’s business, operations, and brand. You can leverage that market knowledge by producing blog posts, articles, or short videos that can be emailed to clients, posted on social media, and placed on your firm’s website.

Capture Clients From Other Firms
Layoffs, working remotely, and staff shortages have caused disarray in many law firms. Response times are slower and quality of work is down, resulting in dissatisfied clients who may be open to switching law firms. If your firm is running efficiently and keeping quality high, you have a unique opportunity to show these wavering clients why your firm is a better alternative.

Make It Easy to Change Firms
One reason clients stick with law firms despite mediocre service is that changing firms sounds hard. Tell them ways you can help ease the transition. Explain that after the change is made, you will call their former counsel without charge to learn about the client’s current matters. Assure them you will meet with the legal department to increase your familiarity with their business and review existing files.

Follow the General Counsels You Already Know
Approximately 40% of in-house counsel have indicated they would be looking for another job in 2020, according to BarkerGilmore’s 2020 In-House Compensation Report released in June.

Track the GCs you know to find out whether they have moved to other companies. Monitoring their movement and congratulating them on their new jobs increases your chances of keeping their business.

Find Out What Clients Think of You

Set up client service interviews online to have open and honest conversations with them about their experiences with your firm and any sources of friction that you can eliminate. Ask them what they value about the relationships with your attorneys and what the firm could do to enhance that value.

Work Your Network to Help Others

You can deepen your relationships with clients and perhaps get new matters by introducing them virtually to members of your network who can give them business, provide employment, or serve as resources. People who are transitioning into new positions or changing industries need connections that will lead them to fresh opportunities.

Redouble Your Outreach to Current Clients

Give your clients the gift of listening. Touch base to find out how the shutdown has affected their businesses, their families, and their morale. Just remembering them with a quick email, LinkedIn message, or phone call will show you are thinking of them and may result in new business. TBJ

is a former oil and gas litigator and owner of Top Lawyer Coach. She specializes in lawyer coaching and consulting in the areas of law firm management, business development, leadership, time management, presentation skills, career advancement, and job interviewing. Newman has been awarded the Professional Certified Coach, or PCC, credential by the International Coach Federation in recognition of her coaching excellence. For more information, go to

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