If you ask most legal marketing professionals about their top pain point and/or worst use of resources, lawyer rankings and awards always rise to the top. They are growing in popularity and awareness, and the time demands to do them well are considerable. However, despite the thousands of interviews Wicker Park Group has conducted over the years, I can count on one hand the number of times a client has mentioned the value, significance or even regular use of these rankings.
But I am not here to argue the value of lawyer rankings. I am here to talk about the conundrum of why so many lawyers are comfortable asking their clients to take the time to be a reference or conduct an interview for their personal benefit (award, ranking or listing) with zero return for the client, and yet too many lawyers are unwilling to ask their clients to take the time to provide feedback on how the lawyer or law firm can serve them better.
Over the years, I have only had a few clients who have declined to be interviewed. And in most of those circumstances, the answer was not “No” but “Can we do it at a later time?” Clients love when a lawyer takes the time to learn more about the business and how outside counsel can improve the relationship. They appreciate that you are invested in the relationship enough to find out how you can serve them better and make life easier. You are asking for an hour of time with a direct benefit as a result. How could this possibly be a burden to them?
The simple fact is if you are willing to ask your client to take the time to be a reference or provide feedback for rankings and unwilling to ask the client to take the time to provide feedback on how you can serve them better, you are sending a message. And the message is that your personal rewards and benefits are greater than your commitment to client service and the relationship.
Clients love being understood, heard and appreciated. Have the conversations that demonstrate you value your clients—not just their references.