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It’s Not Stalking if You’re Offering Value to Your Clients

We conducted a business development training workshop last week that included one-on-one coaching with each of the participants. The purpose of the coaching sessions is to take the training, advice and exercises from the sessions and make them personal and relevant to each participant’s practice, prospects and clients. As part of the pre-work, we ask the individuals to bring lists of 10 prospects or clients they want to reconnect with, deepen or expand. The participants share the history and status of each relationship, and we discuss and strategize together on outreach or added value they might provide to create meaningful touch points with each relationship.

It struck me how often the lawyers said something about “stalking” or “not wanting to bother” contacts after one or two previous outreach attempts. Most lawyers only had one, two or maybe three interactions with these relationships and believed anything more was excessive.

However, research shows that it takes seven to nine meaningful touch points for clients and prospects to consider you or your firm for engagement or work. Far too many lawyers are giving up or leaving it in the client’s hands to stay connected, and relationships are becoming stale or lost because of that.

  Research shows that it takes seven to nine meaningful touch points for clients and prospects to consider you or your firm for engagement or work.

The reality is if you are providing value, offering insight, sharing helpful information, helping them avoid risk, helping them save money or connecting them to beneficial contacts, clients and prospects see valuable outreach—not stalking. But if you are reaching out every few months to check in and do not have much to add to their lives, they may feel annoyed by your consistent outreach. People are busy and your clients do feel overwhelmed, but they have time for people that make their lives easier.

  • Consider the following suggestions to connect in a strategic and valuable way:
  • Connect clients to someone who will benefit them personally or professionally.
  • Share an article, blog post or event that may benefit them and tell them specifically why they should care or why you are sending it to them.
  • Share information or themes from an event, conference or meeting they may have missed.
  • Have a budget conversation before they ask and help them meet or exceed their budget goals.
  • Help them fill open positions or hiring needs through your network.
  • Assist them in getting on a board that interests them.
  • Understand how they are bonused and help them accomplish those goals.
  • Solve a problem for them before they even realize it is an issue.
  • Offer insights and approaches to problems or industry trends you are seeing from your work with other clients.
  • Ask what you can take off their plate that they cannot seem to accomplish.
  • Be genuine. People can sense when your outreach is selfish and one-sided.
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