Client Conversations Case Study
A Midwest-based firm trains its partners to conduct “client conversations” that help them retain and expand business.
The Midwest-based firm wanted to start a conversation with its clients—a conversation to better understand its clients’ needs. Specifically, the firm’s goals were to successfully retain existing business and expand quality business.
The firm wanted initial efforts to be voluntary among partners, who would be leading the client conversations, and it aimed to adequately train those partners to have conversations that would be meaningful and helpful.
Together, Wicker Park Group and the firm created a program that provided training and support for the approximately 50 attorneys who volunteered. Each attorney was asked to identify between three and five high-value clients to visit in person within 60 days, schedule those visits, prepare and rehearse for the meetings, meet with the clients and then report back on the outcome of the meetings and follow-up steps.
In order help them accomplish the tasks, the firm’s marketing department and Wicker Park Group:
- Developed talking points to use in scheduling the conversations
- Trained the lawyers for the conversations with best practices, role play, practice dialogue and tips for improving listening skills
- Collected research related to the existing relationships and competition in order to educate the lawyers prior to the conversation
- Gave each lawyer a list of five customized questions for use in the conversation
- Created a tool to record the results of the conversations and reward successful efforts
After 60 days, the attorneys had completed 100 conversations.
The client reaction to the conversations was highly positive, and the measurable successes following the initial conversations included:
- 13 additional matters in the same practice area
- 15 cross-selling opportunities
- 1 significant new business opportunity
Beyond the immediate successes, though, were the intangible benefits of gaining greater visibility with clients and building goodwill. Both internal communication among attorneys and practice areas as well as external communication with clients improved, problems were caught and addressed before becoming more serious and the attorneys walked away with a greater understanding of their clients’ needs.
The training and support provided by the firm’s marketing team in conjunction with Wicker Park Group improved the firm’s client service and enhanced its ability to address both problems and opportunities to the benefit of the client relationships.