Leonard, Street and Deinard is among Minnesota’s largest law firms, with 200 attorneys. Wicker Park Group worked with them on a highly successful “client conversation” program to retain and expand quality business. They developed tools and trained the firm’s trainers.
Forty-seven of the firm’s attorneys accepted an invitation to participate in the program. “A firm should start the program using the attorneys who are the most interested,” said Slavin. “In any group, there are 10 percent early adapters, 10 percent absolute naysayers, and 80 percent who will wait and see. Positive results from a pilot project can be used to persuade the reluctant.”
Each attorney was asked to identify three, four or five high-value clients to visit face-to-face within a 60-day time frame, schedule the visit, prepare for the meeting, rehearse for the meeting, meet with the client, report on the outcome of the meeting and follow up with the client. The lawyer making the appointment should be someone neutral, not be the relationship lead.
The firm’s marketing department supported the volunteer attorneys with each step of the process.
“Support included creation of talking points to use in scheduling a conversation; development of best practices for conducting the conversation (including role play, practice dialogue and listening skills); and collection of primary (existing), secondary (competitive intelligence) and relationship (who knows whom) research to thoroughly educate the lawyer prior to the conversation,” said Slavin.
Support also included development of a tool for recording and reporting results of the conversations as well as a method of rewarding and recognizing successful efforts.
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