How well do you know your clients?
Some lawyers do their best to get to know their clients on a personal level, not just during the pendency of the case or matter, but thereafter.
Some lawyers don’t.
The first group may be described as adopting a “relational” approach to building their practice. The latter group, those who do the work and move onto the next client, are said to take a “transactional” approach.
The advantage of a relational approach is that it tends to lead to long-term relationships, which are more likely to result in repeat business and referrals. The lawyer also may get to know the client’s personal and/or business contacts, leading to additional clients and opportunities.
The disadvantages are that it takes time to build relationships, as well as interpersonal skills and being comfortable with a higher degree of transparency.
The transactional approach avoids those disadvantages, but tends to miss out on some of the advantages.
Bottom line, the transactional approach looks at the short-term—the size of the case or the number of billable hours, while the relational approach focuses on the long-term and the lifetime value of the client.
Is one approach better for you than the other? Or should you consider a hybrid approach, as many lawyers do? Many lawyers adopt a transactional approach with most clients and build relationships with their best ones.
Because there are only so many hours in a day.
I recommend a slightly different approach.
I recommend building relationships with all of your clients, just not all in the same way.
Because there are only so many hours in a day, I recommend staying in touch with all of your clients via email, and investing personal time with your best clients.
You absolutely can build relationships with your clients (and others) via email.
You can and you should.
To learn how, get my course on email marketing for attorneys