Posted In: Business Development
Law Firm Client Retention and Growth: We Are All Minders!
The philosophy that there are Finders, Minders and Grinders is a bit out of date. I was reminded recently when speaking with a general counsel at a Global 50 company that gone are the days, or at least they should be, of this old thinking. Just to make sure we are all on the same page with the terminology: Finders is a term used to define the business getters (“finding the business”); Minders is used to define those who oversee and manage the business, and Grinders are those who grind out the hours. The GC was impressed with a young associate who spent two years in house prior to coming to her current firm. She was interested in the business and was asking an in house counsel working on a matter with her, about the company’s plans for expansion outside of North America. She then mentioned her conversation to the relationship lawyer who put together a team of two other partners to brainstorm how to present the firm’s practice in Africa to the GC. They presented some ideas and were hired for a project.
The GC was impressed and mentioned that he appreciated her proactive approach. He reflected that this was a young associate on the ball because she recognized that, in addition to being part of the legal team, she also understood that from her vantage point that she is the “eyes and ears of the firm.” As such, she was able to gather some useful information that helped the firm and, of course, the client.
So, everyone is a Finder and a Minder in today’s competitive law firm. Harnessing the energy of those individuals who “touch” the client is absolutely key to making people feel as though they matter and have input into client relationship management for the sake of developing new client growth strategies. This is so important in today’s market, some firms are even toying with the idea of providing bonus incentives for anyone who contributes to the growth of a client by identifying new opportunities.
The bottom line: Thinking “team” will get you everywhere when it comes to shedding old beliefs and inviting everyone to engage in client discussions with their client contacts. Empowerment generally has great results.
Silvia Coulter is a Principal with the Business Development Group and focuses on client retention, client growth and new business development strategies. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.