Four essential tips on how to increase your business for as little as £1 for each client

 In Practice Management

Disclaimer: LawSkills provides training for the legal industry and does not provide legal advice to members of the public. For help or guidance please seek the services of a qualified practitioner.


The problem Lawyers face is that people in general don’t have to come to them time and time again, as they do to, say, an Accountant. Nor do they wake up in the morning and say to themselves “I have a great bank balance at the moment, I think I will go down to my friendly local Law firm and spend some! In the main, people arrive at the door of a law firm because they have an important (and often unpleasant) life change, or some other external pressure.

Often they will arrive in a stressed state. Even when they want a Will drafted, the client is thinking about death – either theirs or a loved one.  So how do we gain extra business from once-off customers?

A word here about definitions – someone who is a long-term repeat user of your Firm is indeed a ‘client’. Someone who is a once-off or sporadic user and may go elsewhere for services which you also provide is a ‘customer’. Most law firms only have customers.

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There are ways, however, to boost revenues and client loyalty that don’t cost lots of money.

Whilst we normally think of marketing in terms of advertising and sponsorship to gain new clients, there is a much easier, cheaper way to achieve growth. It is through your existing clients. Who would be a better advocate of your quality service and advice than someone who has recently experienced it?

Tip 1: Always ask for feedback from both your ‘customers’ and ‘clients’

Collect the statistics.

  • Put the result on your website.”92% of our customers said they would recommend our service to others” – a very powerful quality measure and endorsement
  • Put the statistic up as a poster in your shop-front window if you have one
  • Display it in your reception area
  • Use the statistic when networking – “I’m the lawyer 92% of whose clients say they would recommend to a friend!”
  • Use the figure to tell your team how well they are doing
  • Put it on your business card – the reverse is usually blank!
  • Put it on your letter heading

Tip 2: Ask clients if they would recommend your service to others

If they say “Yes” to the question, ask them if they have anyone in mind “For example, a member of your family?” Pause and note their response, “Perhaps a friend or neighbour?” If you do get a name ask them if they would pass on your business card and if they will ask them if it’s OK for you to call them direct. And do it! Asking the question costs you nothing. You have nothing to lose and much to gain.

Tip 3: Give all customers a loyalty card

It works for Tesco, and it can work for you! For less than £1 each, you can ensure your firm’s name and contact details are in the handbag or wallet of hundreds of people for whom you have done some work. “Need a lawyer, there’s the firm I used recently and they were terrific! I think I have their contact details with me…”.

We have even helped one law firm to create a loyalty discount scheme where the bearer of the card, or anyone they lend it to, can get a discount. What’s better – 100% of nothing or 90% of something you wouldn’t have had anyway?

Tip 4: Get out more

I always remember visiting a law firm in North London whose offices were on the first floor above an estate agent’s shop. I asked the managing partner “How much conveyancing business do you get from the estate agent downstairs?” he said: “None, I have never talked to them!”.

Mark out your diary for perhaps 2 hours a week to go and talk to people. People who run businesses will have staff who may need your service. And they have family and friends who might need your service as well. Drop in to see them in their shop/office/factory. Meet other businesses at the Chamber of Commerce meetings. It is amazing how many people can help you or you can help in some way. Just get out more, go and talk to people. You will be amazed at the result.

It really is not difficult to gain new ‘customers’ and then to turn those customers into valuable long-term ‘clients’ – and it need not cost you even that £1!!

P.S. When strangers ask you what you do, please don’t say “I am a lawyer.” That is a job description and let’s face it people aren’t always fascinated to hear about the law. What you actually do is to reduce people’s stress, so try saying “I am a stress-buster.” I guarantee they will ask you how you do that and you can then explain how you help people when they most need expert help with solving certain problems.

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