Last week, we talked about channeling your inner Taylor Swift to connect with your clients – it seems silly, but no one understands her client base and instill rabid loyalty better than Taylor, and isn’t that all something we’d love to emulate with our own clients?

We may not have her reputation (see what I did there?), but that doesn’t mean we can’t practice some of her tactics in our own relationship development efforts with similar success. One of the things she’s got down pat is knowing when to engage directly. 
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Taylor Swift is my favorite client relationship genius.

That may seem a bit strange, but when you drill down into the brilliant marketing and business development machine that she is, you’ll agree that there are a few things that Taylor does that create rabid loyalty among her fans – and I mean rabid.

Before you start asking what Tay-tay and her music have to do with the law, first, ask yourself what it would feel like to have your clients feel the same way about you as Taylor’s fans feel about her? What if your clients trusted you so implicitly that they never took their business to anyone else? What if they called you first before making a business decision, because you’re their trusted adviser? What if your clients lined up every time you wrote or spoke, because they knew what you had to say was that valuable?
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The idea that you would be so busy, that you’d send your assistant or an associate in your place to a client meeting, wearing a mask of your face and pretending to be you, is ludicrous, right?

But we build relationships online via proxy all the time. And not just with potential clients, but with current ones.

“That sounds crazy!” I can hear you saying. But does it? Are any of these scenarios familiar? 
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You are in for a treat today, while I’m away at the ILN’s Regional Meeting of the Americas – we have a very special guest post! We’re welcoming Joanne Thorud, the Director of Marketing for the ILN’s Boston member, Davis, Malm & D’Agostine. She’s talking about one of my favorite subjects – client service – and shares with us an excellent post on why communication is so important in keeping clients happy. 

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Last week, I attended the Legal Marketing Association New England’s annual regional conference in Boston. The theme of this year’s conference was Simplify to Maximize. There were a dozen programs and over 30 speakers who presented topics focused on cutting through clutter and static and delivering clear and concise messages. One message that resounded in almost every program I attended was communication is key to maximizing client relationships. It is not a new or revolutionary concept, but it is extremely relevant, especially in today’s legal climate.


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Today, we welcome to the General Counsel Corner Tina Rao, the Chief Counsel, Healthcare for Maxim Healthcare Inc

Our question to Ms. Rao was: 

What is your process for selecting outside counsel?"

She let us know that: 

There are many ways that you can select outside counsel but personal relationships and connections are most significant. Additionally, showing expertise as a subject matter expert in a particular area by writing articles and client alerts are helpful. Once engaged in a matter, regular communication updates are a must. It is very off-putting if you find out after the fact that motion was filed and you were not alerted."

Ms. Rao’s response is something that we’ve heard a number of times – "personal relationships and connections are most significant." But she further expands that, suggesting, as we would expect, expertise is important – and showing that expertise through articles and client alerts is helpful.  


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For our latest installment, we spoke with a general counsel who works closely with outside counsel.  We wanted to know, 

What is your preference for how a lawyer tries to learn more about you and your business?"

She told us that

In working with outside counsel, I encourage them to learn as much as possible about our business so they have context to give advice. The best lawyers ask thoughtful questions that invite us to give context and details, "Tell me how you would typically . . ."; "how would this scenario arise again, or how has it come up in the past." If the advice we get is not given in context, it will not be very practical."


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