Alt Legal Connect Session Summary: The Wow Factor: Differentiating Yourself and Your Legal Practice
Alt Legal Team | October 28, 2020
Thank you to Charity Gates for participating as a Law Student Reporter at Alt Legal Connect! Charity is a 2020 graduate of Cardozo School of Law. Law Student Reporters had the opportunity to attend Alt Legal Connect in exchange for contributing to the social media presence of the conference. Reporters assisted by preparing blog posts and live-posting about sessions and in turn were permitted to attend all Connect sessions including valuable networking and social events to make meaningful connections with trademark professionals.
On Monday, October 26, Sonia Lakhany presented the session, “The Wow Factor: Differentiating Yourself and Your Legal Practice.” In this BYOL (Bring Your Own Laptop) workshop, Sonia Lakhany taught attendees some innovative strategies for building a firm brand through her own signature “Wow Factor” methodology. Sonia’s workshop outlined practical ways to work smart and not harder in growing a trademark practice as well as maintaining client relationships and developing new ones that are not merely based on referrals to your firm as being “reasonably priced.” Sonia emphasized that “Building a memorable brand isn’t about something new that you’ve never heard or thought of, it’s about using technology and the modern tools we have now, to execute on age-old, classic principles.” Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, Sonia revealed several tricks to separate your firm/practice from the competition of other trademark attorneys. A major theme of the workshop is that these strategies can be done at any time.
The “Wow Factor” Methodology
First, Sonia’s signature methodology is based on differentiating yourself from the crowd by developing, maintaining and building human relationships with current, past or potential clients. You want people to be delighted by your services so that they can refer you to other clients or send more work your way. It is important not to simply be known for being reasonably priced, but instead based on your firm’s “Wow Factor” customer service. As Sonia says, “satisfied clients say thank you, but delighted clients sing your praises for years to come.”
Client Retention – “Bop the Birdie” Life Hack
In order to convert phone calls into clients right after a consultation, a simple perk can be the key to increase your chances of getting retained. In Sonia’s “Wow Factor” method, a simple Starbucks e-gift certificate (or any similar instantaneous gift) can be used as a token of appreciation to retain a sought-after potential client. The rationale is that if you’re going to spend the time to give a consult you are going to get the retainer. It’s important not to dabble with your consultations, you must have a concrete strategy.
Current Clients – Get Your Nordstrom On
In keeping with the theme of curating an impeccable client experience, Sonia advised that you must model your customer service ethos after your favorite shopping experience. Like Nordstrom in New York which provides its customers with a glass of champagne to enhance their customers’ experience in the store, your firm must design the client experience. In order to create that memorable client experience, you must “visually walk yourself through each stage of your client’s experience with you and find ways to shine during those phases.”
Past Clients – You Must Hate Money
As with any business relationship, it is important that you keep in touch with past clients. Sonia’s method suggests regular annual check-ins outside of the traditional holidays so that it doesn’t get buried into the crowd of holiday messaging. This type of relationship building can allow you to continue adding value to your client’s brand which can create revenue from that client relationship and stimulate more referrals. There may be additional projects that you can work on with the client by keeping in touch with them and strengthening the relationship.
Referral Sources – Keeping the Gas Tank Full
Another innovative strategy that Sonia’s “Wow Factor” method emphasizes are referral sources. Sonia counseled to “keep the gas tank full” by asking about how potential clients heard about your practice/firm. By tracking where your referrals come from, you are able to decipher patterns in the referral source, such as fellow colleagues or on LinkedIn, in order to determine where to spend more of your efforts in cultivating a client roster. As Sonia so eloquently stated, “building client relationships is more than just about the money.”
What You’ll Need to Implement These Strategies
Set up an email marketing software and create tags to differentiate clients (i.e. current, past, potential clients)
Send a gift or little perk to a potential client (i.e. Starbucks e-giftcard)
Wrap up a client matter with a handwritten note, a personalized document frame, etc.
Have a handy kit stocked with all the items you’ll need (stamps, post-it notes, cards, etc)
Decide one thing you will do once you onboard a new client
Join Sonia’s Facebook group, follow Sonia on social media, and check out her 2 Weeks to Trademarks course
Access the Recording and Materials: Click here
Sonia’s Facebook Lawyers group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/172932463470621
Sonia’s courses: https://www.lakhanylaw.com/collections/courses
Alt Legal interview with Sonia: https://www.altlegal.com/blog/alt-legal-ip-docketing-blog/alt-trademarks-episode-6-sonia-lakhany
2 Weeks to Trademarks: https://lakhany-law.mykajabi.com/two-weeks-to-trademarks
Dubsado (Thanks, Glinnesa Gailliard, Radiance Harris, and Brittany Thompson!); setup, Krystal Clark Collective or Launch Guild
IP Practice Starter Kit: https://www.altlegal.com/blog/alt-legal-ip-docketing-blog/intellectual-property-practice-starter-kit
Clio (Thanks, Neena Speer!)
Sonia’s Life After Circle R here: https://www.lakhanylaw.com/collections/courses/products/life-after-%C2%AE
Sonia’s gift ideas: https://www.sonialakhany.com/giftideas