As I’ve written previously, COVID-19 has brought many changes to and has forced professional services, whether deemed essential or not, to take long, hard looks at how they operate. Companies and individuals have needed to creatively pivot their business models and work environments in an effort to adapt and survive this unforeseen pandemic. And although many states are beginning to enter into phases one and two of their reopening, there is one thing we should all agree: regardless of the physical doors being open, if you are readily available where ever you sit, you will retain business and attract new business.
In one of my prior articles, I discussed how COVID-19 has impacted the future of the practice of law and in another article, I discussed how conducting business has become less and less about your physical location. I am now expanding on these concepts by stating that effectively conducting your business remotely is about two things: 1) how available you are and 2) building a healthy business relationship early on.
I’d like to first focus on availability. As an M&A attorney, transactional work doesn’t always come in when it’s most convenient; it’s not always your typical Monday – Friday; 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. When a client hires you, there is an expectation that you’ll be available when they need you no matter what time of day or night. People naturally, especially when working with the law, need reassurance. It’s human nature. If they’ve come to you, in a world where so much can simply be “googled,” it’s because they have a problem outside of what is searchable or outside of their expertise. This, of course, is in part due to the fact that we now live in a sped-up culture where instant gratification wins. So, if you can offer instant assistance, you’re going to be able to secure instant business. To be available whenever my clients need me? That builds trust, confidence, and credibility.
Trust, confidence, and credibility brings us to discuss building a healthy business relationship with your client early on. You want your client to be confident that they can call you for everything. You want to be their center of influence. You want to be able to take their stress, alleviate it, and solve their problems. In the marketplace, individuals are hiring lawyers, not law firms. After an initial introduction, a client hires you because they like you. This means at some point, you reassured them enough that they felt comfortable telling you their problems, to hire you, and to keep informing you on a regular consistency about what is going on. But as with any relationship, business or personal, you have to nurture it. If your significant other texts you six times about plans with your family this weekend and you take a day to respond, they will most likely get annoyed or frustrated. It works the same way with your clients. If you’ve taken the time to build the trust with them, you owe it to yourself and your client, to respond in a timely fashion. If you don’t have the time right then and there, simply shoot them a text or an email to offer them a timeframe in which you’ll be able to get back to them. The extra touchpoint will always be appreciated.
Whether we go back to our offices, or we stay working remotely, being actively available and establishing expectations are the keys to successfully obtaining and retaining business.
Do you want to vet a business opportunity? Is there an anticipated commercial dispute? Is a second legal opinion warranted? Grab 15 minutes with me and I will work with you to understand your situation and provide my thoughts based upon successfully representing business owners for almost 25 years. You will receive a confirmation with a Teams Meeting invitation after you pick a time for our discussion. You can also reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT MIKE MERCURIO
email@example.com | 301.575.0332
Michael N. Mercurio is a leading attorney in the field of mergers and acquisitions (M&A). He serves as outside general counsel in buy-side and sell-side M&A, as well as in all business law and real estate law matters. As a strategic partner to firm clients, Mr. Mercurio regularly counsels entrepreneurial individuals and assorted entities on the many challenges, issues, and opportunities companies face throughout the business lifecycle—from start-up to eventual exit.
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