Coming in from the cold. How many unsolicited calls does your firm get each day? Kevin Latimer, marketing partner of the Halifax, Nova Scotia, firm Cox Hanson O’Reilly Matheson (www.coxhanson.ca), decided to track the cold calls. He discovered that his firm received approximately 200 to 250 calls from prospects per year. "Not all cold calls translate into new files," says Latimer, "but even a 10 to 20 percent return could sustain this firm." So the firm created a system of "duty counsel"—using one transaction associate and one litigation associate—to take unsolicited calls. The associates check for potential conflicts, then either handle the inquiry or arrange follow-up by a lawyer with the relevant expertise. Latimer says it’s been win-win: Associates get front-line marketing experience and callers get direct contact with a lawyer.
Give ’em a Red-Letter Day Want to say "thank you" in a memorable way? Sydney Iglitzen, marketing director of Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella in Chicago, uses www.RedEnvelope .com to send beautifully packaged gifts in a red box with a personalized card tucked underneath. You can send an executive toy, a gourmet basket or even a bonsai tree.
Professional pitchers? The latest trend in law firm marketing is to hire a director of sales. Steve Bell, a former Big-Five accounting partner, has joined Womble Carlyle’s D.C. office, where his role is a combination of sales manager and salesperson. Press Millen, Womble’s marketing partner, says Bell helps lawyers prepare for sales calls, goes on calls and then motivates follow-up efforts. In Boston, Beth Cuzzone, director of business development at Goulston & Storrs, devotes nearly all her time to sales-focused activities, including strategizing and role playing, making sales calls with lawyers and managing follow-up. Darrell Palmer, sales management consultant at Strategic Law Group, Inc. in San Diego, predicted the trend some time ago (see details at www.lawmarketing.com/publications/news/ pub288.cfm): "To maximize results, firms need in-house sales management professionals providing 24-7 coaching and support to their ‘lawyer-salespeople.’"
Don’t Cut Me Off Because it’s more difficult to read text online than on hard copy, most Web visitors regularly print out important or lengthy passages for later reading. And they frequently encounter problems with those printouts. Two things cause Web pages to print poorly: (1) the old-time "frames" technology, which causes the frame or content to print on separate pages, or not print at all; and (2) a site design that goes wider than 600 pixels, which causes printers to cut off the right edge of the page. Test your site to see if it prints properly.
Going platinum . An invitation to speak at an industry seminar is marketing gold. But it turns into marketing platinum if you can convert your appearance into a panel discussion and make yourself the moderator. Craig Levinson, senior business development manager for Sills Cummis Radin Tischman Epstein & Gross (www.sillscummis.com), says: "Moderating a panel offers business development opportunities that would be unavailable if the lawyer were alone on the podium." As a moderator, you get "expert" status, a chance to show whom you swim with and likely invitations from the panelists to speak at future events.
Larry Bodine (email@example.com) is a Web and Marketing Consultant who advises law firms on how to get more business. Based in Glen Ellyn, IL, he can be reached at (630) 942-0977.