Published on Monday, March 23, 2020

Whether you have always worked remotely or are new to it in March 2020, there are so many things you can be doing for clients—right now—that are both extremely helpful to them and will also ensure you get more work down the road.


Whether you have always worked remotely or are new to it in March 2020, there are so many things you can be doing for clients—right now—that are both extremely helpful to them and will also ensure you get more work down the road.

Great rainmakers have a mantra: Give to get. In these difficult times, providing value-added services for free that inure to the personal or professional benefit of the client will tremendously strengthen your relationships with your clients. So here are some value-added services you can provide remotely to this effect:

  • Check in by phone (yes, hear their voice) and discuss where things stand on their matter and let the client know you are doing this gratis due to this unusual time. Be there and be real and genuine about your concern for the client and ask probative questions to ascertain areas of concern your client may have. Ask how you can help and make a difference. Make sure every client has your phone numbers for business and after hours and those of your staff who are involved with the representation. Do this in a formal way—rather than assume the client has this information. P.S.—A phone call, today, takes major precedence over every client alert your firm is sending out right now.

  • Consider how to send the client work by making virtual introductions that could result in new business for them. Mine your mailing list and then your LinkedIn connections to see what professional matchmaking you can do and then do it.

  • Create a personalized checklist of legal issues the client should go over/attend to caused by the cessation or slowing of work this quarter. This could include contract review, force majeure clauses, employment, cybersecurity issues and insurance coverage to name a few. Again, provide for gratis.

  • Send your client an actual book on leadership or some other business educational subject. Amazon lists “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” (Covey) and “Developing the Leader Within You (Maxwell) as Nos. 1 and 2 best sellers for the subject of “Business Leadership” right now. Under “Motivational” “Girl Stop Apologizing” (Hollis) is rated number one. On the personal side, if you know your client has a love of fishing, gardening or some other hobby/passion, send him a subscription to a top magazine on the subject. They will think of you favorably every time a new issue arrives at their door. You can order magazine subscriptions from your computer.

  • Create, and then provide, valuable informational tools (such as roadmaps, timelines, who to call lists) that will help your client understand what will be happening to them with respect to their active matter—such as:

    • A decision tree for litigation strategy

    • A checklist of employee benefits due diligence issues for M&A transactions

    • A list of government agencies and contacts the client will need for an approval

    • A Gantt chart of the trademark process

    • A calendar of key filing dates and extensions

  • Offer to do a free audit of the client’s compliance with a regulatory area that falls within your practice. Environmental, workplace, financial services, immigration, securities and more areas of law are ripe with compliance/reporting requirements.

  • Offer to audit the litigation files of the client to identify future preventative strategies and to see where costs can be reduced and better efficiencies put into place.

  • Write an article and either co-author it with a client or quote them extensively and position the article in a trade publication that will shine a light on the client’s expertise.

  • Remind all your key clients that you will answer quick emails and phone calls for free. Show these write-offs on your bill. Do not assume the client will remember you did this.

  • Look for ways to support the client. Nominate them for an award. Endorse and provide a glowing testimonial on the client’s LinkedIn page.

  • Consider using your own firm’s website and social media to promote client successes in their industry (soaring revenues, charitable endeavors). Get client consent for this.

  • Create networks that your client can be a part of and hold a virtual meeting/conference call. If your client is a CPA, for example, invite a securities broker, wealth planner, bank officer and tax lawyer for your first phone call and explore ways to send each other work.

  • As silly as it seems, remember a birthday and send (yes, you should have a stack of these at your office) a birthday card with a hand-written note to your clients. The mail can be someone’s best friend in times like these.

  • Show you care about the client beyond the billable number in a crisis. Let them know where you are geographically and if you can help them reach anyone in their world with paper products, food, medicine or other supplies. I know a lawyer who knew her client had a relative in a nursing home under lockdown right now. She offered the client a stack of magazines and books to provide to his relative—knowing that there was little “fresh” reading material in the nursing home after the lockdown began. The client was speechless and ecstatic.

I eagerly look forward to hearing how you successfully strengthened a client relationship—remotely by doing things that make your client’s personal or professional world better. Not only is it a time-tested way to get work, but it feels good too.

P.S.—you can do all of these things with and for your referral sources too. I’m rooting for you.

Stacy West Clark has been successfully helping Delaware Valley lawyers and law firms expand their practices and substantially grow revenues for over 25 years. She is a former attorney with Morgan Lewis & Bockius and was the firm’s first marketing director in the mid-1980s and 1990s.