The best place to invest your non-billable time? With existing clients. This is the rule, tried and true, which I learned many years ago as a fledgling legal marketer, and it has not changed since then.
Michelle Golden has a great post on this subject. Here’s an excerpt:
As we coach professionals of all levels on their individual marketing efforts, it seems like we constantly need to emphasize the importance and benefits of spending a greater percentage of energy or effort on nurturing existing clients (versus new biz development). Existing clients should receive this heavier focus for many reasons:
- increasing the level of service to increase the level of satisfaction/delight;
- affect longevity in customer relationships;
- inspire referrals from current customers; and, oh yeah,
- increase the number of project opportunities relative to meeting customer needs–needs you won’t know about or be able to help them with if you aren’t TALKING with them.
I agree with Michelle and would just add that “talking” with clients means asking questions about their business and spending most of the time listening to the answers.
Visit your client’s place of business. If your client runs a pulp mill, then put on your hard hat and head down to the operation and have a look. This is the best place to invest your non-billable time. There is no faster route to new files.