Corona is omnipresent. And leadership is what is now most urgently required. Decisions must be taken amidst great uncertainty and may have to be revised the
next day. Structuring provides orientation. That is why it is now important to think through the crisis and its consequences and to identify what can be done now, in the short, medium and long term to get through the crisis and even use it as an opportunity to strengthen and expand client relationships.
In this first short article, we will highlight the two ad hoc lines of action that we consider relevant:
b. Invest in relationship building with clients
In a conversation we had this week, a client answered the question of what the firm was currently doing regarding communication with clients, that partners were mainly sending out invoices. Taking care of one’s own liquidity is important, but as the only approach to relationship building in a crisis it is certainly not ideal.
Law firms have reacted very quickly and provide their clients with specialist information and advice to help them overcome a mountain of immediate operational problems – from short-time working to securing liquidity and insolvency management. Recently, many law firms have formed teams to deal solely with Corona-related issues, developed websites and sent out newsletters. However, this communication is usually done through mass mailings, social media or on the website. It doesn’t stand out from the efforts many firms make.
What is often missing and makes the difference is the targeted and individual approach to strategically important existing and potential clients in order to:
– strengthen the relationship;
– present and demonstrate the full range of the firm’s capabilities; and
– gain a far deeper understanding of the client’s operational and strategic issues. Firms who do this – potentially combined with an attractive financial arrangement (whereby we do not simply mean discounts or pro bono work, but rather a change in payment modalities) – position themselves as a reliable partner with whom clients can overcome this crisis – creating the basis for potentially close collaboration thereafter.
We recommend three things in the current situation: