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Client Teams

Client Teams help to cement loyalty.

Client Teams facilitate deeper cross-service offerings and aid in retention of strategically important clientele.

The 80/20 rule applies to Client Teams. When 80 per cent of your business tends to come from 20 per cent of your clients, expanding and deepening ties within that 20 per cent makes better business sense than identifying and chasing new relationships.

Key clients — a critical facet of client strategy — are characterized by strong financials, industry growth potential, and likelihood of expansion into more practice and legal service areas.

These clients are often clients of the firm/provider rather than an individual. In my experience, a Client Team will be more successful when lawyers or professionals aligned with a key client are fully supportive of the Client Team concept and are sharing in their behaviour.

Benefits of Client Teams:

  • Enable concentrated focus on retention and delivery of more legal services to top revenue generating clients.
  • Create opportunities for new revenue streams from strategically important clients.
  • Leverage cross-serving opportunities in combined or restructured firms.
  • Enable cross-servicing connections for practice and industry alignment.
  • Apply client retention principles and rigour to manage expectations regarding work and results.
  • Introduce new client-firm contacts that enable relationship laddering at varying levels, which eases both client and lawyer succession.
  • Increase referrals.
  • Assist with coaching and mentoring of current personnel, and recruiting new talent.

Building Key Client Teams

Law firms that create dedicated key client teams or that have collaborative client relationship partners are less likely to experience clients choosing their own legal team members. Clients are still likely to review lawyer backgrounds on the firm’s website or elsewhere, but will do so in order to learn more about who is on their team.

Building a team around a strategically-important client also protects the relationship so that these clients are more likely to remain with a firm during a key lawyer’s succession process.

It is usual that the creation of a client team program is part of a business strategy mandate that may also include client interviews, marketing plans, post-merger reorganization and/or succession plans.

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Heather Suttie 

Legal Market Strategy and Management Consulting

+1 416.964.9607