Be The Concierge For Services Related To Your Practice (Part V)
Be a Concierge for Related Services
Building A Legal Practice Designed To Last, Part V
Providing value to your clients is often more about what happens outside of the courtroom as in it. Wherever your client’s life will be impacted as it relates to the matter you are handling develop relationships with professionals that can help your clients deal with the consequences of their case.
Since you are helping your client make informed decisions about their cases you need to be able to have contacts that can help give your client valuable information especially on matters where you don’t have the expertise to answer questions.
Types of Connections
I primarily handle Driving While Impaired (DWI) charges and I will give an example from my personal experience of the types of professionals in that realm that can help clients.
- Continuous Alcoholic Monitoring Installer – having a continuous alcohol monitoring device installed in North Carolina can help with both sentencing and with achieving sobriety.
- Alcohol Assessors – an alcohol assessment with a licensed counselor is required in North Carolina for any person convicted of a DWI and the recommended treatment must be completed and received by the NC DMV for license reinstatement.
- Inpatient Treatment Facilities – completing inpatient treatment at an approved agency in North Carolina can help with both sentencing and with achieving sobriety.
- Auto Insurance Reps – can save clients money on insurance and answer questions about the impact of a DWI on insurance increases.
- Car Rental / Sales Agents – can help answer questions about purchasing, leasing, or renting a vehicle during a period of license suspension.
- Alcoholics Anonymous – can help your client achieve sobriety.
- Expert Witnesses – provide value in attacking a DWI charge.
- Ignition Interlock Installers – may be necessary for driving privileges or reinstatement of a driver’s license.
- DMV Hearing Officers – can help answer questions about your client’s license status, date of eligibility of reinstatement, or other license questions.
Not only do you provide great value to your client by having these resources, but you can also build a referral network with many of these professionals. Earn the reputation of becoming the go-to person when one of these other professionals has a legal question about your joint field.
Lawyers and their law firms are really in the business of selling information to their clients. By creating relationships and a secure data base with other professionals you can provide more information to your clients, or at least provide the access to that information by making a referral to a related professional.
If you are able to help your client by involving other professionals to deal with the collateral consequences of your client’s case, you will be the one that gets credit for that help.
Establishing a professional network takes time. The key is to understand that your professional network is important. You likely will not spend your precious time developing a professional network if you don’t see that as a good use of your time. So start slow! Don’t try to create 20 relationships with professionals that can assist your client in the first week. Make it a goal to create one professional relationship a month with someone who can assist your client.
Results Driven Network
How much are the people in your professional network actually helping your clients?
Get your client’s feedback on the quality of information that they are receiving from the people in your professional network. Ask professionals to come in and explain in person how they can help your clients (this will give you a wealth of useful information and also help you assess the personality and value of each of your referral contacts).
If you are referring your client’s to professionals that are not helpful, or worse are rude or incommunicative, your client will hold you responsible for that experience. So make sure that the people in your professional network are personable and informed.
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