Memo to legal marketers – know your client, adapt your communication style to theirs, seek feedback

“So, I just started adapting my style,” she told the conference attendees. “And all of a sudden, I would get back short and sweet answers from those who hadn’t responded earlier, and we could then move forward. It is something that has stayed with me, and always try to be very observant and read between the lines to really adapt the communication style.”

Paulette Armstrong, National Director of Business Development at Miller Thomson LLP, used her speaking time to talk about the importance of getting client feedback, good or bad, and using it to improve the relationship.

“Listen to the feedback, and most importantly, do something with it and make a change,” Armstrong said. She described a feedback session at a previous professional services firm. Armstrong said she had no idea the client was that unhappy, but the good news was that the client “had a good relationship with the team and did not want to let us go.”

The solution? The client was invited to give a lengthy presentation about areas where the firm could improve, the major issues, and how to move forward. “And we used that presentation to make things better for the client.”

Another valuable use of feedback, Armstrong said, is taking the approach of seeking advice on how to do things before going in with dramatic changes. This approach provides a good opportunity to get input from those who are vested in the outcome and helps build the relationship.