We just got bids on a new heating and air conditioning system for our house. A couple of the vendors pitched us on their maintenance contracts. For $100 to $130 a year, they will come to the house three times per year to inspect everything and do minor servicing. If something needs repairing or replacing, you get that at a discount.
It’s a good deal for the consumer, although probably not necessary the first few years when everything is under warranty. I think one of the vendors was willing to give us the first year free.
It’s a good deal for the vendor because (a) it gives them first crack at getting hired for repairs, (b) it gives them the opportunity to get referrals, (c) it gives their service techs something to do when they’re not doing big jobs, and (d) it brings in revenue.
Could you do something like this? Offer your clients some kind of service or maintenance contract? If you handle small business matters or estate planning, no question this is something to consider. For other practice areas, maybe not.
A maintenance contract allows you to regularly get in front of clients and do issue spotting. You get to see if their documents need updating, and you also find out what other work they need, in their business or personal life.
If it’s something you don’t handle, you can refer it to other lawyers and other professionals (e.g., CPAs, financial planners, consultants, et. al.) who have agreed to offer discounts and other perks to these referred clients.
Clients get work done they might otherwise delay on taking care of, to their detriment. They get a good deal, too.
Also, you get face time with your clients once or twice a year which can only strengthen your relationships with them. They may not need any work themselves but you will undoubtedly get referrals.
Then there is the additional revenue this will bring to your coffers. If you have 200 clients paying you $200 a year, that’s an additional $40,000 a year, not counting any additional work or referrals.
If you don’t like the idea of charging clients for this for some reason, or your practice area doesn’t allow you to provide enough value to your clients to justify a fee, e.g., you handle personal injury only, consider offering this service to your clients at no charge.
You see them once or twice a year, or talk to them on the phone, or send them a form to fill out and then call them. If they need your services, they get to hire you at a discount and/or they get some added benefit.
If they don’t need your services but they need something else, you will refer them to high quality professionals (or businesses) with whom you have already negotiated a “special deal”.
Would a PI or criminal defense client avail themselves of this benefit if it were free? Why not give it a try and find out?
Lawyers are complicated; marketing is simple