Holiday planning for lawyers

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The holidays will soon be upon us. What’s your plan? What will you do to market your services and set things up for a good start to the new year?

What’s that? You don’t have a plan? Thank you for being honest. Grab a piece of paper and write at the top, “My plan for the holidays and beyond”.

First item on the list: “Come up with some ideas”.

Now you have a plan! Not a great plan but way better than no plan. At least you know what you need to do.

Time to put on your thinking cap and visit Uncle Google or Aunt Bing. Do a search for ideas related to the holidays, Christmas cards, year end planning, holiday parties, gift giving, and the like. You’ll come up with a bunch of ideas, most of which you will hate or can’t use, but you might get one or two that work.

Put them on your list.

Now you’re cooking.

What’s that? You want me to suggest something?

Okay. Here’s an idea for you. It’s simple, but very powerful.

Whether or not you plan to send Christmas cards (or some other politically correct variation), write a “year end letter” to your clients. Tell them how much you appreciate them. Tell them how much it means to you to be able to serve them. Say thank you.

Review your practice for the preceding year. Mention important cases or milestones. Mention changes and growth. If there were problems, talk about how you overcame them.

Then, talk about the future. If you have news to announce (an office move, new hire, new practice area, etc.), share this or hint at it if you’re not ready to go public. Tell them how this will positively affect them.

Add a personal comment or two, something about your kids or grand kids, or about something else you do that you are proud of. Give your clients a glimpse into your personal life.

(A glimpse. I’m not saying you need to invite them to the house for dinner.)

At the end, encourage them to contact you with any legal question or issue. You may not handle that type of issue but you know other attorneys you can recommend.

Why write this letter? Because it’s important to say thank you to your clients. You can’t do that enough. When you share your accomplishments for the year and plans for the future, you’re not just saying thank you, you’re showing them what your relationship with them means to you. They matter. You wouldn’t be where you are today without them. They’re not just names in a file folder and billing ledger.

The holidays are a time for giving thanks and this is an effective and memorable way to do that.

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