If you’ve decided that you want your court reporting firm to be more proactive in marketing, one of the first steps in greater marketing and sales success is to develop an overall marketing strategy. A key factor in the success or failure of a marketing strategy includes who within your firm will be involved in the marketing. Who should be doing the marketing tasks?
Your Involvement as the Firm Owner
As the owner, it’s a big mistake not to be involved in the marketing. Since most firm owners do not have a background in sales or marketing, it’s normal for them to feel uncomfortable with it. They:
- Think they won’t be good at it.
- Think they don’t have the time for it.
- Or, they’re afraid of sounding overly “salesy” with their clients and potential clients.
All legitimate concerns.
However, just as it is important for an owner to be involved in the operational aspects of their firm, it is important they be involved in the marketing and sales efforts. This does not mean that they have to do all of the marketing and sales, but they should understand enough about what’s happening so they can effectively manage it.
We’ve actually found that when firm owners gain a better understanding of and get involved with the marketing and sales, they can be really effective and create good results.
Your Court Reporters and Staff
In a court reporting firm, almost everyone is a marketer. It can be helpful to involve your court reporters and staff in the marketing.
From a management perspective, it is a good idea to assign specific marketing tasks to specific people that will be responsible and held accountable for those tasks.
However, marketing as a whole is not just a job description for one or two specific people. It is not just something that is done before someone becomes a client. Whether they realize it or not, all of your court reporters and staff are representing your firm whenever they interact with your clients, support personnel and potential clients. Their interactions and the level of service they provide can make or break a client relationship and your firm’s reputation.
With some direction and effort they can be an excellent contribution to your firm’s marketing.
How is your firm’s corporate relationship with its clients?
When we speak with firm owners about the importance of their court reporters being a part of their marketing, it makes sense and they’ve usually either thought about it before or heard others say the same thing. After all, the court reporters are the ones interacting with the clients at depositions or hearings.
Some firm owners have court reporters and/or staff who are phenomenal at helping create more business for the firm. That’s great! But in many firms, the reporters are usually not doing anywhere near what they could be. As you know, just because something makes sense doesn’t mean it gets done…but that’s another topic for another time.
However, whether or not your team is doing a good job, there is a danger in leaving marketing and sales completely up to those individuals.
- Do you really want to leave your client’s perception of your firm up to one or two people? What if they do something your client doesn’t like? If there isn’t a good corporate relationship, the client will probably just stop calling your firm to schedule and you’ll never have a chance to save that business.
- What happens when they stop working for your firm? Are all the clients they worked so hard to build relationships with going to follow them wherever they go? Or, are they going to stay with your firm?
While you are working to further involve your reporters and staff in the marketing, it is important to determine how your firm will develop more of a corporate relationship with your clients.
Of course, attorneys will grow accustomed to working with a specific court reporter or reporters and may even prefer to continue working with them. This is normal. If you can accommodate your client’s request for that reporter, you should. It is important to cater to a client’s preference.
With that being said, when your clients think of your firm, what do they think of?
- Do they only think of the 1 or 2 reporters that always cover their depositions?
- How good is your firm’s follow up with your clients after a deposition?
- Do they also think of you and or your partners?
- When was the last time they had a chance to speak with you for any length of time?
- How often does your firm interact with your clients outside of the deposition?
Even though the market has changed and technologies have improved over the last number of years, your court reporting firm, along with all professional service firms, is still in the business of building solid relationships.
I’d like to challenge you to really think about this corporate relationship concept. For your sake as the owner, I really hope your firm has a good corporate relationship with most of your clients and you are continually working to maintain it. If not, really consider improving upon it.
A better corporate relationship can be achieved by having an overall strategy and system that involves many of the people in your firm…not just a couple court reporters or the one or two people you have specific marketing tasks assigned to. Your involvement, at least oversight, will most likely be necessary for this to really happen.
How involved are you, your reporters and staff in your firm’s marketing? What are you doing this week to improve your corporate relationships with your clients?
If you’d like to access more information like this article to help improve your court reporting firm’s marketing and sales, we’ve created Marketing Fundamentals for Court Reporting Firm Owners for you. In it, you’ll discover the 10 marketing and sales mistakes you should avoid (some of them are costing firm owners tens of thousands of dollars a year) and what to do instead. Learn more about it here.
If you’d like to speak with us about your specific marketing or business challenges and how you can start addressing them now, go here.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Chris Nesbitt is a small business consultant and managing partner of Strategic Business Directs. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Google+. He has also been a continuing education instructor for the Stenograph Prince Institute Center for Professional Development (a court reporting school).