Family-Friendly BD for the Dog Days of Summer

For lawyers and clients with school-age kids, summer presents logistical challenges — like morning-only day camps — even in the best of times. With the still-looming threat that a positive Covid test could doom childcare arrangements, and back-to-school on the horizon, it’s tough to develop business the old-fashioned way. Get creative on how to strengthen relationships with the working parents in your orbit.

Turn a meeting into an email. If you have a client who is struggling to keep up with a hybrid schedule, invest some extra time in compiling a complete status update and sending it over to them in advance of your next meeting. Give them the option of reading your memo on their own time and calling with questions or keeping the meeting as scheduled. Giving someone the gift of an extra hour in their day is a generous and empathetic way to demonstrate your willingness to go the extra mile for client service. (And you get that hour back too!)

Replace one of your usual client outings with a family-friendly event. Adding a catered barbeque, a water park outing, or even an all-ages community service project to the usual schedule of golf scrambles and sporting event sky-box tickets can strengthen your business development efforts in multiple dimensions at once: These events tend to cost less, attract a more diverse range of contacts, and offer deeper feelings of connection and goodwill. The good weather should last into October, so get planning!

Introduce more creativity and flexibility into your client gift-giving. If you’re offering tokens of gratitude to clients or referral sources (in keeping with your state’s rules of professional conduct, of course!), consider expanding your gifts program beyond logo-printed coffee mugs and leather-bound note pads to include things like local museum or zoo memberships. Each time that membership is used, there’s a good chance your client will think about where it came from and appreciate your thoughtfulness.