“One customer well taken care of, could be more valuable than $10,000 worth of advertising.” - JIM ROHN
Ever been in a situation where you visit a particular town or city for the very first time and need something so badly but don’t know how to get it, then you remember a friend once told you of a guy in that town who could solve the problem? If you haven’t been in such situation before, how about ever hearing something like “That particular individual repairs electronic gadgets very well” or “If you want to get the best of so, so and so, meet this person”?
It often happens in our daily lives that we would need satisfaction for a particular service but don’t know how to get it, but a word of mouth from a family member, friend or close associates about a particular individual, firm or spa would be the answer. The same applies to the legal profession: one satisfied client is enough publicity for a legal professional. Once a client knows that a particular lawyer is reliable and dependable, he would be the one to advertise your legal services.
Word of mouth, simply put is referral from a particular individual to another individual about a particular product. In the legal profession, it is a client telling another potential client about the services rendered by a particular lawyer or law firm. This is how client base grows in the legal world or any business world.
Truth be told, Nigeria is a difficult place to live in, our society is one where a citizen earns a living for himself and still performs the task of the government. While trying to earn a living for yourself and family you are still helping the government to do its own job, as basic amenities like shelter, electricity, car (mobility from point A to point B), independence, have all become luxuries only afforded by the affluent and well to do. This double effort placed on Nigerians is why relevance on important features and characteristics meant to be inborn are often ignored.
The struggle and hustle of trying to live up to the pressures of the society, ‘how can you be a lawyer and still be trekking?’ ‘how can you be a lawyer and still be living with your parents?’, has made many legal professionals to lose sight of certain fundamentals of the profession more valuable than money, but which can in turn bring money to the legal professional in the long run. ‘What is more valuable than money?’ Someone just asked. Well integrity, name, reputation, passion for the job, peace of mind, which in turn would lead to a good word of mouth from satisfied clients. In the words of Jame Altucher “you only get the money, appreciate the money, keep the money, grow the money, when you always put the things more important than money first”.
As a legal professional it is important to distinguish yourself in an area of law so well, that when someone is in need of such services, your name would be mentioned. There is nothing wrong in trying to make a living by engaging in almost every practice of law, we all know the situation of the country we live in, but even at that, legal professionals shouldn’t blindly follow the pursuit of peanuts, and lose focus in creating a niche for themselves in an aspect of law they can perform so well even with their eyes closed.
Some are good in estate management, some in pre and post incorporation matters, others are wonderful in litigation, wherever your strength lies, make sure that one client is satisfied with your service so much that he would want to refer you to another in need.
While growing in the profession, one might have had one or two dissatisfied clients who weren’t happy with the services rendered; some clients might not have liked the billing of a legal professional compared to the services, if you have had one of those clients, be rest assured that your name won’t be referred by them to another client. Those are part of the hazards of the profession, as we make mistakes in our services, so we learn. The next best thing to do, is to ensure that we begin to have fewer dissatisfied clients in our practice of law while carving a niche. Godspeed!
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