It is a simple fact of life that humans like to reciprocate. When someone gives you something for free, the natural instinct is to return the favor. This morning, I went to my local tailor/dry cleaner to get a pair of shorts repaired. The hem needed to be resewn and it wasn’t a big job (in fact in only took 2 minutes). When I first walked into the shop, the owner must have been downstairs because no one was behind the counter. I waited a minute or two and then walked out to do a few more chores. I briefly considered going into another shop around the corner, but I have always liked this dry cleaner and I prefer to do business with them.
When I returned, the shopkeeper took the shorts, fixed the hem, and quickly announced “no charge”. I asked 3 times “are you sure?” But the shopkeeper insisted that it was okay. While I am not a big user of dry cleaners or tailoring services (like most of us, I haven’t worn business attire in a very long time), I will surely be returning to this shop the next time I have sewing or dry cleaning. Through a small, simple act of generosity, the shopkeeper earned my loyalty.
So what are you doing to earn the loyalty of your clients? What are you giving away to build trust and commitment from potential clients and referral sources?
For me, it’s creating content and sharing that with lawyers. My podcast, my blog, my newsletter, the articles I publish, and the speaking I do are all intended to share my wisdom on marketing and career success in the law. My free consultations are designed to provide something of value to a prospect who may (or may not) become a client (but who will remember me when they have a need or meet someone else who does). Giving away freebees shouldn’t take up all of your valuable time. But it should be an important part of your marketing strategy. If you do enough of this, you’ll be like my dry cleaner. You will have earned valuable loyalty that will pay dividends in the future.