How to Effectively Follow up with New and Old Contacts in a Legal Setting

/, Wellness/How to Effectively Follow up with New and Old Contacts in a Legal Setting

A large part of running a small law firm successfully involves keeping up with your client contacts, but that tends to be easier said than done, as it is a time consuming process to make time for in the midst of your already busy days. Following up with new and old contacts is of the utmost importance in growing your firm. It is something that you need to set time aside for, focus on and really put care into. In order to help you do so, we’ve compiled a few ways to effectively follow up with contacts and business opportunities:

  • Create a process. To help yourself stay organized and on top of business development outreach, develop a process that works with your schedule and work style. This includes decisions about how you want to organize contacts, what type of communication you will use, how often you will do outreach and so on. With a defined process in place you are more likely to follow up in an effective and timely manner.
  • Diversify channels beyond email and phone. Email and phone calls should be your primary communication tool, but integrating other outreach can have a positive impact. Think about using LinkedIn, discussion boards or Twitter to start conversations.
  • Don’t put it off. Following up with business opportunities isn’t something that you should put on the backburner. If you’re working with a new contact, make a note to reach out within a day or two of connecting with them for the first time. If it’s an old contact that you are reconnecting with, make sure to reintroduce yourself and include a piece of information you have discussed with them in the past to trigger their memory of you. Staying on top of follow up will effectively turn contacts into clients.
  • Stay organized in outreach. With a process in place, staying organized should be easy, especially if you’re using a tool like Smokeball. Smokeball keeps all your matters in one place so you can look up client and contact files, see past correspondence and gather contact information. This organization will help you quickly refresh your memory on where the correspondence started, stopped and is headed.


By |January 15th, 2015|

About the Author:

For years, Josh has helped lawyers become more organized, productive, and profitable. A trained litigator, Josh came to Smokeball from a large east-coast law firm where his practice focused on franchise, insurance, marine, and general litigation. His work with Smokeball, and his continued passion for what he does each day, is driven by a desire to help lawyers and their staff do better in every way. Knowing well the stress and strain put on today’s legal professional, he regularly focuses on improving work and life in the law. He has traveled the country working with and learning from lawyers and their staff. Josh speaks regularly to bar associations about successful law firm practices and other legal topics. Recent notable engagements have been with the Chicago Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, and the Missouri Bar’s Solo and Small Firm Conference. In addition to his work at Smokeball, Josh serves on the Writing Resource Center staff at The John Marshall Law School. Besides legal technology, his research interests include judicial decision-making, jury decision-making and psychology, and legal writing. He has written and overseen research exploring causal effects of sex/gender on federal appellate court decision-making, and assisted with research for a forthcoming textbook on judicial decision-making. Additionally, Josh sits on the Board of Directors of Chicago-based Community Activism Law Alliance and on the Board of Directors of Chicago Fringe Opera Company. Josh holds his J.D., cum laude, from Washington University in St. Louis, where he served as a Senior Editor of the Wash. U. Law Review, held the prestigious Thompson Coburn Research Fellowship, served as Research Assistant to then-Vice-Dean (now Chancellor) Andrew D. Martin, and clerked at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. He holds a B.A. in Political Science and a B.M. in Music Performance with Honors Scholar distinction from the University of Connecticut, making him a Huskies basketball fan through and through. Follow Josh’s activity on LinkedIn, and keep up with new articles on the Smokeball Blog.