Clients are already meeting with outside counsel. Most are planning to meet before year end.
But an important group no longer see a need for in-person meetings. They say these meetings waste time, energy, and money. Phone and/or video will be just fine — and in some cases better.
We asked corporate counsel when they think they will be meeting face-to-face with outside counsel again. It looks like this:
The bulk of clients see F2F meetings in the next 3 to 9 months, skewed more towards the later months.
The clients standing out most are already meeting and those who see F2F meetings as outdated. Combined they account for less than 20% of clients, but they control about 31% of all legal spending. It is worth knowing who these clients are and how it impacts your plans. The same is true for all your other clients — it’s just not as urgent as the clients meeting now and those who don’t want to meet.
To be certain — clients meeting now are using full and diligent safety protocols. But it does the beg the question — which partners at what firms are ready?
We recommend asking clients about their preferences and plans — now. We strongly recommend asking these questions through voice-to-voice communications by telephone or 3rd telephone-based client interviews. Clients view both as a personal touch.
This is your opportunity to position yourself ahead of the competition for the next normal. The transition back to person-to-person/in-office work offers opportunities to help clients plan for the event. Ask clients when they would like to meet again and discuss the transition back to the office — and other objectives will naturally follow.
Clients may change their thinking based on how the surges play out and the vaccine rolls out. This dynamic and the legal needs they present demand personal communication — it’s far too nuanced to put in an email.
Be safe. Be cautious. Call clients.
The Mad Clientist