Having a no solicitation policy at your law firm

Law firm solicitationsWhen you own a law firm, or are in management at a law firm, solicitations can end up taking a lot of your time.  You cannot blame individuals and companies for wanting to solicit and generate business.  For many individuals and companies, they are working off commissions/sales.  This makes soliciting business essential for their livelihood.

But if you do not enunciate and enforce a no solicitation time at your law firm, or have other appropriate procedures, a lot of your time will end up being lost.  Instead of working on your clients’ cases, and dealing with essential day-to-day responsibilities of running a law firm, you can end up spending a lot of time with salespeople.

For any law firm, there will be countless companies and individuals who will try to sell your law firm goods and services.  Some common examples include:

  • People who call about endless and various marketing opportunities from online, web, magazine, billboard, paper, radio, TV, etc.
  • Companies who sell office supplies from papers, pens, paper, toner, etc.
  • Investment companies who want to manage your firm’s retirement accounts.
  • Business gurus who think they can offer you business advice.
  • Clothing representatives who want to sell you custom clothing.
  • Insurance companies who want to manage the insurance your firm provides to employees or for the firm itself.
  • Payroll companies who want to manage your payroll.
  • Companies who want to print your letterhead or business cards.
  • Banks who want to your firm’s bank accounts with them.
  • Gifts and souvenir companies who want to put your logo and emblem on various merchandise.
  • Real estate agents who want to help and/or manage your office space.
  • Computer repair and networking companies.

At the end of the day, lots of these companies may be able to help in some capacity.  But for most law firms, you might already have somebody you are using.  And why would you switch if you are currently getting good service from a current provider?  Or, if you do not have somebody you are using, you likely have the capability to find somebody of your choosing all on your own without the solicitation.

The reality is if you take the solicitation calls, respond to their e-mails and meet them in an effort at being nice, you could end up neglecting the essential work you need to do.  Instead, you will be stuck in meetings, calls or e-mail chains where you have to say “no, thank you” continually to the various pitches presented to you — and be asked for an explanation.

While many of these companies and individuals promise low pressure meetings to get in the door, you have to never forget that many are likely working off commissions/sales.  So, while what might begin as low pressure sales, can quickly turn into higher pressure sales.

Some of these companies or individuals will also feel like you are obligated to give them an explanation if you do not use their services or purchase what they are selling.  Do you want to spend your time doing this versus getting essential work done?

For this reason, most law offices should develop a no solicitation policy.  Or, at a minimum, all solicitations should be forwarded to a specific individual or individuals based on the good or service being offered to vet these solicitations.

Office staff then has to be trained to understand that most solicitations are not worthy of the valuable time of management–and that most solicitations to the law office will be declined.  Often times, a response to the solicitation is not even necessary.

If the solicitation sounds remotely appealing, office staff also needs to understand that information regarding solicitations should only be presented to management at appropriate times — and not disrupt the day-to-day affairs of the law firm or management.

If you have any thoughts, feel free to share them below.

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