Everyone loves a trophy, and your clients are no exception. A well-appointed trophy at the right time can cement the attorney-client relationship, remind the client about your awesomeness, and make most clients feel like they did something significant. And with the cost of plaques and trophies diminishing rapidly, it’s a great time to implement a trophy-based rewards program. But when should you give out trophies to clients? And for what? Here’s what our field research shows.
Champion Will Signers
Signing a Will is usually a somber moment for estate planning attorneys and their clients. It doesn’t have to be. Once your clients finish signing all the documents, present them with a small trophy inscribed with “Champion – First Place in Will Signing.” It’s a nice reward for having to sign things in triplicate and to initial in the places you’ve indicated. Consider this: In a typical case, the clients return home with an envelope stuffed full of morbid documents about dying. It’s not the best way to engender excitement about your services. With a trophy, however, it’s reason to celebrate, to take pictures, to tweet and dump Gatorade all over each other. Moreover, a First Place in Will Signing trophy on the clients’ fireplace mantel will prompt questions from guests and other family members, leading to potential new business for you. Boomshakalaka-ching.
Got Away With It Trophy
A trophy is an awesome gift to provide to a criminal defense client who is acquitted for a felony offense. Sure, freedom was on the line and it cost $10,000 to
prove their innocence defend against the state’s charges. But, a win aside, the client goes home empty handed. If you are confident enough, have a three-foot trophy sitting in the courtroom in a discrete corner. When the jury announces the verdict of not guilty, do all the usual hand-slapping, hugging, and stacking, and then grab the trophy and present it to your client. We’ll be shocked if the tears don’t start all over again. But, in the unusual circumstance in which you don’t win, just save the trophy for the next trial.
First Place – Trial Testimony
There’s no better time to whip out a three-foot golden trophy then at trial after your client testifies. After your client’s testimony, whip off the cover you’ve placed over the trophy, pick it up, and present it admiringly to the client (remember to ask to approach, if that is required in your jurisdiction). If all goes well, the client will hold the trophy up high for jurors to see, cementing the impression that the testimony was truthful, powerful, and totally awesome. For added impression and to cement your overall trial credibility, reserve a small medallion or lapel pin to give to the star witness for the opposing party. Contrasting a three-foot golden trophy with a tiny lapel pin won’t be lost on the jury, especially if the opposing party’s witness inevitably shoves you away in disgust.
It’s the right time to roll out a trophy-based rewards program. The cost is right, and the atmosphere of vanquish or be vanquished is palpable in the profession. For once, get ahead of the crowd by giving away trophies to your best clients. You won’t be sorry.
john richard says
I began using trophies a few years back as a way of saying thank you to my clients. Here in Indiana I represent a group of manufacturers who are doing their part to shrink America’s trade deficit. They export refurbished typewriter ribbons and sportswear branded NDIANA UNIVERSITY or NU and PERDUE UNIVERSITY or PU.
My challenge is that one trophy is not enough for these folks. They have an insatiable appetite for kitsch. I sometimes think that my advice is irrelevant so long as I can dole out a trophy.
I should add that these guys all know each other. I must keep careful records on who gets what trophy, otherwise I can expect to receive an angry phone call from a guy with trophy envy.
With this as a backdrop, let me add two suggestions:. First, it is very easy to make your own trophies. With toilet paper tubes, wooden blocks, paper cups, car parts or old tools and some crisp legal logic(lol) you can quite easily fabricate an entire line of trophies for almost any occasion. Be sure to make them scalable or expect the phone call I mentioned.
For second tier clients consider recycled trophies. Surprisingly, trophy recycling centers can be found in most minor metropolitan areas. i carefully cut some electrician’s tape into the desired size and place it over the old writing. Then I just rotate the cup anywhere from 90 to 270 degrees- depending on how many times I anticipate recycling the trophy- and send it out for engraving.
Martha Stewart eat your heart out!