Ryan Swanson Tracks Clients, Prospects & Industries with Manzama
Smaller law firms may not always have the broad expertise or resources that an AmLaw100 firm can muster on a client’s behalf. Instead, they differentiate themselves by deep experience in a few practice areas, or a reputation for highly personalized client service.
“Word of mouth has always been a huge source of new business for our firm,” explained Jason Miller, Director of Marketing & Business Development for Ryan Swanson. “People who know us like us, and respect the firm for its work. There are a lot of qualified attorneys around, but clients hire Ryan Swanson because of the quality of our people, and the service we provide. They tell us that we cultivate a neighborly, friendly culture – and we do.”
One of the ways Ryan Swanson provides a high level of service is by gaining a strong understanding of their clients business and the industries they’re engaged in. The responsibility of monitoring clients – and prospects –falls to Miller. “I realized that these efforts would be most easily accomplished if I coordinated the tracking,” he continued. “The thinking was that if I gathered this information, I could make sure any pressing news was in front of the attorneys whose clients/prospects it impacted.” To gather current client, prospect and industry data, Miller and one of his colleagues had set up a number of client alerts in Google. “We plugged in more than 100 clients, prospects, practice areas and legislative initiatives that had potential to impact our clients,” Miller explained. “Most of the material that Google identified, 95% or so, — was of little or no use. Every now and then we’d get something of worth, but it would take a lot of our time sorting through so many alerts, sometime 150 in a single day, to get to a meaningful insight.”
“While we had a need for a service that could help streamline our business and competitive intelligence gathering efforts, we weren’t actively seeking a solution. I heard a bit about a product called Manzama at a Legal Marketing Association luncheon in Seattle. Soon thereafter, I asked some of my peers at other firms in Seattle if they were using Manzama. The answer from one trusted peer at a larger firm was ‘Yes.’
Keeping Attorneys Informed… A Recipe for Success
After licensing Manzama, Miller plugged in the clients, prospects, issues and topics he wanted to follow into the application. Instead of wading through hundreds of alerts to determine if there where any developments that the firm’s attorneys should be aware of, he now turns to his Manzama dashboard or daily email alert. “It takes me about five minutes to assess the results that Manzama has returned,” he continued. “If something of relevance and importance has occurred, I’m made aware of it, and can send the insight along to the appropriate attorney or practice group. It’s the first thing I look at in the morning. When the attorneys are well informed on our clients’ activities and industry developments, they can provide better service. Our clients ultimately receive the benefits of working with an attentive, engaged advisor.”
Ryan Swanson also uses Manzama to track trends in dynamic practice areas. “We have a few practice groups – immigration and transportation – where there are constantly new developments, at both the federal and state levels,” Miller added. “We have Manzama set up to directly alert the attorneys in these practice groups of any developments when they arise. If something especially noteworthy comes through, they’ll let me know so we can get a newsletter or client alert constructed on their behalf. We don’t have to keep these issues at a top-of-mind awareness. Manzama does it for us. It allows us to use the information that has surfaced as the basis of these communications.”
“When I speak to peers at other firms about Manzama, my advice is simple: this service is going to allow you and your attorneys to stay on top of clients and prospects better than ever before. By doing so, it’s going to make your life easier.”
The firm’s use of Manzama has already started to open doors for new client engagements. “There’s a prospect that’s based in California that’s looking to expand into Washington,” Miller explained. “We’ve been following their expansion plans, as we have a strong practice in that prospect’s industry. Their CEO maintains a fairly high media profile, and we’ve been able to follow him and his company through Manzama. When we learned that he was going to be visiting Seattle, we invited him to stop by our offices. Utilizing Manzama, we were able to understand his history, and his plans for his visit to Washington. During our meeting with him we were able to share our knowledge about his company and its progress. Normally, it would have taken a good deal of research and effort to come up with this information. With Manzama, it was all right there in front of me.”
Founded in Seattle in 1897, Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC is a full-service law firm with over 40 attorneys, providing clients throughout the Northwest with legal counsel in a wide range of business and personal matters. The firm is ranked among the 20 largest law firms in Seattle, and prides itself on connecting with clients on a human level to make decisions based on serving their best interests.
Since its inception, Ryan Swanson has focused on helping businesses, small and large, privately-held and public, with legal counsel that helps them succeed. From business formation to employment contracts to licensing agreements, the firm’s lawyers are committed to providing clients with timely and practical advice. Representative clients
include Nintendo of America Inc.; SSA Marine; New Albertsons; Transgroup Worldwide Logistics; and the Puget Sound Auto Dealers Association.