Is This Copy Paper That A Law Firm Uses?

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      We received a letter the other day from a lawyer at a large law firm.  The envelope of the letter was printed nicely, however, once we opened the envelope and read the letter, the paper on which the letter was printed appeared to be cheap copy paper.
       The more we read the letter, the more interesting the concern was on the paper on which the letter was written.
        Now, our experience with legal firms is significant.  However, one thing that has always stood out with law firms, both big and small, some one person shops, is the fact that most of the firms always used professional 25% cotton stationery with engraved printing.  If not engraved, then thermography was used.  However, this time, the letterhead appeared to be on cheap copy paper with the letterhead printed on the paper using an MS Word Template.
         We met the lawyer that sent our firm the letter.  As we were conversing, one of our consultants asked the lawyer about the quality of the paper that the letter was sent on.  Here was the answer– “Our managing partner likes to watch the budget very carefully.  He believes that the cheap copy paper ‘does the job’ just fine.”
         Well, we are management consultants.  We specialize in efficiency and cost effectiveness.  The managing partner is right– the cheap copy paper “does the job” just fine.  HOWEVER, what is left unsaid is that the impression that this paper presents is less than professional for such a firm!  Were we concerned about the quality of legal services that firm renders?  No, we believe that the firm does good work.  In fact, the reputation of the firm is very, very high in the region of the country in which they are located.
          First impressions are lasting impressions.  We were surprised that the impression management was considered insignificant as contrasted with paper cost.
          Think carefully when you have anything that represents your firm, your brand, your image.  If it is low quality, appears to be a “budget variety” product, some folks will notice that immediately.  Other individuals will notice it gradually.  In the professional services business, image is very important.  Yes, good quality paper costs more than copy paper.  Engraved letterhead is the most expensive, however, the brand image that engraved stationery presents is always first class.
            If you are in the service business, you do not need to have new, shiny trucks.  However, it is important that your trucks are well maintained, are clean and present a professional, crisp image to your customers.  Washing the truck every week, ensuring that body damage is repaired immediately and the truck presents a positive image fosters not only great brand recognition, but also customer goodwill.  Remember, you only have one time to create a first impression!

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