It’s a bit like the truism: “If something looks too good to be true then it usually is”.
But the reality is that lawyers don’t give enough thought to how, with minimal effort in the sales cycle i.e. forget that wretched cold calling that no one likes, they can garner a reputation that assures them of an endless stream of new clients or new instructions from existing clients. I am not dismissing the fact that they work hard on building up a profile but that is not quite the same thing. You can have a profile as a technically proficient lawyer, but it doesn’t assure you of a great following.
I previously wrote at the end of 2010 about my favourite book, The Go-Giver co-authored by Bob Burg and John David Mann. The book contains many hidden treasures. Its story rests on 5 Stratospheric Laws of Success that can be applied in business – yes, even the practice of law – and life.
The first law, which resonates with the discussions about Tesco law – see the works of Professor Stephen Mason as a starting point – deals with the law of value (yes that old chestnut).
Rather than quoting the 1st Stratospheric Law of Success, consider this statement from page 28:
“But a great restaurant [firm] – ahh, a great restaurant [firm] strives to defy imagination! Its goal is to provide a higher quality of food and service than any amount of money could possibly pay for.”
Let that sink in …
The smart firms have tried to move the debate on from a simple exchange – you pay us £x and we provide x hours of time – to understand what is valuable to the client. Most, though, have failed because they still look to at the discussion in terms of added value, which means:
- You get a top person on the job;
- We are efficient;
- We have nice fancy MARCOMS;
- We send you our monthly newsletter; and
- We deliver on the parameters in our retainer.
The trick is to look at ways where the client doesn’t measure time and the output.
Don’t rely either on the hackneyed expression of “solving the client’s pain” or “what is keeping them up at night”. It doesn’t work. No, look “to defy imagination”.
Consider how you can make someone’s life easier or more straightforward. What is the real problem that they want you to solve and how?
Give advice that is not equivocal or worse still where you simply comment on the law all the time.
How can you resolve the problem more quickly.
Can you introduce a performance element to bring about higher, much higher service standards?
Will you give the client a rebate on the fees in certain circumstances?
Will you offer money back guarantees or the like?
The point is that you have to move the debate on for this simple reason: when the market becomes dominated by the equivalent of fast food restaurants of the legal world where predictable and efficient outcomes are the norm, unless you can WOW your clients you will find that they leak faster than you can repair the holes.
Start now. Don’t delay.
If you are not sure where to start, ask your clients?