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We will all soon be selling products (not services)

I am not yet the in the camp that promulgates “it’s like selling a tin of beans”.

Some service lines have or soon will be thought of as a commodity, and in a way that is probably good for the profession: it will remove the barrier to entry that the profession is caught by.

Assuming that you are drawn into this arena, have you given any thought to how, if you were delivering a consumer goods product, you would distinguish yourself from all the other lines that you and your competitors offer?

What about your own shopping experience?

What does it tell you about your psycho-graphic profile?

You may be drawn to the budget line; the line that generationally your family has always trusted to (its Heinz in your house); or like the variety that comes from trying some of the new lines emerging on the market whose packaging and/or promotion you like?

Whatever the reasons, you can see how, without much difficulty, the consumer purchasing legal services will be asked to decide.

Most likely you are still questioning how much (or many) of your service lines would be suitable for a packaged product but even if you have misgivings about some of them believe me your clients (soon to be consumers) won’t. In fact some may not even worry exactly what they are getting for their money – it may be a case of buying a bundle of services which they can dip in and out of at will (a hybrid perhaps of BTE).

If this sounds antithetical to your business model, make no mistake the service that you offer will, in whatever measure, be affected. Even the most discerning of consumer – the one who insists on a face to face meeting for everything – will soon get wise to the other services in the market, and however much you dislike the idea, you are going to have offer a super-slick, superior service if you are going to hold onto those cherished clients.

Time is not on your side. Whichever player enters the market you can bet that they will have road tested their model to destruction. They won’t be dealing with running repairs which is how your business model is operated.

Perhaps next time you have a team meeting, introduce the notion of your shopping habits and favoured brands and see what you can glean that has immediate application to your existing services. Don’t just look at the brand. Get into the detail of pricing, profit and delivery. These will all be key drivers in post ABS world.

~ JS ~