Most law firms are competent. They do well what they do. However, few firms are truly competitive; by that we mean to be a leading firm in the market and provide benefits.
Most firms miss opportunities and lose money because they cannot listen the potential client. Active listening is a rare virtue. It is a virtue that is assumed. The purpose of active listening is to discover what is important to the client, their true motives or reasons for hiring the legal services. Most of us we hear but do not listen. Not take for granted that you know what the potential client wants.
Why they get better contracts some firms than others? By differentiation. Differentiation can be based on proper management of the brand or in the know how to listen the potential clients better than the competitor. The will of understanding the client is necessary to be part of the culture of the firm. A basic function of any business is to be profitable, make money. For this reason are made, ultimately, business. That’s why you have to go out and sell, but doing it so by being prepared. Having a legal practice with a good margin of profit implies reassurance for its partners.
The essential question is why your clients hire you. Probably you never have put this question to your clients. It is essential to know why your clients hired your services.
Clients decide the hiring of legal services for profit. Each adequate profit provided to potential clients is one more reason to hire. Yet, there are many firms who focus their argument of sales basically on service characteristics, rather than on benefits from the point of view of the potential client.
The uniqueness of the firm
In a legal market perceived as uniform, undifferentiated, with similar firms, unless you know what marks out your firm clients won’t know either why to choose you. In any case, if you are chosen it will be, in general, by price. You have to know the virtues or differential or competitive advantages of the firm, from the point of view of potential clients. When you know them you will be able to define your own message and communicate it properly.
Companies are differentiated by their brand image. Hence the importance of being attentive to every element that creates impressions on the potential client. We are judged by the client, for example, by the firm’s website. There are many companies or firms with a magnificent physical headquarters and on the contrary a mediocre website, because they are built from their point of your view and not from the point of a potential client or Internet surfer’s view. A well-built website is much more than a catalog of products or a presentation of the company. Also there are many companies or legal practices that communicate messages with a “we focus” instead of a “client focus”. Are messages that tell or inform but not persuade or sell. Make a test: read your website and check which words are most used. Visit your website like a potential client, not a partner in the firm and see the difference.
In addition, it is essential to consider what the client actually hires to your law firm, beyond the obvious. Those who know what their clients actually hire they hold the key to their competitiveness in the marketplace. It is the basis for having a legal practice not only competent but competitive too.
The economic situation
The law firms blame crisis for the current situation. At the firms who can sell are not affected excessively by the economic crisis.
In crisis situations, companies that know how to sell are focused on approaching potential clients with hiring power and get improved previously in order to have more chances to gain them. They believe in themselves as the first step for the potential clients to believe in them.
The calculated risk
The important thing to have a successful firm is not how much we work but if we do it in a smart way, based on our own strengths, values and with the right personnel.
On the other hand, to move from where we are to where we would like to be we have to lose the fear and take calculated risks where there are chances of success, taking into account the available resources.
We can only move forward or be rewarded if we take some risks. This requires good self-esteem and personal attitude. A few want to risk but most of them would like the reward given by the risk.