How can your firm challenge these changes in the market?
Our previous blog explained how the legal market is changing, but the real question is about how you need to adapt to these changes and make your firm align with the behaviour of professional services buyers.
One major thing to remember is that at a fundamental level, your clients are just people. And people are changing. The way they work, the things they need and want now, the things they can do now are all changing.
Ultimately, you need to be there for your client, whenever they need and not charge them a penny more…
But how do you do that?
The messaging your firm sends out needs to be 1) entertaining and something they want to engage with and 2) it needs to be sent to the right people—to the people that matter.
Educate & Distribute
Why do you need to educate your prospects or clients?
Because simply telling them how great you are and showing off your credentials doesn’t work anymore—clients have too much choice. They need proof that you can help, and that isn’t by self-supporting puff pieces.
You need to give them information and content that is useful to them, but more importantly they want data. They can’t get enough data, especially new and interesting data.
What is interesting data? What is being talked about, what is trending? What sort of data can you produce which is about your client and their industries?
Any qualitative and quantitative information that you have about your clients, such as which documents are the most common? Or how they improved efficiency over the last quarter, for example, are interesting to them. They don’t want to hear about you, what you’ve been doing or what you think.
When it comes to distribute, you need to get in front of the right people at the right time. You need to get your message to the key people at the key firms you want to work with.
After you have created the educational, data-led content, which weaves around your core message, you need to send it directly to your dream clients—the people you want to engage and makes your firm the obvious choice for when they need legal advice or contract help, or whichever service you want them to think about.
It’s no longer a case of build it and they will come, as people simply don’t browse websites on the off-chance you may have something enlightening to say. Now you need to go to them, entice them with your data.
CEB found that 57% of purchasing decisions occur before the buyer has a conversation with a service provider. This means that they are going off what content they have read, not what you are telling them about your firm. You can’t rely on them asking you, as it seem they have an idea of what they want already.
Plus, people get their information from different sources now, think about industry news. Ten years ago people would read trade press and go to conferences, but now they go online and on LinkedIn especially. This is the digital generation and their news feeds are enhanced and curated by artificial intelligence—Google, LinkedIn, Apple News, Twitter—all use algorithms to feed information in an endless torrent.
So to get to your ideal clients you need to get onboard with these platforms, and on any new platforms that come up. Whatever platform, whatever channel, wherever your clients are, they need to see your message. You can reach out with expert precision.
Be more competitive
Technology and other societal factors are driving change at a pace never seen before, in every industry including legal. Law tech is going to force you to become more competitive, in a market with ever-more choice, and the only way your firm can keep up is by communicating your credentials with current clients and prospects in an engaging way.
They are not going to come to you, and they aren’t going to stick around if they find a better deal. They are no longer the loyal clients of yesteryear, they are fickle and worried about money, and their changing behaviour is just a reflection of our time.
The future of strategy and business development is already here, it doesn’t rely on technology, it relies on the realisation that you can no longer be ‘the best kept secret’.
You need to understand that the market changes. You need to develop education-led messaging. You need to get it out there, amongst your current and future clients, those whose heads and minds you need to turn.
If you would like to know more about how to grow your client list, please get in touch to discuss our growth workshops.