We recently touched on an important part of solid marketing strategy; knowing what you’re asking for. Take an honest look at whether the ever-popular but ever-ineffectual “speed and greed” approach is really working. It might be time to step back and look at the big picture.
While running bold, call-to-action TV commercials with the goal of obtaining as many quick-settlement cases as possible may sound like a sensible business strategy, what you might find is that most of those leads either don’t pan out or are so low-value that they actually undercut revenue in the long run. Plus as clients get smarter, using the Internet to do their homework and weigh their vast legal options, short-term-gain ads and tactics are not keeping law firms in practice long.
After more than 32 years of helping lawyers market their practices, we’ve found that a smarter long-term plan is to build a multi-pronged marketing strategy around obtaining quality, high-value, big-referral cases that deliver reliable results for both the client and the practice.
To gauge where you are on the value scale, start by asking these questions:
- What is our current reputation in the marketplace?
- Is our firm known for high-quality or high-turnover settlements?
- Are we leaving too much on the table with a churn-and-burn approach?
- Are we really prepared to take cases to trial like we say we are?
- Are we offering cookie-cutter law or something more specialized?
Getting real and asking tough questions is the first step in developing smarter strategic marketing. The bottom line is law will always be about the money—how much can you get for a client and how much will you charge to get it. But by positioning your legal services as a cheap commodity, you are devaluing the importance of the services you provide to the community.
Instead, start to focus on marketing tactics that help your firm:
- Position how unique you are in your legal niche or specific market
- Demonstrate how you can solve a specific problem for a client in need
- Build on valuable referrals from past clients and your professional network
- Prove your lawyers’ integrity, confidence, approach-ability and transparency
- Build deeper, lasting relationships with clients
Start to think of your firm like the best brands. You don’t have to be the Neiman Marcus of your market, but maybe you can start to provide Nordstrom-quality service. The kind that puts the clients’ needs first. The kind that stands out among the competition. The kind that pays off in the end. The kind that you would want. The kind that truly gets you referral business.
The fact of the matter is – your clients truly do not know if they received a great settlement or not. They do know how they were treated. That is a fact!