Once Upon A Time, there existed the Yellow Pages. Legal firms need only list their services in this magical book – and lo, the phones would ring.
Today, this fantasy is as dead as the Wicked Witch of the West.
Lawyers can no longer rely on traditional marketing methods to sell their services. Instead, they need to start thinking about their buyers.
In this article, Client Experience experts and The College of Law Training Fellows Vivienne Corcoran and Timothy Corcoran (no relation) explain the importance of the buyer experience – so you and your clients can live happily ever after.
Putting the buyer at the centre
According to Timothy, law firms need to stop thinking about marketing and business development as an outward facing activity – one where you cast a wide net and hope to reel in some clients.
Instead, he says, they need to focus on ensuring their service offering appeals to their ideal clients.
Timothy says, “The traditional approach to selling services, whether you’re a law firm or any other business, is to say, ‘Here’s our product, who wants to buy it?’ But the process needs to be more nuanced than this.
“In a nutshell, it should be a buying process, not a selling process. If someone wants to sell something, they need to understand the buyer’s needs – what they want to buy and how they want to buy it.
“When you have market differentiation and expertise in a particular field, you need to provide this service in a way that clients value. Not in a way that’s simply easiest for you. You need to deliver on the service promise that they’re looking for,” says Timothy.
Zeroing in on the client experience
“Client experience is my obsession,” says Vivienne. “Because I think the legal sector needs to look a lot more deeply at what clients want.
“We need to intimately understand what our clients value – and that’s going to be different for every client.
“For example, when you deliver a piece of advice, what will your client actually want to do with it? If they intend to convert your 50-page document into a PowerPoint, well, you should be delivering your advice to them as that PowerPoint.
“Here’s another example to look at – perhaps you have a client whose main constraint is time. If you can deliver your report to them on Thursday, it’s going to be a lot more valuable to them than if you hand it over on Friday.
“Or maybe one of your clients needs an immediate answer that’s 90% accurate. If you’re delivering them an answer that’s 100% correct in a week, it’s going to be no use to them by the time they receive it,” she says.
The big things are often the small things
“Delivering an excellent client experience often comes down to things that you might consider to be relatively small. But these small things might be vital to your client.
“You need to know what your clients want in a general sense. And you need to know how to ask the right questions to give them the tailored service they are looking for,” she says.
Ready to find out what your clients really want?
Why and How Clients Buy Legal Services is a 12-week course that will teach you how to grow your target client base and accelerate your business growth.
Delivered by The College of Law as both a standalone offering, or as part of the Master of Legal Business program, this course will teach you how to:
- Ask the right questions to deliver excellent client experience
- Categorise your business’ client base
- Analyse you clients’ buying decision process
- Evaluate how your clients assess their service experience
- Assess contemporary marketing approaches to optimise reach