A strategy for developing more private client work

Posted on: September 20, 2019
A strategy for developing more private client work

A shorter version of this article on A Strategy for developing more private client work was published in The Law Society’s Private Client Section in September 2019 https://communities.lawsociety.org.uk/september-2019/workshop-developing-more-private-client-work/6000337.article

At the Law Society’s Private Client Conference in June 2019 I presented a short workshop on “Developing more private client work”. The session covered:

1. Develop a strategy

Marketing is a process for anticipating client needs profitably. Marketing strategy is choosing the right services to promote to the right markets at the right price and with the right promotion. Whilst transactional B2C strategies are used, most private client lawyers adopt a relationship management model harnessing the trusted adviser model (see http://kimtasso.com/trust-better-business-relationships/).

The starting point for developing more private client work is a strategy. To develop a strategy we use a simple process:

  1. Where are we now? (Analysis of internal and external data)
  2. Where do we want to be? (Setting SMART goals)
  3. How will we get there? (Identify and select the appropriate strategies and tactics)
  4. How much will it cost? (Consider both cash and time investment)

A key element of the analysis is to understand the source of our best clients and work. Then we explore various external sources of information about what issues will affect client needs in the future and develop our services and messages accordingly. There was strong support for niche marketing strategies – identifying a specific market on which to focus.

We considered various benchmarks to support the development of meaningful and measureable goals for private client teams and lawyers – going beyond fees and profits to types of work, value of cases and reputation.

The rest of the session considered the some of the different strategies available depending on your current position and goals.

2. Engage the internal audience for cross-selling

Many firms reported that a significant proportion of their work is referred from existing clients and we discussed the use of Net Promoter Score for this purpose http://kimtasso.com/client-satisfaction-benchmarks-measure/).

We explored the use of focused and targeted internal communications campaigns, client relationship management programmes, Wills banks, Client Experience Management (CEM) and personal cross-selling strategies.

3. Improve external referrer relationships

Many delegates reported that they received a lot of referrals from external organisations – whether other lawyers, accountants, financial advisers, property professionals or banks.

Here we considered focused versus scattergun approaches. We looked at ways to target specific referrers, dedicate time to developing mutually-beneficial relationships and organise seminars and events. We explored creative ways of reciprocity.

There are many posts on this topic, for example:

http://kimtasso.com/top-ten-tips-referrer-management-2016-birmingham/

http://kimtasso.com/relationship-referrer-management-piggybacks-ghosting-ridealongs-swapsies-orange-crates/

http://kimtasso.com/referrer-intermediary-management-13-top-tips-workshop-may-2018/

http://kimtasso.com/referrer-management-what-do-you-do-when-you-cant-reciprocate-work-referrals/

http://kimtasso.com/referrer-management-back-to-basics-and-the-role-of-social-media/

4. Use digital marketing and social media to raise profile and generate leads

All manner of digital strategies were explored including web sites, Pay Per Click (PPC), Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), video and podcast materials, specialist portals, blogging, social media (LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram) and content management strategies.

The value of combining the various approaches into an integrated campaign – to share the load, to allow lawyers to play to their particular strengths and to enable monitoring and measurement – was discussed.

My 2018 book on helping lawyers to use social media – with case studies from law firms – was mentioned. http://kimtasso.com/social-media-in-business-development-a-guide-for-lawyers/

5. Analyse case studies

Finally, to see what works well and see some best practice we explored a number of case studies of successful private client marketing for different client types and services including:

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