Key challenges when developing and sustaining your private client practice

Posted on: January 22, 2015

I’ve worked with many private client practice teams over the years – ever since I first wrote the marketing and business development chapter for the Law Society’s “Probate Practitioners Handbook” over a decade ago. The market and clients have changed beyond recognition making it even more challenging for private client lawyers and practitioners.

There are a number of key challenges that private client lawyers must address for success: 

1. What’s your market? Too often lawyers have only a vague idea of who they are targeting. Their focus is too broad to really focus in on the needs of the very different groups (I have written previously about the fallacy of targeting “high net worths” as this is too generic – see http://kimtasso1.wpengine.com/faq/how-do-i-market-to-high-net-worth-individuals/ ). Analysis and smart thinking are key. Recent blogs on segmentation and personas may help (see http://kimtasso1.wpengine.com/back-basics-importance-segmentation-personas/ )

2. What are you selling? There are lists of legalistic specialisms which can mean little to the end users. Once you’ve identified the specific audience you are addressing and really research and understand what it is that they need you can develop a compelling proposition (see, for example: http://kimtasso1.wpengine.com/faq/what-is-a-value-proposition-or-usp-and-how-do-i-create-one/. This may mean altering the nature of the service provided – perhaps through the use of technology or through collaborating with third parties – to address non-legal needs. It also means ensuring your team have the right attitude and skills.

3. How will you promote your message? Once you have defined your message the challenge is to convey it to the market effectively and efficiently. There’s a dizzying array of traditional and new marketing tools – Is your web site up to scratch? Do you use social media? Do you write articles? Do you go out and network? What about internal marketing? You need to consider the audience and the tools and channels and develop a campaign to involve the team. There are plenty of blogs about campaign development and the various marketing and communication tools available.

4. How will you connect and convert? Does your campaign encourage the right people to contact you? Does it provide frequent touch points during the sales cycle? How do you maximise the opportunity when face to face with a prospective client or referrer? Are your sales and relationship skills up to speed? Are you filtering and converting the right opportunities? Are your systems managing the process? Again, there are numerous blogs providing guidance on sales, selling and relationship management.

5. Does your service delivery delight, retain and grow clients and referrers? Brand extends beyond communications – it infiltrates every aspect of your firm. Is every service experience excellent? Are clients cherished by every member of your team? Are you able to provide the right level of service expected and still make a profit? And do existing clients and referrers feel compelled to promote you to their friends, family and contacts?   Search for related blogs on client service, client relationship management and referrer management.  

These topics and more will be addressed at a new full day training course (Developing and sustaining your private client practice” that I am presenting with MBL which will be presented as follows:

3rd June 2015     London

9th June 2015     Bristol

16th July 2015    Manchester

Further details available here: http://www.mblseminars.co.uk/Home/Outline?progid=5747&AddSeminarToBasket=1026988 Please let me know if there are any specific topics or issues that you would like addressed in the sessions

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