December 30, 2020|Kim's Blog, Lawyers|
Key takeaways from “How to manage and grow your private client practice” (Feb 2020)

I’m making the final preparations for the first online presentation of the popular “How to manage and grow your private client practice” which takes place on 11th January 2021. I’m updating everything to reflect the lessons learned as we adapted to the Covid pandemic and highlighting some recent private client campaigns. As I do so, I thought it would be interesting to see what the delegates identified as the main takeaways when the session was last presented in person in February 2020 – and how many of these insights are still (or perhaps even more) relevant.

Aims and goal-setting

  • Develop a business plan
  • Set short and long term measurable goals (there’s a goal setting section on this guide to marketing plans )
  • Consider process and results measures
  • Analyse the existing client base and sources of work (Segmentation and personas are important ideas)
  • Analyse local markets – adjust goals for different offices accordingly
  • Growth – consider the profitability pyramid and the particular challenges for mid-sized firms

These short videos might be useful: strategic analysis and mission and vision statements 
All of these topics are just as relevant in a post-Covid environment. Most firms revised their revenue and profit forecasts at the start of the pandemic – which was prudent. However, the continued strong demand meant that many firms then had to revise those revisions and restart their recruitment efforts to continue to grow their private client practices.

Strategy choice and development

  • Identify ways to differentiate – at a firm, team and individual level
  • Agree a focus and direction
  • Map the market to identify niches and opportunities
  • Use matrix marketing to align services to market needs and co-ordinate efforts across the firm
  • Use portfolio planning to agree action plans for different services

Choosing a strategy and bringing focus is just as important post-Covid. These topics are covered in a variety of articles on strategy development including:

HR and Operations

  • Review and adjust target and reward systems
  • Analyse the profitability of lawyer:secretary ratios
  • Agree a signing appointment at the first meeting for a Will
  • Delegate more to junior team members
  • Use NPS (Net Promoter Score) to assess client satisfaction, benchmark performance and encourage recommendations

During the Covid crisis, this area has perhaps received most attention – transitioning to a working from home (WFH) model with its operational, technology and HR issues. Staff engagement and well-being has become a bigger issue for many firms as a result. Many firms have also taken the opportunity to improve their financial management procedures. And most firms are now assessing their future office requirements – possibly less actual space but different configurations to allow drop-in and collaboration space supporting a Covid-secure client suite.

Business development, marketing and communications

This is one area that has seen significant change – with face-to-face events and meetings being replaced with a host of online activities. I provided guidance on these marketing challenges early in the Covid crisis. Many firms focused on looking after their existing clients and referrers during the crisis – the challenge will be in new business development post-Covid although many firms will have refined their digital marketing and social media marketing to accommodate this.
Amongst the delegates there was an even split between those who realised they needed to concentrate on marketing, selling, client management and referrer management. Other key issues identified included:

The next MBL How to Manage & Grow Your Private Client Practice” full day online training session is on 11th January 2021
Details of all my MBL training workshops

Related articles on private client management and marketing

developing more private client work | Kim Tasso (September 2019)
Royds Withy King private client wealth proposition and new product | Kim Tasso (April 2019)
Social media in business development and relationship management | Kim Tasso (April 2018)
Private client marketing – Five thoughts from heads of department (2017) ( (December 2017)
Private client marketing – digital and traditional methods | Kim Tasso (November 2017)
Developing a private client practice | Kim Tasso (July 2017)
Legal marketing case studies – Digital marketing at The Law Society Law Management Conference 2017 ( (April 2017)
Four insights from developing a private client practice – Analysis, Objectives, Targeting and Internal Communication (June 2016) ( (June 2016)
Legal market research – LexisNexis Bellwether report 2016 | Kim Tasso (June 2016)
Legal market research – Perceptions and needs of consumers and small businesses ( (April 2016)
Legal Marketing Case Study – Rix & Kay thought leadership in the later life and care sectors ( (October 2015)
Marketing to the elderly – for lawyers and accountants ( (October 2015)
Business development for lawyers MBL seminar | Kim Tasso (July 2015)
Seven thoughts on private client marketing (June 2015) ( (June 2015)
Key challenges when developing and sustaining your private client practice ( (January 2015)