I facilitated “Developing and sustaining your private client practice” courses in London and Bristol for MBL during the early part of June 2015. It seems that private client marketing is high on many law firms’ agendas.
The full day session covers a variety of topics – strategy and planning, market analysis, human resources management, product development, marketing communications, selling and referrer management.
Across both sessions, the areas generating most interest included:
Focus and a plan
Some delegates arrived with a blank sheet as they planned to establish new private client teams. Others had existing teams that had grown organically but little in the way of a strategic plan for future development.
The general consensus was that private client team leaders needed to focus efforts on a few areas – identified through internal and external research – and build a plan to ensure resources supported the agreed aims and strategies.
Research and data-driven marketing
The importance of research was explored using a variety of sources. This was felt to be particularly useful as part of an audit process before agreeing aims and developing a plan of action.
Delegates saw how to understand where and how past work was generated, identify specific demographics and needs of past clients, pinpoint unusual niches, understand the future needs of local clients and referrers, see what competitors were offering and develop SMART objectives.
The main takeaway for some delegates was to extend their client listening programmes to ensure that the current service was consistently good. We looked at systems to support email surveys and automatic measurement of client satisfaction. Some felt that the Net Promoter Score (NPS) might be a useful way to elicit recommendations from existing clients and referrers.
Segmentation and niches
Market mapping exercises demonstrated that smaller law firms need to identify and develop niche strategies using channels that were less heavily dominated by competitors. There were some excellent examples of unusual niches being revealed in specific local markets.
Products, packaging and pricing
Increasing competition and fee pressures led us to consider how to develop new products and services – sometimes working in conjunction with third parties who provide essential non-legal aspects of the service. This was found to be one way to differentiate their firms and to meet a wider range of client needs.
Others considered ways to embrace increasing commoditisation whilst developing the client service and relationship aspects of the service. Numerous examples of innovative pricing strategies were explored.
Most firms focused promotional effort on the external market, so we examined ways to improve internal marketing programmes. Illustrative internal marketing campaigns were analysed and we had a go at developing new ones for some of the delegates’ specific needs.
Selling processes and skills
Most delegates felt that their marketing and lead generation strategies were effective but the processes, systems, training and monitoring of sales and conversion needed attention.
The importance of emotional intelligence (EQ) skills in sales and relationship management competencies was highlighted. A variety of old and new strategies and techniques to improve sales effectiveness were also explored.
Research which dispelled some myths about the use of technology by the elder and later life segments prompted renewed interest in how social media might be used by private client teams. We also reviewed some of the best social media campaigns by other private client lawyers.
Beyond specific niches and on-line communities, we saw how social media could actually save lawyers time in raising their profile, developing their reputation as experts, connecting with new referrers and clients, providing support for channel partners as well as staying on the radar of existing referrers.
Feedback (thank you!) from the delegates was really positive and included:
“Well worth the journey – incredibly useful”
“Quick, informative, good examples”
Further details at https://www.mblseminars.com/Outline?progid=5747
- How do you market personal tax services?
- What are the most effective methods of promoting wills, trust and probate services?
- Lawyers finally start considering an holistic approach to serving their clients
- Rural market - Lawyers follow surveyors and agents
- Marketing a wills and probate business
- How do I market to high net worth individuals?
- Probate Practitioner’s Handbook - Marketing wills, probate and other private client services
- Legal marketing case study – Mishcon de Reya
- Reflections on the CLT Private Client Management and Marketing conference
- Effective marketing and relationship management on a low budget
- Book review: Ark’s “Best Practices in Legal Marketing”
- Technology, strategy, innovation and pricing dominate Law South Conference
- A history of marketing in UK law firms – another perspective
- How can I improve the quality and effectiveness of my business plan?
- Innovation in small law firms
- Case study (Law firm marketing) - Mishcon de Reya
- Legal Marketing Case study - Withy King's research/media relations campaign
- Legal sector consultancy
- Conference review: CLT’s “Managing and marketing a profitable private client practice” 2013
- Legal marketing case study: Focused newsletters at the heart of client relationship and events programmes at Aaron & Partners
- Legal marketing case study: Irwin Mitchell combines DR advertising, online promotion and brand building
- How can I improve my pricing strategy?
- Legal Marketing Case Study: "Hot on family law" at Rayden Solicitors
- Half year review of law firm strategy and finance
- Withers’ double win - A cracking demonstration of superb law firm marketing AND a tour de force on legal pitfalls in social media
- Cross selling – the dream versus the reality
- Legal marketing case studies – Farrer & Co Lexis® Interaction® and Berwin Leighton Paisner Siteimprove web governance suite
- Key challenges when developing and sustaining your private client practice
- Legal marketing case studies – Strategy and relationship management at Bird & Bird, DLA Piper, Mills & Reeve and Obelisk
- Legal marketing case study: Improving referrals through reward systems at Keystone Law
- Law South Conference 2015 – “Achieving extraordinary client engagement” with empowerment, value, disruption, disobedience and psychology
- Legal sector research: Highlights from “The Age of the Client” by LexisNexis
- Key takeaways from “How to manage and grow your private client practice” (Feb 2020)
- Elderly, grey, silver, mature or hyperactive?
- What makes a good marketing campaign?
- How can I improve my targeting of new business?
- Marketing to the elderly – for lawyers and accountants
- New lead generation and intelligence system for targeting high net worth private clients – An overview of NETZ
- Referrer management – what do you do when you can’t reciprocate work referrals?
- Marketing professional services to High Net Worth clients
- Seven insights into client care and service excellence
- Top ten tips on referrer management (2016 Birmingham)
- Private client marketing - Competing in the digital era
- Cross-selling – The Big Questions
- Managing and growing your private client practice (January 2021)
- 3 themes from marketing planning – Stepping stones, persuasion and momentum
- Satisficing or satisfying? – Take care with client care and relationship management
- Ten tips on cross-selling – Boosting internal networks
- Advanced social media use amongst lawyers, accountants and surveyors
- The pricing of family law services – An overview
- Legal marketing case study – Royds Withy King private client wealth proposition and new product Life Safe®
- Referrer and intermediary management – Internal information systems
- A strategy for developing more private client work
- Four themes in referrer management – for lawyers and accountants in the UK and internationally
- Four insights from developing a private client practice – Analysis, Objectives, Targeting and Internal Communication (June 2016)
- Developing a private client practice – 10 insights (July 2017)
- Eight management questions from private client lawyers
- Private client marketing – Five thoughts from heads of department (2017)
- Be more T Rex - Client management with dinosaurs
- Legal Marketing Case study - How Thomson Snell & Passmore lawyers grew a new office from scratch
- There’s a real person behind that Persona
- Strategies for developing a private client practice
- Manage and grow your private client practice – Recruitment, Performance, Segmentation and ROI (February 2023)
- Where do I start? Business Development for Lawyers (MBL Private Client Training July 2015)
- Integrated marketing – Joined up sector, KAM and CEM programmes
- 10 steps to create a business development campaign
- LawBid - New matchmaking service for individuals and businesses seeking lawyers (outsourcing legal marketing)
- Rainmakers and Trailblazers – Business development for lawyers