In my role as a business skills trainer, one of the biggest mistakes I notice lawyers making is in how they market their services. Too often, they resort to old-fashioned selling techniques.
I remind them to think about a time in their life when they have needed advice or recommendations. Then I ask them these questions.
“Did you want to be ‘sold’ to?”
“Or were you much more likely to seek support and guidance from a trusted expert?”
Positioning ourselves as a trusted advisor is therefore essential in attracting the clients we want to work with. From this position (and not as a ‘seller’ of legal services) we make recommendations not sales.
So, what statistics do you have about the work that you do?
Here are some key areas that you may wish to mine for statistics:
- Specific transactions – how many have you or your firm dealt with that are relevant to your clients? For example, “this year my team and I have handled 25 major commercial property transactions involving retail units.”
- Clients – this can be the number you have in a particular sector or statistics about the field that they operate in. ‘As we operate exclusively in the family field, we know that divorce rates are going up”. You might then go on to say what the implications are for your client.
- Time – how long have you been in post or have served the specific market for – “I have extensive experience of probate as I have been practising in this field for 25 years.”
- Customer satisfaction. One of my own claims to fame is that I achieved 100% client satisfaction in my last post as Head of Legal for the Co-operative Bank.
- Success rates “My success rate in litigation is 100%”. Clearly you need evidence to back this up.
- Position of your firm in the sector you operate. “I work for a top 100 law firm’ or ‘My niche practice in intellectual property is recognised at the top one in Yorkshire.”
Try to come up with at least 4 statistics that relate to cases, clients or the work you do. These will help you to position yourself as a trusted expert.
Remember these need to be short, relevant and demonstrate your strengths, as well as your firm’s.
Are you ready to take your networking skills to the next level?
If so, I have three next steps for you to improve your communication skills and self-confidence for meeting and connecting with potential clients:
- I have three blogs with further tips on networking: ‘Three simple words to create interesting small talk at networking events’, How to gain credibility in your 60 second introduction at networking events’ and my blog on ‘Power’ skills will remind you of other skills which are necessary to your success.
- My book, Business Skills: Don’t be daft I am a lawyer! contains a lot more valuable techniques and advice from 29 successful lawyers.
- If you enjoy learning in a group environment, then my short ‘Turning enquiries into instructions’ workshop is for you and your team. This interactive event helps you to learn advanced relationship-building skills and boost your confidence… all over lunch! To find out more about how this could benefit you and your team, get in touch. This can be delivered on its own or part of the ‘Power of Three’ programme.
- If you want to learn all the inside secrets to powerful and successful networking then my full-day Kick S.T.A.R.T. Relationship Connector workshop is for you. This event forms one of the days on the Business Brilliance Blueprint® Programme designed for partners and legal business owners who want to accelerate their mastery of business skills. Take this course as one-off training day or join the full programme – more details here.
- Coaching: Chapter 1.2 of my book, Business Skills? Don’t be daft I am a lawyer! contains exercises for you to identify your coaching needs. I offer personalised customised coaching programmes. A popular one comprises sessions to help you build your networking skills. It starts with a Get More Clients Diagnostic and Planning Assessment to ensure you are connecting with the right people. It includes how to develop your individual style that is authentic and engaging and discuss costs confidently. See my blog, ‘You Can’t Read the Label from Inside the Jar’ to learn about the benefits of coaching.
If you would like to discuss any of the content of this blog or any of the training and coaching programmes, please contact me either email, email@example.com or telephone me on 07921540039.
Happy to chat over coffee and cake on a no obligation basis to discuss your objectives and needs.
Ann Page, Business Author, Trainer and Coach for the Legal Profession
A Top 100 lawyer of the year (2003) Ann has had a successful in-house 28-year career, working mainly in the financial sector. She switched from being a business lawyer in industry to a non-practising solicitor who teaches and coaches on business subjects in 2003. Since then, Ann has trained 7500+ lawyers on business skills including leadership, management and interpersonal skills. She trained with the Coaching Academy and holds a HNLP certificate in coaching as well as being an NLP Master Practitioner. Ann is also a MiRo Accredited Trainer and has written three books. Ann has always been active in various professional committees and currently she is Treasurer of the Yorkshire Sole Practitioner’s Group, a member of the Professional Speaking Association, Professional Speaking Academy and Leeds Law Society.
This blog was first published on April 6th 2017 and was significantly updated on February 6th 2023.