Lawyers offer a service with commercial value, and like all retail service providers, they need clients who are willing to pay for these services.
The process of acquiring clients in law firms, in general
In this article, “marketing functions in a law firm,” we offer you several tips to help law firms better organize the acquisition of new clients. Here we give you a summary of this highly instructive article, and how we have acquired our clients in our law firm.
- Purpose of marketing for lawyers
First, we make it clear what the purpose of marketing is: profitability through customer acquisition and retention. Then it indicates that the essential components of marketing are promotion and business development (sales). But in addition to these two components, there are other functions such as strategy.
The marketing function is like a pipeline leading to sales and ultimately, the profitability of the firm. The promotion launches a giant net at the pipeline entrance to bring qualified potential customers into the pipeline. Second, every effort is made to move the potential client towards a purchasing decision, and finally to guide them to the final service provider: the lawyer.
The promotion function is used to develop and communicate key messages to a targeted audience for a pre-defined response. The emphasis is on communication with well-chosen contacts to enhance or maintain market position and, of course, supply the pipeline. The promotion team develops the communication strategy and disseminates messages and images that will appeal to the target market. The specialists will study all the mechanisms that can deliver the message to the target audience: outdoor advertising, radio, television, direct mail, and so on. The purpose of promotion is to bring buyers to the sales channel.
- Business development
Business development ensures that prospective customers become actual customers. The business development function is used to convert and retain clients to generate revenue. Its goal is to close sales with the qualified potential customers that the promotion team has brought them. We compare it to selling cars: all the people arriving at the showroom – or in our case the potential customers coming in the pipeline – are there because of the excellent work of marketing. Then the sales team has to convert them into buyers. They will motivate them by offering special offers, offering on-site insurance services, accepting old cars in exchange, offering attractive financing – all means developed by the business development team.
In the context of a law firm, the sales function is almost invisible. Very few people are dedicated to this function.
- Strategic Marketing
Some marketing professionals work at the strategic level; they shape their plans and select their targets using competitive analyses, market research data (primary and empirical), and economic and industry statistics and forecasts. These same individuals would likely take into account the profitability of a firm according to lawyers and practice areas – by examining billing, actual rates, billable expenses and targets, including monthly reports on each lawyer and possibly even outstanding invoices.
Business development professionals, on the other hand, are on the front line to receive bids from potential clients. In a small firm, large tenders with short deadlines require a marketing professional to set aside his other marketing projects to cooperate closely with a partner in preparing a full and timely service offer.
Business development will also want to gather client feedback through tools such as surveys or in-person interviews. This will provide valuable insights into clients ‘ views, which will be used in both strategic planning and day-to-day behavior.
We should always ask ourselves: “will this strategy or task help us get closer to a client or a potential client?” Will it help us get a new warrant or keep an existing client? “Firms also need to consider whether they have enough marketing staff to grow their customer base. They should also ensure that lawyers ‘ legitimate marketing support needs are met. Failing that, it is probably time to strengthen the marketing team or hire external services.