Add more value

Standing out in today’s economy is tougher than ever. More and more people are price sensitive. So how do you stand out from your competition? One of the ways is to add more value. Become indispensable to your clients. The pathway to doing that is to understand the big picture. Go beyond the services that you offer. Understand more about your client’s needs, challenges, goals, and the legacy they want to create. Find more ways to bring more to the relationship and you will stand out.

Ask and offer

In following-up with your leads or prospects, always put yourself in their shoes. How can you add value? Why should they meet with you? What’s in it for them? If you take the ask and offer approach, you can answer those questions.

It begins with asking them how you can help? Is there some education you could provide their team in the form of a seminar? Then all you have to do is offer it to them. This is all part of taking the value-add approach to building relationships.

Follow up

The key to follow up is to provide your contact with a good reason to engage with you further. If you don’t have a good reason, don’t waste their time. At the same time, the questions you ask in your follow up will help you ascertain if your contact is truly interested in furthering the relationship. You need to find this out before you invest too much of your time in building this new relationship.

How you do both is simple. Offer something of value that shows you are taking an active interest in their business. If they decline, you know they are not serious about this relationship at this time. Move on.

Give your clients permission to give you feedback

Would you like to increase your referrals? Would you like to have raving fans for clients? One of the ways you can do this is by making sure you know your clients are happy with your work.

Even if they smile when you have your final meeting. Even if they don’t dispute your final bill. Can you be certain they were happy with your work? Can you count on them to provide you with referrals? Are you willing to take that chance? I have worked with many clients who have realized they don’t know for absolute certainty their clients are happy.

The easiest way to ensure they are? Give them permission in your initial meeting to give you feedback. Ask them to let you know if something is not exactly the way they want it. If they are unsure about something, make it easy for them to ask you. Believe it or not, a lot of clients are intimidated by their lawyers. They won’t feel comfortable bringing something up unless you make it perfectly clear that’s how you like to work.

By doing this, you are then in a position to correct any small issue in the moment, as it happens. This prevents small issues from festering and growing into large ones. By the time they become large issues, it’s almost always too late to effectively correct the situation. This approach also strengthens your relationships with you clients.

So the next time you open a file, a new client, or long-standing one, try this approach. Watch for the subtle reaction on their face.  

Business of law – forced to innovate

As I was reading this article this morning, it occurred to me I have heard this before. In fact I have written about it and given presentations. In 2008 I gave a presentation entitled “The Law Firm of the Future” to members of The Legal Sales and Service Association (LSSO), in Boston.

In 2009 I gave a presentation entitled “Crisis or Opportunity” to members of Globalaw in Banff. The content was much the same offering insights into what would be possible with innovation.

This article comes from ft.com and is written by Caroline Binham.

Read it here.