Winners or Losers?
The legal services market has seen unprecedented changes over the past few years. Successful law firms have found their accepted income streams diminish, others have had to merge. It’s not all bad news though. Some have seized the opportunity to alter their business offering.
So how do you ensure you’re a winner?
i. Shake up the current model – the days of payment for ‘additional hours’ is no longer seen by many as acceptable, instead it’s seen as payment for inefficiency.
ii. Cross selling – one of the greatest challenges facing the legal sector is developing a ‘culture’ of cross selling. If your firm can achieve this it will stand out in the market as an innovator driving business right across the firm and it’s legal disciplines. This is a challenge for many firms, partners are busy, sometimes there is lack of trust with other staff, who may leave taking your client, so managing the shift in culture takes careful planning. Our DNA team work with firms facing these challenges to create a roadmap that will overcome these culture challenges.
iii. Sales & Marketing v Billable Hours – many law firms find themselves trapped between the legal expertise of partners and their networking/sales ability. Often the best are best at both, but doing both properly can be a challenge. So how does a law firm overcome this in order to grow?
Our DNA team have been working with law firms for many years. We have developed tailored training programmes, specifically for the legal sector, to help firms overcome the very challenges of new business development. The firm can then keep this vital balance between new business development and billable hours. Once a law firm engages with the DNA strategy of new business development, it enables the firm to set a trajectory for growth which they can measure and adjust. They have a clear plan, enabling the Partners to quantify the return on investment, for effort spent on sales and marketing. They will reduce the normal ebb’s and flow of work and keep fee paying clients happy, whilst growing a new client base.
Continual Professional Development
So will training in business development really increase clients?
Failing to plan, is planning to fail. Solicitors spend 1000’s of hours in studying the law to become expert, to invest a short amount of time to hone business development skills makes perfect sense therefore. As well as new clients one of the major benefits of the DNA training is that Law firms might be able to use the DNA training toward their continual professional development. The Law Society website gave this example: A senior associate met his CPD obligations by: “Preparing for an hour long session as part of a day-long seminar for in-house lawyers at his group’s client organisations on his area of technical expertise. To help with his group’s business development he sat in on all of the sessions at the seminar. (Preparation time – 6 accredited CPD hours; delivery – 1 accredited CPD hour; course attendance – 6 accredited CPD hours). more on The Law Society>>
For one legal practice, one of their key requirements was to identify the business ambassadors. This work, coupled with the creation of a new business development plan and training over a range of sales skills are just some of the ways we can support Law firms in achieving their goals.
To for a non-obligatory discussion about how DNA Business engineering could support your growth call Jonathan Rayfield or Richard White on 01423 501161