Profit failure point 1 – no added value

This is the first of a series of blog posts examining where law firms lose profit – either by effectively paying away profit or failing to make the profit at the outset. The current state of the legal market place is well documented. Suffice to say clients still need to be won, and all business is price sensitive.

Where is this added value? How do we find it?

Time spent with a client before the start of any engagement is rarely wasted. Encourage the client to talk freely about their aspirations, what this matter will mean to them. Find out what the benefit and outcome will give them. Rather than settling for a two sentence explanation, guide them to create a mental picture. By asking probing questions you should gain an insight; the client may well gain a level of insight they didn’t already have.

As the client creates this picture you may see opportunities to offer advice, knowledge and information which they wouldn’t have considered a requirement. Some of this you may be able to provide on a no-cost basis. You may be able to provide some of your service in a way they client hadn’t expected which makes it easier for the client to access. Streamlining how you deliver a service may be of benefit to you and the client. Improvements you make to your own service delivery systems may also be transferable to your client. In effect a double win. Your costs are reduced. Your client gets to share the benefit.

Adding value to a client proposition can be at no cost to the law firm, but a significant plus point to the client. Happy clients tend to come back with repeat business. Repeat business is far cheaper to acquire than winning new clients.