How To Attract Clients Without Hard Selling

Effective Practice Growth Strategies For Intellectual Property Lawyers, By Eria Odhuba

Why The Systemisation Of Client Attraction Activity Is Important For IP Lawyers

Why is the systemisation of marketing and client attraction activity important for IP legal services professionals?

Well, IP lawyers have had to react to various economic, legislative and competitive pressures just like other legal services professionals. Key shifts, which many of you are well aware of, include:

  1. Client demand for results-based, alternative fee structures to replace ‘per-hour’ pricing.
  2. The increasing need to combine fixed-price and subscription-based payments in some sort of  ‘hybrid’ business model.
  3. The increased outsourcing of many back-office functions and roles to, primarily, emerging market-based organisations that can achieve cost-efficiencies many IP lawyers or full-service legal firms struggle to get.
  4. The realisation that many organisations now see IP lawyers as one of many service providers available, and increasingly use competitive bidding in the selection process.

The only way you can continue to compete and differentiate yourself within a tough IP legal services market is to take the pressure in your stride and figure out a way of making it work for you.

So why am I talking about the systemisation of marketing activity now?

The reason is simple…

It will be much more difficult to have the flexibility you need to make positive changes to your IP legal services practice if you use ad-hoc, inconsistent and ineffective marketing efforts. Think about it – what is the point of systemising your case work or interactions with legal process outsourcers without extending the same principles to your client attraction efforts?

Systemising your  marketing campaigns, communications with prospects, collection of client feedback, management of referrals, etc, is great for one reason…

You streamline and reduce costs that you typically incur  in your day-to-day IP legal services work. More importantly, your ability to increase your revenue and profits improves massively when your client attraction activities systematically support your core IP legal services work.

Here are just a few things that you need to systemise:

  1. Client feedback – you simply can’t make any assumptions about your clients, and need processes in place to collate feedback in a manner that is non-intrusive but shows you care.
  2. Campaign management – there is nothing worse than, for example, doing an email campaign once and giving up. Multi-step campaigns are crucial, but you also need to make sure the campaigns either point people towards information they are looking for or guide them to take specific action. You need to automate your campaigns to IP legal services prospects, and there are various tools available now that are good value and which can scale to match your desired activity.
  3. Communications with prospects and clients, making sure you have first understood the conversations going on in their minds so that you give them the information they need and are desperately looking for.
  4. Management of referrals – you need to encourage clients to give you referrals, and use customer evidence as the platform with which to enhance your word-of-mouth advertising to prospects that may be cynical about your ability to deliver great IP legal services.

The feedback I get from clients when we systemise client attraction activity is that they can monitor and test their marketing efforts more effectively, have more time to focus on actual client-facing work and have better visibility on the number of prospects that are likely to convert to clients within a given time frame.

As an IP legal services professional, you need to develop a new, systemised business model for online client attraction. This will inevitably mean making some changes to the way you have traditionally worked, but which will get you in the perfect position to grow despite all the changes in the legal industry.

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