A recent article in the Law Society Gazette highlights a key problem many lawyers face when trying to market their services and identify hot prospects – how to package their legal services and promises.
I have mentioned the need to package legal services properly amongts other crucial steps, but when this is done poorly, it will not help lawyers positions themselves as leaders within their target niches and have people calling them up for services.
The examples given by the Law Society Gazette article are a good example of service levels that will, without doubt, be expected from all leading lawyers. The fact that some lawyers are only starting to promise them says a lot about the marketing journey many are only just starting on.
When packing legal services or service levels, lawyers need to be aware of the following hurdles that need to be overcome:
- Legal services are intangible, with benefits realised days or perhaps months after they sekect you to represent them;
- This intangibility means it is harder to position oneself as the leading authority within a specific niche, and to convince prospects of the value they would get from selecting you. When value can’t be ascertained, choice becomes influenced by price;
- Once you win business based on low prices, and not value, then you become a commodity player and never rise above this level of influence.
That is the danger many lawyers face when they simply provide a list of service levels for new prospects – you might get one or two good clients, but you will not suddenly get an endless stream of fee-paying clients.
When packaging legal services, lawyers have to think clearly about highlighting what prospects and customers would get from a ‘value’ perspective so that you eliminate any barriers that come up to buying your services. By doing so early on in the relationship with prospects, you will stand out amongst your competitors as very few do it at all (or properly).
The key things to think of before packaging your legal services include the following:
- What is the Unique Perceived Benefit (UPB) for each service you provide?
- What services can you build around each UPB?
- Create a roadmap for the services you provide, which outlines each activity you will do for your customers;
- Present the services to prospects either as a workflow/process or a list of steps you will take to deliver your legal services.
The last point is crucial. Using diagrams or steps is an excellent way of breaking down your service and highlighting the value prospects get if they work with you. It takes you beyond the ‘how much will it cost’ discussons to more in-depth evaluations of the prospects’ needs and ideal end-result they are looking for.
By having a name for each service, assigning a UPB for each and details of the steps you will go through (or commitments you can reasonably promise), lawyers can package their legal services more effectively and differentiate themselves from the competition.
This, ultimately, means saying more than “caller will receive a response from a trained lawyer within three rings” which, though good, is not a competition killer.