Tips on How to Build a Profitable Law Practice
According to data from the American Bar Association (ABA), the number of law school graduates has been steadily rising over the past few years. Indeed, from 2011 to 2012, there was a 5.4%-change in the number of total graduates, and from 2012 to 2013, the rate of change was 0.01%. If you're running a law firm, then these metrics are bad news because they essentially mean steeper competition. This is even truer if the marketing strategies applied aren't translating into an increase in your revenues. Here are a few tips on how to build a sustainable law firm.
Exploiting Your Business Relationships
As a law firm owner, there's one thing that you need to understand: finding new clients through external channels is much harder than exploiting your business relationships. There are many lawyers who don't realize that a client whose legal case was handled successfully, and who will probably never need legal representation again, can still bring them value. This is because such an individual will spread the word in their entourage about their positive experience.
The only thing you need to do is cultivate the relationship that you already have with that person, by mailing them occasional cards, for example. However, if the client still finds themselves in the need for legal representation, you can be sure that they'll contact you.
Developing Effective Sales Techniques
Very few law practices have integrated sales strategies as part of their business plan. This is because of the traditional belief that such strategies cannot be applied effectively to their industry. However, one can hardly talk about product differentiation without mentioning sales strategies.
For example, how do you intend to convince prospective clients to hire you and not your direct competitor? Unless you're able to lure potential business by applying well-thought sales techniques, you won't be much different from the other law practices that simply wait for clients to call them, or walk through their offices.
The best way to come up with effective sales techniques is by analyzing how large companies from other fields are able to dominate their market. For example, how was Apple able to become the global smartphones leader? Once you've learned about their sales approach, see how you can adapt it to your own company.
There are many other tips that can be applied to turn your law firm (such as Larson, Latham, Huettl Attorneys) into a sustainable business. But the very first thing you must be willing to do is to move away from old-school concepts, such as the ones discussed above, and embrace those that are relevant to the current era.