Here’s an important key to successful business building, one that applies to law firms as well as other practices: Don’t sell your legal services on price, but on value. If you’re competing with other law firms on price, you’re dooming yourself to compete only on that level, guaranteeing yourself a life of overwork with minimal results. Most of your clients aren’t coming to you because you’re the cheapest attorney in town (hopefully); they’re coming to you because they believe they are getting exceptional value for the money they’re paying. Many lawyers have been able to double and triple their fees simply by demonstrating how much value their clients are getting per dollar spent.
Here’s the thing: Exceptional value initially brought the client through your door, but added value is what’s going to build client loyalty and keep them from looking elsewhere. So the question to ask yourself is: What else can you do for your existing clients to give them additional value—even in ways they weren’t expecting?
I’ve got no formula to offer you here. Every law firm is different, and every client is different, so the ways you add value will be unique to your firm. That said, asking and answering the following questions should help spark your creativity in coming up with new ways to wow your clients.
- What do your clients need from you that they aren’t currently getting? Are there ways for you to add in those services cheaply or for free?
- What supplemental services could you offer that would make your clients happier? For example, if you do estate planning, would a free annual review help your clients keep their plans current?
- Are my clients getting the most out of the services you offer them? If not, what can you do to help them get more value from those services? Would a free seminar help? What about a book?
- What are my competitors doing for clients that I could do better?
- What AREN’T my competitors offering that I could offer?
- What are my clients least expecting from me that would make their lives better?
Again, what’s right for one law firm won’t necessarily be right for another. The key to successfully adding value to your clients is simply to identify a need and fill it, preferably for free, and preferably in a way they weren’t expecting. You can even leverage that added value into an upgraded package of some sort which you can use to increase your rates for new clients coming in. (Remember, they’ll pay more if they believe they’re getting more for the money.) However you choose to implement it, adopting a policy of increasing value for your clients is the best way to make them clients for life.