False customer urgency, shortterm growth
Most companies say they use consultative selling strategies, but if you look at their actual customer approach, pitching (sales) is still based on a product or service push. They act as if they are customer centric and invest more time in their customer relations, but their sales pitch is still a reflexion of an inward confirmation of their own expertise. Is this bad? Probably not, if your goal is to confirm a sort of inner sense of value on your own expertise. But if you are eager to invest in longterm growth, it is better to invest in your client, getting to know his market, the market dynamics and what makes him successful. If you are able to help your client to become more successful, your pitch will be solely targeted on how to achieve the best result for your client and price will be less of a debatable issue.
Get a clear view about what drives your customer
Choose a customer group and start with learning more about the market dynamics, competition, business challenges and what makes a business successful in this market. Most likely you can only guess what your potential client defines as success, and that’s why a good overview about his market is crucial in helping him with his challenges.
The next step is to look at your (potential) client, and ask yourself:
What kind of challenges is my client facing?
What keeps him awake? Or what hurts him the most?
Is my offering an opportunity to increase his success?
Is my proposition clear and transparent?
Does the proposition live up to my client wishes?
How do I value my proposition against the competitor?
Do I inform my client, not only about my expertise, but also what drives my company and me?
Is our marketing communication; sales and business development in alignment with my considerations, my story and my pitch?
And last but not least: Never talk about your proposition if you are not 100% certain about the clients needs.
Become and stay an expert
Claiming and sharing expertise increases the base for customer acceptance. Not only thru your legal knowledge, but also your thru knowledge about a market, segment or customer group. To do so you have to start with sharing your knowledge. Use different channels e.g. online/offline publications, white papers, blogs, e-zines, webinars and tutorials. And remember; the channel you choose depends on the target group. Do they have little time to read, don’t bother them with long theses. When they travel a lot, choose a channel that matches this mobility. And not all of your clients are academically trained in consuming legal subjects. So, if this is the case, don’t bother them with in-depth legal information, but try to communicate on an understandable level.
Spread knowledge, so that suspects and prospects learn to know you as a specialist in their field.
Dare to rethink your marketing effectiveness and be aware that you are entering the field of ‘social business’. People like to gossip but also like to talk about ‘good’ and ‘positive’ news. If you are able to become an expert, an authority in a specific market, you do not have to sell yourself and you can invest even more time in getting to know your client.
Client driven business model
One of the most egocentric business models is the ‘first hour free of expenses model’. It has nothing to do with your client but is totally focussed on yourself. As if: “You’re the noble person who is so nice not to charge the client”. If you really want to become customer driven, dare to visit your client in his own habitat, tell him that you like to learn about his profession, his business and his market and do not charge him for this meeting. On the long run you will become a partner in his legal challenges.
“Real authority equals knowing your client, his business, his success and his challenges, blended with your legal expertise”