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www.wilkinsonread.co.uk 18 info@wilkinsonread.co.uk

Business Development and Service Standards

Winning in deregulated markets may be about internal processes and efficiencies, but it is just as

much a question of client acquisition as it is of service delivery. The most successful businesses in

any industry are those with the most effective marketing and business development, and law firms

are no different.

Firms need to invest in training their staff to hold the necessary but difficult conversations with

potential clients – and existing clients – to ensure that they maintain successful and profitable

relationships. This could be regarding the client’s expectations, the service the firm is providing,

whether they have any other requirements, and even the issue of outstanding fees. Firms cannot

rely on expertise alone, because clients now require for so much more from their legal advisors.

Reviewing how the firm is tackling business development, from the acquisition of new clients to the

introduction of social media, and from the changing purchasing profiles of clients to how to target

specific market segments, will be of crucial importance for firms in maintaining their independence.

Michael Franklin, Managing Partner of Northamptonshire firm Franklins Solicitors, asserts that

success is about “very strong branding and consistent client referrals.” John Seigal, Managing

Partner of central London’s Clintons Solicitors, agrees: “The most important thing is brand and

expertise. Visibility is key”.

Acquiring and retaining clients, especially in the tough climate of the past few years, has remained a

challenge for many firms. As all respondents agreed, success stems from excellent client service. An

increasing number of firms have been adding a Client Care Manager to their growing Business

Development and Marketing functions. This is just one of a number of possible approaches but,

however individual firms decide to tackle the issue, what is clear is that partners must devote an

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