Change… yes, CHANGE. Don’t they say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?
The past few years have been difficult in the legal profession… what am I saying… in just about every profession! So how many of you looked at your business and made a conscious decision to CHANGE IT? No I don’t mean you went with the flow or adapted as a resignation. I mean looked at things… lack of new cases, apathy of staff, slow paying clients, increased expenses, etc,etc,etc. It was easy to say… "Things will get better, I just have to survive until then."
Did you look at your client service and think about what they may want, like flat fee billing or more convenient locations? Did you look at how efficiently you could produce the work?
You may think… what is she talking about? Isn’t this operations, not marketing and business development? Well my friend, the bottom-line? It is ALL marketing and business development.
1. If your fee structure is what a client wants… you get more work… that is business development.
2. If you are efficient and do the work faster and cheaper than someone else…. you get more work… that is business development.
3. If your staff is engaged and clients enjoy interacting with them… your clients send you more work… that is business development.
Here is a brilliant example of this. A client of mine delancyhill was in The Miami Herald – Business Monday section yesterday because Marlon Hill and his partner Michelle Delancy have grabbed change with both hands.
They have positioned their firm as a cutting edge firm poised for the recovery. To do this they first questioned: How can they make the firm more accessible to their clients? How can they be more efficient and deliver a more cost effective solution to their clients? And how can our lawyers and staff find more satisfaction from there jobs AND life? So what they came up with is to rethink their approach to a traditional office… why couldn’t it be a series of satellite offices that take technology to its max? Why can’t we have more flexibility, (Michelle is a mother of 6… yes you got it right – 6)? The answer was YES… of course. So they gave up their traditional law office in a prestigious downtown building for 3 very nice satellite offices, central, north and south… giving their clients a choice of where they want to meet (remember: give the client what they want). Each attorney works from their home offices that are in fact very mobile… laptops and personal WiFi, (flexibility, flexibility, flexibility). Where are the files you may ask… they are in the "cloud". They are going paperless with their files on a cloud server that anyone in the firm can access at anytime.
Does this sound like CHANGE to you? I certainly hope so. I can also tell you that ultimately each and every change is a business development initiative. As a reader of my blog you know that I talk a lot about creating your points of differentiation. There is no doubt that they have created a remarkable point of differentiation.