In our recent research study into the state of business development and marketing in Australasian law firms, we invited respondents to describe the biggest marketing or business development challenge faced by their firm.
Many respondents identified the struggle to positively differentiate from competitors as their biggest challenge. Several respondents elaborated: “we are undifferentiated generalists in a crowded market place”; there are “too many law firms offering the same services with no remarkable distinction”, making it difficult to “stand apart from the ‘vanilla’”.
In closely competed market segments – and there are many in law, accounting and other professions – we hear similar concerns from firms trying to stand out and stay competitive, while maintaining the bottom line.
Differentiation is critical to winning a client (or a proposal for that matter). Without it, you are simply one of many fish in a sea of plenty.
How to differentiate your law firm
Effective differentiation can be arrived at by:
- a focus always on what your client thinks is important – not what you think is important
- explaining not just the features of your service and systems, but why and how your service is created or delivered differently to the next provider, and benefits your client
- and then ensuring your long-term value to clients is derived from something unique in your ways, systems or processes, not from long experience and lists of features or operational efficiencies (which most of your serious competitors will have as well).
Differentiation confers many benefits and, perhaps most importantly, a competitive edge. It’s worth the effort to unlock and distil what distinguishes you and your service from a sea full of alternative firms.
If you need help differentiating your firm, please get in touch.
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