Law Firm Business Development: Differentiate to Win Meeting Opportunities


Whether it’s COVID-19 or another current pressing issue that provides a firm’s lawyers with an opportunity to reach out to clients, be mindful to differentiate your firm from others who are delivering similar messaging. We see the need for firms to focus on this particularly in light of the fact that e-alerts, blogs, and other notifications are delivered to clients’ inboxes to the count of 50+ a week. What sets the firm’s practices and messaging apart from others? If the name on the letterhead or practice group is changed, is the message the same firm to firm? If so, more thought needs to be given as to how to best differentiate and be unique among the crowd. Here are some thoughts about how to differentiate.

  1. Be specific to the reader’s business. Yes, this means a bit of customizing so the information is read, and it’s worth the extra effort. Particularly if the messaging is going out to clients. If the lawyers don’t seem to have the time to customize, then think twice about sending messaging that competitors are also sending. It’s likely to get lost in the e-traffic. A simple heading like: “What technology companies are considering for a post-COVID-19 workplace.” Or, “What the latest XXX rulings mean to pharmaceutical companies.” Be specific so the message to the intended company is clear and demonstrates business knowledge.
  2. Direct the messaging to a specific reader. “Ten M&A tactics for GCs to consider…..”; or “Pitfalls every CEO and CFO might avoid when……” Directing messaging to a specific audience provides a higher level of certainty that it will be read, and again, demonstrates knowledge of the reader’s day-to-day concerns. This direct to the reader approach also helps to build lawyer and firm brand awareness among important executive level decision-makers.
  3. Provide action steps. “As a result of this decision, here are five steps to take right now:” or “It will be important to XXXX and the benefits to ABC Corporation are……..” Bridge to the reader’s business so it is clear what is being advised, what the reader/company should do next, and how this will benefit them and their business. Again, this customizing demonstrates business knowledge and helps separate the firm from its competitors.

By spending a bit more time to craft messaging to specific readers, businesses, and decision makers, the effort and good information from the firm will rise above the competition, and likely provide new opportunities for new business.

Originally published through PinHawk’s Legal Administrator Daily on May 18, 2020. Reprinted with permission.

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