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Virtually every new regulation and court decision brings unique industry-specific impacts. Your ability to bring this insight is the difference between being invited in without competition or being left out of the conversation. And — getting much higher rates.

The Most Lucrative Differentiator

Understanding your client’s industry is the most lucrative differentiator. Even law firms with the highest rates enjoy even higher rates after successfully implementing industry groups.

Here are the 11 best practices driving the most successful industry go-to-market strategies:

  1. Pick Attractive and Lucrative Industries

Make it worth the investment. Pick industries with complex legal needs, higher spending, and face growing complexity. This selection offers more opportunity than no growth industries — or those with less complex needs.

A few savvy firms develop objective criteria to evaluate and target industries with dedicated groups and resources. And they stick to the criteria.

  1. Target Industry Leaders, Influencers, or Rising Stars

You are judged by the company you keep. The most successful programs include market leaders and standouts who will impress others. You get the benefit of their leadership.

  1. Educate Clients

Clients love law firms’ successful industry programs because they get better outcomes faster. And clients love learning something new and valuable. Educating clients checks off all the boxes for excellent client service and business development. Education is the cornerstone of an enduring relationship.

  1. Say What Others Don’t or Won’t

Put a stake in the ground. Examine what others are saying and adopt messaging with more insight and punch. The battle for industry supremacy is built with intelligence, knowledge sharing, and insight. Few firms look at what others say — they presume what they offer is good enough. Clients will always find their way to the best and unique insight.

Share opinions. Even when your client doesn’t agree, your new opinions help them develop their own.

  1. Use Client Peer Networking

Encourage your anchor clients to invite their peers. Corporate counsel want to learn from each other. They also want to help each other. This is your opportunity to help corporate counsel with their own network while you build out yours — and you get the credit.

  1. Provide New Insights Annually

Things change. Clients want to be the first to know. The successful industry group will position itself as the recurring source of an annual information and insight cycle. This insight prepares industry corporate counsel about key trends and performance metrics.

In a perfect world you will perform original research around the performance metrics that matter most to the industry — and share these regularly.

Release the results in industry media, industry-wide webinars, and events. This approach positions your firm as a primary source and a go-to law firm for the industry.

  1. Use Research to Stand Out

Client research adds nuance you can’t get any place else. You can articulate the most relevant and timely intelligence and ensure it has the right wording and subtleties only an insider would bring.

  1. Train Group Leaders in the Insights

The most successful industry groups select key partners to become experts in deep insights. While all attorneys share the insights the selected attorney takes the deep dive and articulates the message. They become fluent in the insights and industry nuances and support other attorneys in their drive to build the industry focus. They also split the origination credit.

  1. Zealous Use of Social Media

Share your industry insights often. Develop your own digital ecosystem with strategically timed posts to reference other posts and repurpose content. The successful industry groups map these posts out on a calendar and assign responsibility for each. Encouraging everyone on the team to like, comment on, and share posts amplifies the message and your network.

Post to all industry leader site company pages and tag as many corporate counsel as possible.

  1. Industry Group Budget

The successful industry group has its own funding. The research, training, and distribution channels cost money to develop and maintain are substantial investments.

  1. Impassioned Leader

Leaders love industry and learning. They love sharing and being with clients — and getting more insights back in return. The leader of every successful group brings passion and enthusiasm — and uses all the resources the budget supports.

Industry-specific knowledge will only continue to grow in influence and become a magnet for new clients, as well as a key retention tool for existing clients. Corporate counsel have all learned that law firms with industry nuance deliver better outcomes — both legal and business.

The day is coming when all market-leading law firms will go to market by industry groups. As of now these firms are the exception. Jump in now and be one of the firms who make it the rule.

Learn the new most pressing 33 clients’ needs and wrap your industry insights around each one in our just-released: report BTI Leading Edge Law Firms 2024: Law Firms Creating the Future with and for Clients and see the 121 firms best at delivering in these needs — and how they do it.

Order your copy today.

Best in the market ahead.


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