The Mad Clientist

And the Winner of Best Strategy Is…

By January 17, 2018April 16th, 202051 Comments

Law firms love to measure the growth. Not so much for market share.

Market share gains or losses tell you how much business and the extent of clients you gained or lost versus other firms. You can add a whole new dimension to your strategic performance by looking at profits at the same time. Profits tell you how much capital you have available to invest—in talent, technology, clients, and other key areas. The firms who gain more clients and generate more profits than anyone else on a regular and sustained basis have a clear advantage.

Even though the legal market is growing again, success still demands law firms steal clients in order to create the kind of growth which attracts talent, creates opportunity, and draws clients to your firm.

Only a small number law firms—12%—register big gains with big profits on a continuing basis. Another 14% are investing to earn these big gains and profits. 40% are losing share with lower-than-average profits. The rest are somewhere in between.

Stealing Clients and Making More Money than Anyone Else

12% of law firms are not just growing—they are taking clients and market share. These Pacesetters are generating superior profits—4 to 6 times better than everyone else. Everyone can learn a thing or 2 from these firms—no matter who you are.

The Pacesetters are using client-centric strategies. They are focusing on growing their existing clients and investing in only a few selected markets, practices, and clients—all with discipline and strategic patience. They are top client service performers—but that’s not enough—Pacesetters are committed to getting even better at client service. Pacesetters know exactly who their clients are and what they want. Better strategy, adding more clients than everyone else, and making more money while doing it—this is the business trifecta.

To learn who these firms are and more about their strategies, join us for today’s webinar: The BTI Market Outlook and Client Service Review 2018, at Noon Eastern (Click here to register).

Losing More Clients and Making Less Money

40% of law firms are giving up clients and share. These firms are shrinking or eking out minimal growth. Either way—they are giving up business and clients to competitors. These firms are the Followers. Follower strategies are the opposite of the Pacesetters. These strategies focus on the firm before markets, they market to broad groups of practices equally, and cast a wide net for clients—all of which make it harder to connect with clients or grow your market share.

Investing for the Biggest Gains

14% of law firms, the Investors, are making big investments to drive growth and market share gains. These firms are investing in client-facing programs, industry teams, client feedback and provocative content, and are reaching out to clients. They have one goal—become a Pacesetter. They are spending profits now for bigger clients, new clients, and bigger profits to come.

Harvesting the Gold

The Gold Miners enjoy outstanding profits but are slowly losing clients and share. These firms, some of whom have mega prestige brands, are losing clients—especially to the Pacesetters—who are much more aggressive in seeking out and cultivating prime clients. Gold Miners have some of the best clients, but they largely position themselves as destination firms clients will seek out. But other firms are starting conversations with these clients when the need arises—slowly taking business. The Gold Miners will sense this loss of clients at some point—driving a pivot to a client‑centric strategy or merger.

As we will discuss in our webinar at Noon EST today—the Pacesetters have increased their gains while firms losing share are losing more at a faster pace over the last 10 years. The Gold Miners are making more money but losing more clients. The gap between the Pacesetters and everyone else is growing daily.

The legal market has entered the 4th distinct phase of growth since the financial crisis. At this point, the most successful strategies place clients at the epicenter of their world, and build out from there. The more the market changes the more one thing remains the same—clients and the client experience drive short- and long-term success.



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