Legal services demand has flatlined, stymying business development and marketing, leading some experts to point to increasing client dissatisfaction and the rapid growth of in-house legal departments as the cause.
But whatever the reason, a strong business development strategy that drives revenue and retains clients is more important than ever. Are you on the right track?
To be sure your business development plan is up to the task of dealing with today’s shrinking legal prospects, check out this list of four must-have elements.
The 4 Elements of Strong Business Development Plans
Element #1: Customer Retention
Acquiring new customers is expensive. But retention brings those costs down—and boosts profit.
That’s why you’ve got to nurture the relationship, deliver on promises and, of course, provide the highest quality legal guidance you can.
Element #2: Cross-Selling
Cross-selling grows new service revenue, plus it gives you more hooks into client departments and practice areas. And the more hooks in a company, the less likely it is they’ll switch firms.
Principal of C3 Communications, Joel Cunningham, even suggests cross-selling with other professional services firms.
“Research has shown that a significant percentage of clients like to do ‘one-stop shopping,’’’ he said. “Many clients have chosen larger firms that have found ethical ways to provide their services in conjunction with others that are essential to solving a specific client problem…The more ‘packaged’ solutions you can offer to clients, the more they will see that you have put forethought, planning, and effort into your own product development.”
Element #3: Upselling
New clients often want to test your firm to see if you can meet their demands before they expand their deal. If you want to upsell, passing the test is a must.
It’s more than a bottom-line sweetener—increasing the size of contract renewals and growing revenue for the firm. It’s another chance to prove your value.
Teams can capitalize on upselling opportunities by increasing their level of customer support or their number of legal hours.
Element #4: Prospecting for New Business
Don’t invest too much time here if you don’t have elements one through three locked up. Luring in new clients is a waste of time if you don’t have the skills to retain them. And if you can’t hold onto them, you probably won’t have much time to upsell or cross-sell new services.
Introhive customer Fenwick & West LLP is a great example of following these steps to make the four elements work for their firm.
Training to make Introhive’s relationship intelligence platform part of their daily process not only made it cheaper to get accurate contact and activity data into their CRM, but the automated relationship insights also helped their business development team deliver a slew of new business opportunities.
“This insight provided a potential cross-practice collaboration between our litigation and corporate practice groups,” said the firm’s Director of Marketing Technology, Jon Metcalf. “Introhive is continually uncovering relationship knowledge that gives us a better handle about who-knows-whom and recent activity information about our contacts.”
Stay tuned for my next post, with a rundown of the steps to take to make sure your team has all of these elements down pat.
In the meantime, check out Introhive’s customer stories to see how some other law firms have built winning business development strategies using the four elements.
And for more tips and best practices on creating a successful business development strategy, download our legal marketing and business development playbook.
How Introhive Accelerates Business Development
See for yourself how Introhive automates mundane tasks and manual CRM data entry, while also serving up key client insights—exactly when and where busy professionals need them most.