You’re losing business, and here’s why

Last week I introduced a 10-part article that I’ll serialize in this newsletter titled “Nine Reasons You’re Losing Business“..

Here’s why you’re losing business…

1.     You aren’t creating value for your clients.

Let’s assume that you do good work from a substantive perspective and that you deliver that work on time every time. That’s a great start, but it isn’t enough anymore.

Historically, clients have measured value received from an attorney based on the successful outcome of a matter. Did you win the case? Did you get most of what the client wanted in the negotiation or contract? If you did, you delivered value, and clients would usually be satisfied.

Today, however, clients are more sophisticated than ever before. They’re often able to evaluate the cost of the successful outcome in terms of dollars, time, missed opportunities, and resources consumed. Whether that evaluation is correct isn’t the point. The point is that a good outcome is just the tip of the iceberg in value creation. 

Part of value creation is about money.
Ask yourself:

  • Do you offer alternative fee arrangements that are a win for your clients and for yourself?
  • Do you look for ways to save your client money even if it means losing some income you would have received otherwise?
  • Are you implementing legal project management and other systems to streamline the business side of completing client work?

Money is an important part of value creation, but it’s only one part. To get a full picture, ask these questions:

  • Do you understand where the matter you’re handling fits in the context of your client’s life or business?
  • How often do you bring proactive solutions to your clients? Not the kind of proactivity that’s code for more work and more fees, but spotting issues and opportunities and trends, then delivering that “need to know” insight before your clients know they need to know.
  • Do you make it easy for your clients to work with you?

And the key question: can you identify right this minute exactly how you’re bringing value to your top clients? Doing the work well isn’t a good enough answer in this economy. Extra credit for those interested in growing your practice: how do you bring value to your top prospective clients and your key referral sources?

If you aren’t paying unwavering attention to creating value for your clients, you’re losing business as a result.

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