LFMS: What three industry trends are impacting the industry the most and how are they changing the role of marketers and business development professionals within law firms?
Replacement of traditional lawyers by other service providers, such as artificial intelligence, contract lawyers, and non-law firm entities.
Marketers have to have a new perspective on how to sell these other ways to provide services. If involved in pricing, they cannot be priced on an hourly model – it has to be value-based pricing. Also, marketing and BD professionals must help their firms extract client feedback to keep up with the changes (client interviews, surveys, etc.)
LFMS: Is there a key factor that helps marketers and business development professionals build a better relationship with law firm partners? Or, how can law firm partners empower their BD and marketing teams?
There has to be more give than take. For instance, if marketers take too much of a lawyer’s time (“fill out this form,” “attend this meeting”) without giving more value (we’ve identified this opportunity for you to speak to 50 prospects in your industry area), then lawyers will tune out. Marketers must also understand and offer the client’s perspective and must understand the lawyer’s practice.
LFMS: How is the law firm – client relationship changing?
Clients are increasingly taking away legal work they’d have otherwise assigned to an outside firm and either doing it themselves or finding more cost-effective options. Groups like CLOC are really changing the landscape on these relationships.
LFMS: What would be your single most important tip for winning at pitches?
Pitch from the client’s perspective, not the firm’s perspective (benefits to the client vs features of the firm or lawyer).
LFMS: What lessons should law firms be heeding from GCs and the approach they are now taking to buying legal services?
It’s not business as usual and firms must take a long hard look at how they offer and charge for services. Instead of rewarding time spent, GCs are more interested in rewarding value and cost efficiencies delivered. This is counter to most firm’s billing and compensation practices, so change is required.
LFMS: Looking at the agenda for the Law Firm Marketing Summit, which sessions are you most looking forward to?
All of them!