Do what you know well

friday, 6 july of 2012

Do what you know well

by Chris Crossland

The impact of the web for businesses has still to be fully understood. But one of the major shifts is that consumers now have all the aces. Gone are the days when salespeople had all the information and could use it to wrong foot, confuse and in some cases con prospects. The fact is that every aspect of your law firm can be fully investigated before you even get into a prospective client's office.

There are still those who think that with a nice brochure, a half decent website and a bit of confidence they can charge clients for work that they have absolutely no idea how to do. Many mean spirited small service industries suffer from this and frankly it's no different from a dodgy builder or plumber attempting to do a job, taking the money and running away.

To be successful, whether as a managing partner, administrator, or solo practitioner, my advice is to do what you do well and if that means changes to what your firm does then that is something you have to consider. I have worked with many businesses that privately acknowledge they have not got a clue what they are doing. They charge for work that they just hope will do. When confronted by clients who suspect they are not getting value for money they often get aggressive and bully the client for being "too demanding."

It is clear to me, and it is increasingly clear to clients, that no one is a "Jack of all trades." The ability of prospects to evaluate the service before committing to purchase, understand what they need, and crucially know what good looks like, will mean that many so called full service providers will fail, because they just can't do it all.

Take an honest look at your firm and work out what you really know about and what you blatantly know nothing about. The moment you focus on what you are profoundly competent in, you will legitamise what you are offering and give you a confidence that will delight prospects and clients.

It's time to recognise the advantages of specialisation. Gone are the days when a generalist was seen as having an advantage. If you can be known as a specialist in one or two areas that are highly attractive to customers, then you are on the right track. But you have to be able to deliver, because clients now have all the information they need to make a judgment.

Every client has a particular buying cycle. That buying cycle determines when interest becomes a search for information and then a review of options and then finally a commitment to purchase.

The moment a prospect makes the decision to purchase they will be looking for that product or service and the internet will guide them to it.

The truth is that nobody nowadays seeks out a business that provides everything, just on the off chance they might have a solution to a problem. Customers now have the option to seek out the specialist especially when they have made the decision to purchase.

This is why it is essential that your firm must do what it knows something about. Do what you do well, make it into a niche that you can promote and when customers are ready to buy they will seek you out.

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© Trey Ryder

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