You’re an expert in your legal field, which is why clients come to you. But how much do they trust you? Do they view you as a trusted advisor for their tax issues, or just “the lawyer that handles my taxes?”
There’s a huge difference between the two. That’s because once you earn the status of a trusted advisor, the lifetime value of their business goes up significantly. There are many keys to becoming a trusted advisor, but great marketing is at the core of it. That, combined with a great delivery of services, can turn your firm into the obvious choice and not just “a choice.”
Why you need to be a trusted advisor in the legal field
Clients in the legal industry don’t necessarily use the cheapest or most convenient advisor. They want peace of mind that an expert is handling their legal matter and someone who acts more like a trusted advisor than someone who performs a service on a purely transactional basis.
So in the legal industry, customer trust converts to new business. Recent research has even shown that the more trusted someone is by a prospect, the greater their sales effectiveness. That’s because it’s all about building a strong relationship with clients, rather than just trying to push your services. You don’t need to necessarily be a trusted advisor to gain a client, but you certainly need to in order to ensure they keep coming back. Here’s why -
- People will listen. Think about talk show hosts or experts you hear often on the radio. They’ve established credibility over time within a specific field, so whenever they voice an opinion you give it some extra weight. If your firm has established expertise in the area of tax law, for example, they’ll listen to what you have to say on the matter without much effort on your part.
- People will be eager to partner with you. It can be overlooked that people, as a whole, prefer not to do business with generalists if they can help it. When someone has a divorce law issue, they want someone with deep domain expertise in family and divorce law. That’s why it’s important in your radio, or any other marketing, to communicate you have proven knowledge and experience in that area. It’ll attract people eager to have you solve their problem because you’re the most trusted advisor in the field.
- People will choose your firm. After establishing that you’re the expert and trusted authority in your practice area, for many people you’ll become the obvious, logical choice. Eventually, people will come to expect that you solve their problem in a timely manner and that their money has been well spent. Once you develop this kind of track record and traction in the market, choosing your firm will become a no-brainer.
How to become a trusted advisor in the legal field
The good news is that becoming a trusted advisor in the legal field can be easily accomplished if you take the right steps. Here’s what to do in order to achieve just that.
- Be reliable and honest. Think about this quote: “If you want to be trusted, be honest. If you want to be honest, be true. If you want to be true, be yourself.” Being trusted stems from being the best version of yourself. Once you develop that reputation, people will share their experiences. In today’s social media environment, word of mouth spreads quicker than ever.
- Be seen and heard at events. There’s no better way to establish yourself as a trusted advisor than in person. Think of local networking events or opportunities to speak about your area of practice. Sponsoring charity events or giving back to the community helps establish your firm as being invested in the community. Events and contests are great to market to a wide audience on the radio. Zimmer can help you develop a plan that integrates with both your upcoming event and social media for a multi-channel approach.
- Be flexible. Keep in mind that although they might be coming to you with a similar legal issue, each person has their own individual needs. So when they come to you, be prepared to cater the conversation towards their specific issue. Stay away from the “one size fits all” approach to your consultations. Every person should come away feeling that their needs have been understood and valued.
- Be the most credible expert. Thought leadership is an essential way to differentiate in the legal industry. Whether it’s tax, family practice, or criminal defense, you definitely want to have some objective materials showcasing your expertise. You should share useful information about your company or field with local publications, magazines, blogs, and social media. By providing some free helpful legal research or tips, potential customers will come to recognize your expertise over time.
Thought leadership and being a trusted advisor is something the legal industry lacks in general, but in today’s digital environment, people want even more information than ever about who they choose for legal services. Make sure to leverage all the marketing resources you can to get the point across. Finally, work closely with all your media partners, like Zimmer, to really tout your expertise across multiple channels.