Posted by: johnocunningham | July 15, 2018

To Law Firms: It’s Good To Be Different

Renowned consulting firm, Altman & Weil has published some succinct and informative pieces about law firm differentiation in the legal services marketplace. They are publicly available and worthwhile reading for law firms.

The first piece I would recommend is one that shows graphically: 1. how firm leaders at different size firms assess their own attempts at differentiation; and 2. the relationship between perceived differentiation in the marketplace and success in growing demand.

The second piece is one that spells out the dimensions of law firm differentiation and many of the possible ways to differentiate legal services.

In a third piece, Altman Weil’s Eric Seeger has also supplied some simple exercises for attempting to communicate differentiation.

Of course, the potential for differentiation is only limited by imagination. I know of professional service firms and individual professionals that differentiate in ways not explicitly spelled out in these pieces, such as:

  • by offering promises of well-defined call-back or response times
  • by offering 24/7 phone service answering
  • by communicating specific credentials associated with process improvement, project management and other systemic training that business clients value in order to show a total package of skills that demonstrates a systemic commitment to perpetual improvements in efficiency, quality and speed
  • by measuring client satisfaction scores and sharing those scores publicly
  • by communicating quantitative measurements of experience in specific areas that other firms don’t even keep, much less share publicly

The first step in being “different” though is cultivating the will to be different.


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