Business Development

What’s Your Real Value To Your Clients?

By Anusia Gillespie, JD, MBA
To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.
~ Henry David Thoreau

When I first start working with a client to determine their value proposition, I ask, what do you want potential clients to know about you? The answers I typically receive are:

  • Excellent work
  • Great client service
  • Highly knowledgeable
  • Zealous advocate
  • Dedicated

Clearly, these are admirable qualities. However, they all fall into the broad category of competence. Every attorney and every firm espouses these characteristics as integral to their practices. However, core competencies do not set you and your practice apart. Instead, they are expected as a baseline for service.
 
Admittedly, quality control is an issue in today’s legal environment. It is true that firms who espouse these standards do not necessarily deliver them. But, this provides an even greater incentive to differentiate your services. If you market the same value-proposition as attorneys who do not provide your level of service, you are essentially lumping yourself in with them!
 
I’ve noticed a trend of differentiating services by marketing that the attorney or firm is, well, different. Innovative. Uncommon. Whatever the angle…the questions remain: how? And, why is that better?
 
In strategizing your marketing efforts, I recommend spending a good deal of time determining what you want to be known for, above and beyond your basic competencies, and then answering the question, why is that better? Here’s a great prompt to get your brainstorming started:

How do you positively impact the quality of your client’s day?

Hint: For many practices, your true value-add revolves around reducing stress.