Skate where the puck is going to be, not where it has been

Posted by Paul Hajek on Wed, Oct 12, 2011 @ 03:26 AM

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Image via Wikipedia"]Ice hockey player Wayne Gretzky, Chicago, Illinois[/caption]

Steve Jobs, at the Macworld Conference and Expo back in 2007, used the above quote from ice hockey superstar Wayne Gretsky to characterise the Apple philosophy.

Now that ABSs are here, it struck me that the quote was as equally applicable and germane for law firms.

Apple succeeded by creating products which it thought the public would want, not necessarily improving what the public already had.

Apple had the courage to create products with its own imagination: as in most endeavours not all were successful.

So will law firms be brave enough to second guess their clients needs and wants in providing products and services which as yet do not properly exist or are incompletely realised?

Although undoubtedly there will be other reasons, some law firms are at least having a go, judging by the rounds of merger activity. There is also a rush to the new umbrella legal brands such as Quality Solicitors and High Street Lawyer.

It may be that some law firms may have finally realised that cooperation and a willingness to “think outside the box” is a valid strategy.

“If I was going there I wouldn’t start from here”

But, I have a sneaking suspicion that the new entrants in the legal services market might have started shaping their service and client care propositions from a different perspective.

Jordan Furlong, in his blog “Rise of the Machines” in the new blogging section of The Lawyer magazine website this week puts succinctly, what he feels the new entrants in to the legal market will promote:

These companies manage processes. They leverage knowledge. They automate to increase timeliness. They systematize to improve quality. They streamline to improve affordability. And they relentlessly prioritize service and the client experience. Law firms don’t do any of these things because we don’t compete on speed, price, simplicity or service. To the extent we compete at all, we do it on “quality.”

The Internet and Opportunity for Law Firms

An obvious place where law firms can dare to be different and differentiate their law firm is on the internet.

Marketing and winning business on the internet simply was not an option for law firms until relatively recently.

What the internet can do is attract potential clients to your firm so as to allow a relationship to begin. Internet marketing and social media in general are scalable and capable of returning great ROI.

The internet will be the main battleground for finding and winning over existing new and potential clients.

For smaller firms the costs associated with joining an umbrella brand may be prohibitive. As an alternative your law firm will need to work out how to function and promote itself in cyberspace.

Local strength on Google and other search engines combined with enhanced services and packaging of legal services has huge merit for law firms looking for a likely solution to where the puck may go.

Proof of the Pudding

Who would have thought someone with whom we had not had any interaction thus far, could land on our website, like what they see and actually instruct us to act there and then.

It amazed me when it first happened on my Clutton Cox law firm website.

I still get very excited and it is happening every week.

The Final Mixed Metaphor

Where will you position your law firm puck in the near future?; will you be myopically content to leave it where it is now – right in front of your eyes!

Law firms are beginning to think differently and more smartly about how their legal services will be accessed and dispensed in the future

The worry for some law firms reluctant to change may be not so much a case of deciding where the puck will be but not even realising that  the ice upon which they are already on is dangerously thin.

Solicitors Marketing Success provides advice to sole practitioners and small law firms on how to use the internet to market their law firms effectively from creation of websites, email marketing, blogging and social media.


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Topics: solicitors marketing, Alternative Business structures, blog, tesco law, sole practitioners, Law firm, small law firms, Lawyer