How to boost your law firms marketing and business development. 

Sable&Hawkes have worked with legal clients for over 20 years, from the magic circle to start up firms, from established international firms to ambitious local firms. Delivering every type of strategic and creative service, from full re-branding projects including positioning and marketing strategies, to straight graphic design work, designing new visual identities and marketing materials. From websites to advertising, social campaigns to recruitment marketing we have pretty much done it all.

Which is why we feel particularly able to advise our clients on how best to get the most from the marketing communications and business development activities. Where the competition are competing more ferociously than ever, and traditional pricing models are under threat, making sure your firm has a pipeline of new clients is vital and you can play a key part in helping your law firm to achieve its growth targets.

So here are our marketing and sales top tips for law firms to get you inspired.

Law Firm Marketing and Sales Top Tips

Get genuine buy-in from the partnership on the importance of sales and business development. Business development is fast becoming one the key components of a partners job so getting genuine buy-in on the importance of branding and marketing is really important.

Which is why you should be encouraging, educating and Incentivising partners to value marketing and client development activities, including cross-selling. This can be done by creating structured initiatives that target your key clients or sectors, encourage lawyers to proactively identify opportunities and share them with colleagues or implement a referral program that rewards and recognises successful cross-selling efforts.

And why they should focus on the best clients and the most promising prospects – to paraphrase Pareto, as a rule, 20% of your customers generally represent 80% of your business. To bed this into your business development processes always include the time and resources to record client feedback; analyse accounts and CRM data for useful information, track client retention rates and learn from client losses.

Cross sell. The second best place to win new business, after existing clients? Existing clients. Are there opportunities for other practice areas to sell to the same client? In larger law firms, it’s not unusual for different practice areas to operate largely independently. Make it a priority to break down these silos where they exist and explore opportunities to cross-sell.

Professional services are sold on reputation and trust, and a strong brand establishes these qualities in the minds of your prospects. Your brand therefore becomes a promise, a relevant, authentic, distinctive and defendable promise of what your customers can expect from you – take the time to get the story right, and then live it.

Create processes and standards that help you deliver excellent client service. If you have a partnership where everyone thinks more or less in the same way, approaches client servicing in the same fashion and has similar priorities, and where recruitment is targeted at ‘people like us’ – you have a far greater chance of a recognisable external brand experience and superior customer service in your sector.

Keep up to date with market trends and competitor activity. The world never stands still and the world of law particularly so. From Covid to Brexit to no fault divorces there are always opportunities to develop your thinking and offer. Your business development ‘team’ should have designated sector spotters to monitor the target competition and the trends and developments in your target sectors.

Invest in innovation to improve what you sell and how you work and particularly for opportunities to use technology to improve communication with clients – such as online information sharing and collaboration technologies, live matter dashboards, document automation and transaction monitoring software.

Create sustained efforts to build awareness and relationships using multiple promotional channels. This can sound daunting but its not if you approach things systematically. Break down who you want to talk to, what you want to say to them, how you will contact them and how often. Then allocate resources to own those functions. Partners should all be using Linked in for instance to develop personal relationships with clients, cross selling and building networks. 

And there you have it. It’s a start. We would advise working with specialists like ourselves to structure and plan the key elements of your BD approach, but if not, then follow these rules and the basics should fit into place.


Branding | Design | Digtial | Content | Social 

Do good work. Be good people.