What happens when you look in the mirror? Your reflection stares back at you and you do an assessment of what you see.
This assessment includes what you like or love about yourself. Great hair! Bright eyes! Stylish clothes!
And it includes what you don’t like: droopy eye lids, dry skin, signs of aging!
You don’t run away from the mirror, you use it to make decisions.
Are you doing the same with your company? Holding up to a mirror and assessing the good and the bad. And particularly seeing what you’ve not been willing to see before—and deciding to do something about it.
A 3-partner law firm recently brought me in for a Think Tank session. We held a mirror up to their company.
This is what they saw:
- Passion for giving small business owners the very best legal advice
- Keeping their promises
- Searching for underserved owners to ensure they have quality representation
They also saw:
- Struggling to generate enough revenue for the three of them
- Marketing so generic it’s not clear how they help
- Uncertainty about how to charge
They were disappointed in themselves when they recognized these difficulties. “We’re smart, we’re great lawyers, how could we have been stuck in such a rut?”
Because they are smart and talented people, they agreed to intensely focus on reversing these deficiencies over the coming months with these three steps:
- Review all services provided in the past 12 months: what they did, the client’s outcome, and the fee. Segment by services and outcomes; search for commonalities and differences; understand the basis of the fee they charged.
- List the services they are best suited to provide. Describe the ideal client for these services. Narrow the list to the 6 services with the highest value outcome for the right client. Create a set of valeu based fees for each service (highest value, medium value, basic value.) Commit to this list. No longer would they accept any and all work.
- Design and distribute marketing that speaks to their ideal client and the outcomes they provide to that clientele. Identify the channels that will reach their ideal clients. Learn to write sticky, memorable client stories.
This Think Tank session was 2 months ago. In the time since they have held the mirror up again and are seeing progress. They’ve:
- Completed their 12 month study of past work.
- Written a list of the 6 highest value services they provide.
- Described their ideal clients. They keep updating the list as they gain more experience.
- Made progress on their approach to value based pricing. They recognize that it’s not a matter of flipping a switch from hourly billing to value based pricing, it’s a process of migrating over time.
- Started working with an expert in legal marketing to improve their marketing content and distribution.
The 3 partners are optimistic about their future. They said “Susan, since we held up this mirror to see what we’ve never talked about before, we’re able to do more of the work we love.”
What do you need to see in order to do more of the work you love?