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Are you surveying the clients that chose not to buy from you?

If not, you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity to gain vital insight into your sales pitch and service offering.

We don’t often refer to terminology such as sales or pitching when referring to the legal industry, however, the fact remains, the success of a law firm greatly relies on its ability to generate the sales of legal services by obtaining fee-paying clients.

I was speaking to a practice manager in one of the law firms here in Brisbane, we were having a chat about marketing and business development.


You know, Brietley London’s fairly new, still being in its maiden year of business, so we’re going through a similar sort of process where we’re building our client base and our brand and that sort of thing.

Anyway, we were talking about how much the investment is in marketing and business development, and how this law firm was measuring and monitoring the conversion of client pitches into actual revenue.

The practice manager was concerned that the conversion was perhaps lower than what it should be, so we were discussing strategies to increase this conversion, it led me to ask one simple question.

Are you asking the people that chose not to proceed with using the services of your firm why that was so?

The practice manager went quiet, I think it was a light bulb moment.

You see, it’s very easy to go and pitch business to people and if you have plenty of marketing spend then the quality of your conversion doesn’t seem to matter as much. Until that is, you’re wondering why your profit margin is eroding.

Where am I going with all of this? You see, we don’t often survey or talk to the people that choose not to buy from us, when we should. It’s a very important step that can be implemented helping us to ascertain what parts of our sales process or our pitch are falling over and to help understand what parts maybe a bit weak and could be improved upon.

We’re always quick to get feedback from people that have purchased from us  and to find out how their experience has been, and this is great for ensuring future business and potential referrals from clients, but we very rarely find the time to go back to people that haven’t bought from us and ask why they decided not to.

It not a very effective use of your marketing budget to spend all this money on business development, sales and marketing if we’re not measuring it correctly and monitoring the complete sales cycle through to the end.

If you’re spending money on advertising and not achieving the revenue goals of your firm, then at the very least, justify it as a research exercise and survey lost clients to refine your product and service offering.

So, a bit of advice. If you’re in a law firm and you’re spending vast amounts of time and money on advertising and business development and you’re pitching to clients, but perhaps you’re finding that you’re not converting a lot of it to actual business, then by all means go back to the people that didn’t buy from you and ask them why.

Survey them and find out how you can improve, chances are you’re not communicating your value or service properly or you’re not building in the trust and reputation of your firm, I guess there could be many factors.

Use the information from these client surveys to refine your product or your pitch and see if there are any sort of weak spots that you could improve upon. Not doing so, means you’re throwing good money after bad and will continue to make the same mistakes.

Now, you might find this a little awkward, going back to the people that didn’t choose you, it’s sort of like going back to a bad date and asking where it went wrong.

If that’s the case, then take a step back, perhaps you can have someone that’s a manager or someone above you that could complete that part of the process. It could even be someone in more of an administrative capacity that’s just a third party to the transaction, someone that doesn’t necessarily have any sort of emotional attachment to the lost deal.

The takeaway from all of this, ask for feedback from all of your clients, both won and lost. This feedback will be invaluable in terms of assisting you with refining your service offering and it ultimately will result in you winning more business!

– Brendan Copp | Director & Founder at Brietley London – Connect with me on LinkedIn

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