Every conveyancing practice that wants to grow their client base by providing more service to existing clients, their family, friends and work colleagues should help their conveyancers take a step back; help them to think and talk between themselves about what they could do to make it easier to help their clients to recommend them.
This would help … so read on to find out about just some of the opportunities that are currently being lost (there are more that we discuss and address during this workshop). Something to share with your team to help kick 2016 off in the right direction?
Key conclusions from our review of the results of the most recent research by the Property Academy and TM Group of 4,500 consumers and comparing them against the previous year (which we reported here):
Finding: Confirming our research over many years, only 13% of the clients chose conveyancers that offered the cheapest price; down from 18% the previous year.
Our Advice: Conveyancers should be investing time now to learn how to sell their service much more effectively on value, not price. Our mystery shopping of conveyancers confirms that very few firms are getting this right with most of the questions being asked revolving around “how much?”
Finding: It also no surprise that clients who chose the service primarily for a lower price were significantly less likely to recommend their conveyancers enthusiastically to others.
Our Advice: The key lesson here is that if you want to keep clients for life and build your business around new business from their friends, family and work colleagues, it is dangerous to cut your prices and service. If you have little margin to ensure they get a service they really value, the chances are that a good number will not be happy and won’t come back.
Finding: 21% of people chose their conveyancer through a recommendation from a friend; up by a third since the previous year. However, more than double that number (42%) would be willing to recommend their conveyancers, so opportunities are still being lost here.
Our Advice: Conveyancers should focus on understanding and delivering what each client values in the service and relationship; then make it easy for existing clients to recommend them. That involves routine ongoing research and review of what clients want and get; both formal and informal. Always ask clients if they would recommend. You don’t want any “smiling assassins”, so talk to your clients and show willing to adapt.
Findings: Choosing from an estate agent recommendation is still the most frequent route, but the 38% of clients who made their choice this way was down by 8% from the previous year.
Our Advice: Perhaps clients are becoming more cautious, which gives conveyancers more opportunity to win new business directly by selling services better – on value. However, there are clearly significant benefits in working with estate agents.
Findings: Older clients and owners of higher value properties are more likely to recommend their conveyancers to others.
Our Advice: Again confirms all our research and experience in practice over the years. It hasn’t changed but lawyers have failed to be pro-active in developing the opportunities. If you are going to invest time in developing relationships, focus on them as you are likely to get the best return on your investment. Few firms segment private clients by age and property values, but should do. These are also the most likely people to benefit (directly and for their families) in other higher value private client legal services. Have you done this and initiated relationship-developing initiatives focused on their particular needs?
Findings: On how and how often to communicate with clients during the transaction …
Our Advice: When it comes to deciding what a client will see as giving them the value they want, you simply must ask them. Different people want different things; confirmed in the critical questions about communication (where many firms unintentionally get it very wrong); how and how often clients feel they want to be contacted by their conveyancer?
There is more enlightening information in this Home Moving Trends 2014 report; well worth downloading here to share across your practice.
If you are interested in developing your conveyancing services and your people to make the most of the opportunities available now, call me on 0161 929 8355 for a free, confidential discussion to explore some options; or complete this form and I will contact you.