In this episode of the Legal Marketing 2.0 Podcast Guy is joined by Howard Kravitz, Howard is the Chief Marketing Officer for global AmLaw 50 Law Firm Winston and Strawn. He oversees all Business Development, Marketing, Branding, and Communications efforts for the firm and he reports directly to the Chairman and sits on the Executive Committee of the firm. The focus of Howards and Guy’s discussion is on the challenges currently facing the legal industry, where the legal industry is falling behind, and how law firms can approach these issues in a modern way. You can connect with Howard on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter.
Podcast Show Notes
1. Why is the legal industry so behind compared to other industries?
I believe the legal industry is behind in three major areas. The first area I believe we are lacking in is technology, we are so digitally behind. The second area is the way we treat client interactions. And the third major area the legal industry is lagging in is content and modern marketing strategies.
2. Why do you think lawyers and law firms have such a problem approaching the client as a team?
I think it’s a couple of things. There is no question that compensation plays into it and different firms have different ways of compensating people. Yet still there is this feeling in the industry that you’ve created a relationship with the buyer of those legal services and you don’t want anything to get in the way of that. The second factor is trust. Particularly at big law firms, most lawyers feel really secure in their ability to deliver a certain level of quality and value to their clients, and they’re not sure if their colleagues will live up to the standards that they have for themselves.
3. How do you help lawyers to gain that level of trust with their colleagues?
There is a vetting process before new colleagues are brought on the team, which suggests that they are in fact experts in what they do. This means it’s a little easier for colleagues to introduce each other into client relationships because there’s a trust factor already built into the firm.
4. What can lawyers do differently when it comes to pitches and presentations?
I believe lawyers need to spend a little more time asking questions to understand what clients need. They need to understand that human being aspect to the client relationship and discover what their clients’ goals and objectives are, what their problems are, and what their challenges are.
5. Why do lawyers fall short at business development?
Lawyers often feel that their expertise and their credentials speak for themselves, so they lack authenticity. I do see that those that are the top rainmakers in our firm that are experts and specialists in their field, but also hold a level of humanism have an ability to relate to other individuals. That trait wins in today’s world.
6. How can an industry focus make a difference?
In my prior experience, through data we were able to identify that an industry focus was a key differentiator for client satisfaction. When clients felt that these four criteria were met – understanding my industry, company, problem, and me – we were able to charge a premium due to the value we could provide.
7. What technologies do you feel are under-utilized within the legal industry that in your experience could make a significant difference?
Two marketing technologies I believe can be utilized more are workflows and collaboration tools. In the legal industry we don’t take a holistic view of the client, so we’re not really utilizing today’s client relationship management suite of tools to have a better understanding of clients and potential gaps.
The legal industry has been experiencing a hard shift towards the digital world within the last year, but still the industry seems to be lagging behind the rest. When it comes to marching towards a more modern approach to client relationships and business development remember, a bit of uncomfortable change may be a good thing and old habits should be a thing of the past.
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