Strategies for growth: choose your clients

26 Sep 2013

Proactively choosing to work only with one group of clients can be a difficult philosophical leap to take for, in particular, traditional law firms. Choosing a specific group of clients, using whatever methodology makes sense to you and your approach, implies that you are simultaneously choosing not to work with clients who fall outside of this group. In an industry where many firms have always aimed to sell everything to everyone, this can be a difficult strategic decision to take.

The problem with the alternative, traditional, approach though, is that many full service law firms are now too broad and too deep to effectively sell clients anything. Sales of one sort of service come from one department and are delivered by one person. A complimentary service is dealt with by another person in another department. Too often the lines of communication between these departments and staff are flawed, hurried or simply not there at all. Firms miss out because their complicated structures are no longer an advantage, but a burden.

In the new legal industry, firms need to be more client focused than ever. The changes that we are all experiencing are largely making it easier for clients to purchase legal services from firms who make the process itself easy. In this new world, our focus has to be on the client. Understand what they need, what they want to buy and how they want to buy it. Build a relationship, get to know them again, rather than forcing them to contact a faceless entity. All of these things are easier to do with a smaller, more targeted group of clients.

  • When deciding on the new group of clients you want to work with, remember the following three points:
  • There needs to be enough of them – don’t choose a group so niche you will market yourselves to too few people.
  • They need to be able to pay – your client group have got to have the potential to make you money. What you are selling needs to make sense in light of other external factors – consider the market (both your own and the client’s). Considering the state of the photography industry, you probably wouldn’t currently go into business selling 35mm film.


Jepson Holt work with legal firms to help them grow and develop strategies that work. Find out more on our page dedicated to the work we do with businesses.

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By Philip Jepson. Phil is the Chairman of Jepson Holt Ltd., which he established in 2004. His main focus in the business is helping law firms grow their businesses and lawyers develop their careers. You can find him on , Twitter & LinkedIn.