Singularity: The Importance of Selling One Thing

One of the reasons that general law practices, while satisfying the intellectual curiosity of attorneys, are nonetheless difficult to market is because it’s difficult to sell everything . . . unless you’re literally selling Swiss Army Knives.

I mean, think about it: If you need to hire a plumber (and, that’s a need, not a want), are you going to go find somebody who’s a jack of all trades, who can fix your clogged toilet right after he molds a scented candle?  Hell, no.  You want an expert.  The best businesses do one thing really well; and, that’s true of law firms, also.

Put yourself into the shoes of a legal consumer for a second.  Suppose you wanted a recommendation for or were looking for a divorce attorney.  Don’t you want somebody to tell you, or don’t you want to view marketing materials tending to the conclusion that, the person you would hire is an expert in that particular field, and does only that kind of work.  If someone tells you, ‘You should go see my friend, Jane. She practices all kinds of different types of law; but, I’m sure she would do a great job with your divorce!’, that doesn’t exactly inspire confidence, does it?  It would be like telling someone, ‘Oh, your toilet’s overflowing?  My Uncle Ray is an HVAC technician, but he unclogged the toilet in his house the other day, so you should really give him a call!’  You ain’t never gonna call Uncle Ray. 

Clearly, it’s important for modern law firms to decide on a practice niche, stick with it, and consistently market it.  You need to be able to sell one concept, one major idea, to be able to succeed widely.  It’s partly a viable business strategy, and partly a recognition that people have neither long patience nor lengthy attention spans in a world that is saturated with information.

This notion of selling a single idea should also extend to any kind of marketing you will do within your law firm.  Don’t try to throw multiple concepts out at one time.  If you’re an outside counsel firm, and you’re productizing your law firm offerings by selling a business management audit, just sell that — don’t also try to offer employment law services and contract drafting services in the same advertisement, or pitch.  Less is more.  And, if you can get in at one level, you know you’ve gained your clients’ trust, and you can then upsell, or sell more services, down the line.  Remember that the attorney-client engagement is often a long road; and, understand that you win broadly in the long run, by winning small victories along the way.

This notion of single concept marketing is not new; but, it’s not often actualized effectively by lawyers.  So, every time your law firm runs a new marketing campaign, ask yourself how many different things you’re selling, or trying to sell.  And, if you find that it’s multiple things, try to whittle it down to one, and get focused, because your potential clients won’t have then ability, or the interest, to multitask on a sales proposition that is not unique.

Everything you do for your law firm marketing should have a singular focus.  If it doesn’t, it’s your job to create a true marketing funnel by narrowing down your approach.

Your clients do want a piece of you . . . you just have to decide which piece.