Turning brilliant fee earners into trusted business advisers

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Turning brilliant fee earners into trusted business advisers

The secret of excellence in client service for professional services firms is ensuring that client facing teams are able to ‘walk in the shoes’ of clients and provide quality advice to address issues covering all aspects of their business and life. Yet professionals often struggle to become trusted business advisers, due to a variety of reasons.

 

In this article, we highlight the features and benefits of our adviser accelerator programme to demonstrate how your firm could make a step change in performance by becoming trusted business advisers to your clients.

 

What are the issues?

 

There are 2 key drivers here……

 

  1. Technological advances (automation of routine legal services, ie contract reviews) and the availability of ‘free’ or quick answers to legal queries means that the role of the future lawyer will change dramatically, away from being the ‘doer’ of law, towards the communicator and contextualiser of answers and solutions. There will be a lot of disrupter competition entering the market in the next few years – different models, different backgrounds to traditional firms so a change is required.
  2. Client service – there is a big difference between the definition of ‘great service’ to an average lawyer (“we will do an excellent piece of work”) and a client (“I need someone to help me”). Lawyers need to be better positioned as ‘advisers’ to their clients to add value. This means being trusted for their opinions and their ability to help clients make the right decisions to help them to achieve their objectives. For commercial lawyers this will mean that a more commercial mindset will be vital – they will need to better understand businesses and their environments, and be comfortable having conversations across a wider range of challenges. Personal lawyers will need to better understand the ‘world’ according to the individual. And above all, it will require bravery – to give guidance and advice away from the comfort zone of the deep well of specialist knowledge in the chosen area of law.

 

The adviser accelerator programme focuses first on identifying ‘easy wins’ to begin the process of change. Firstly the mindset – just seeing yourself (and articulating your proposition to others) as a business / personal adviser who specialises in legal challenges, instead of a lawyer who focuses on specific isolated matters, is the important first step. From here we can supply a few simple guidelines to help on the journey.

 

For example, we cover: the areas of business that need to be understood, how to have a great business conversation,  key questions that add value in the eyes of the business client and how to build trust.

 

Deliverables

This is a question that we explore regularly with our clients – ‘how do we develop our people to be better trusted business advisers?’, so we know there is a high level of interest.

 

The change in role has to happen and, in our honest opinion, law firms are behind accounting firms, banks and other consulting businesses in starting the process to position themselves as something more than specialists.

 

The Adviser Accelerator programme is an intense, highly interactive and practical programme which, simultaneously helps you to really experience what life as a client is really like, whilst providing the key skills to enable you to build trusting relationships. And the confidence to be effective business advisers.

 

If you would like to learn more please get in touch.

 

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