Small Law Firms Failing In the Lawyer Marketing Game

From: Rain Maker Best Practices
Published: Sun Nov 13 2005

Just look up the name of a Fortune 500 firm on Lexis to find out who their major law firm partners are and in what areas they are providing advice. Then do a RFP (Request For Proposal) to the Fortune 500 company forcing that piece of business into competitive bidding play. Even if you donít win the business, youíll probably have forced your competitor to keep the work at a much lower rate and perhaps even an unprofitable one.

Thatís the advice of one leading law marketing expert. And itís not limited to Fortune 500 companies. Right now there are hosts of online services pouring over courthouse records and other public documents to find out who are the lawyers are for virtually any kind of corporate entity ó even private companies.

What does this mean to the small law firm?

Well for one thing it certainly gives the small law firm a leg up on competitive intelligence. If youíre a small firm but have a dynamite specialty area that a big company could use, why not go after the business by putting the other law firm into play using the RFP process?

Patrick McEvoy of doesnít think this is necessarily the best way to try and acquire new business. "Letís face it, blowing your brains out in price comepetitions isnít the smartest thing any business should be doing," says McEvoy. "But, itís a new world out there and it just goes to show that there are no more "gentlemanís rules" in the legal business."

A better approach and much less dangerous is to go after the 24,000,000 or so ignored small to mid-size companies out there that no one wants or pays attention to.

McEvoy outs it this way: "Iíd rather have 100 clients each worth $100,000,000 than one Exxon. The small guy loves what you do for him and he isnít out price shopping you everyday. And, he can afford to pay your bill."

"Itís time small firms woke up and realized that the lawyer marketing arena is getting nastier not friendlier. Why not make life easier on yourself? Start looking at new and largely neglected markets and then apply sound marketing practices to that market so that you earn business that is loyal and willing to pay handsomely for high quality advice."

McEvoy concludes, "Itís really pretty simple. Forget big branding campaigns and meaningless taglines. Donít go the RFP route unless you want to have it done back to you (which it will be) and get back to the basics of a good education based marketing program. My firm puts out a lot of articles and advice along with a blog that shows small law firms how to do this inexpensively and without all the mystery."

With 24,000,000 small and mid sized businesses out there itís hard to see how some one could fail.

The bottom line. Forget the Fortune 500, go after the giant enterprise just down the street in your own town.

Company: Rain Maker Best Practices
Contact Name: Patrick McEvoy
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: 519-752-2669

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