Specializing

Business development strategist Jonathan Fitzgarrald explains why being ‘smart’
is no longer enough

Although it has been more than four decades since attorney marketing became legal, too many attorneys still look down on selling themselves – at their own peril, says Jonathan Fitzgarrald, who will share solutions to this challenge during the upcoming Legal Marketing Association’s (LMA) annual conference April 11-13, 2016 in Austin, Texas.

“Attorneys need sales skills,” says Fitzgarrald, Managing Partner of Equinox Strategy Partners, which provides service professionals and firms with strategic counsel to drive revenue and increase market visibility.  “Attorneys can no longer create a draw for their services solely based on their pedigree or their reputation as general practitioners. For marketing purposes, attorneys must identify and promote a specialty or focus in order to be memorable and be perceived as relevant.”

Fitzgarrald says the legal profession has evolved. As a result of economic shifts, greater industry segmentation, and increased accessibility to information online, consumers of legal services are conditioned to seek out attorneys who are positioned as experts within their industry.  Attorneys can utilize any number of tools—writing articles and blogs, getting quoted in media articles, networking and giving presentations—to further demonstrate their expertise.

“It’s similar to what has happened in the medical profession,” Fitzgarrald says. “No longer do people seek out and pay top dollar for a general practitioner. We live in a highly specialized business environment where generalists have been commoditized.”

Attorneys must reach a “pain point” of realization that the techniques and tools that have allowed them to achieve their current level of success are not likely the same means that will take their practice to the next, desired level.

“The lawyers and law firms that are packaging their experience around a specific focus are finding tremendous success,” Fitzgarrald says.