Selling Services by the £ Top Sales Tips for Employment Solicitors
There has never been a better time to ask employers to sign up for professional HR services.
ACAS notifications are at an historical high (roughly one every 5 minutes of the working day), there is no restraint on employees to stop them making vexatious or mischievous claims and business owners are far more likely to face costly, profit threatening tribunal claims than they are to be the victim of a serious fire or theft!
We have put our thoughts to helping you turn the opportunity to address these issues into new business revenue with our 12 top sales tips for 2020.
1. Resurrection – retrieve the lost client list from previous years, dust it off and give them a shake!
2. Pick the low hanging fruits – clients with a recent past experience of tribunals or any other types of litigation are the most aware of the cost and stress a claim against them can bring. You can remove some of this stress with an insurance backed retainer.
3. Sell the sizzle, not the sausage! Forget the detailed ingredients for now, keep the offer simple. You are offering an easy to access and personalised service with ‘no surprises’ down the line. It is an outsourced resource with a trustworthy indemnity for adverse costs - protecting the company owners from stress and the balance sheet from large, unexpected legal costs of the worst kind.
4. Check a trade campaign – we know that some market sectors are heavier users of HR advice than others (charities, schools and care homes spring to mind) but there are overlooked sectors that we think are underserviced – retailers, building / construction industries, farming and the motor trade are all worth more serious marketing attention.
5. Don’t mention insurance – if there are two words that really put people off then ‘insurance’ and ‘law’ are close to the top of the list. The package of outsourced advice on a personalised and easily contacted resource with a trust-worthy indemnity for adverse costs is about as technical as most people want to hear. Then it’s down to price!
6. Slice the price – for cost conscious clients expressing the costs as price per day/ per employee or a % of turnover often puts the cost and risk into perspective.
7. Differentiate the service. Clients are not all the same, so why should your pricing and service levels be the same for every client? Some clients are ‘needy’ but risk averse, others are aggressive and fly close to the sun. Here’s where the smart provider adjusts the HR package to suit, risk assessing the client’s needs against the cost of service provision, thinking in terms of higher or lower pricing for anticipated daily demand and risk management ideas such as an excess on insurance.
8. Buy insurance to protect the monthly retainer. By definition most claims are unexpected, so they will not be built into your service cost - this is where a smart provider can score an advantage. If the client is risk averse and unlikely to have a claim then why arrange cover with a high charge rate (as it will proportionately increase the premium and the overall package cost)? The trick is to balance the premium and charge rate against the opportunity to earn from claims handing work.
For example – needy, risk averse client equals a slightly higher service cost and lower insurance- aggressive but self-sufficient client equals lower service cost and higher insurance
9. Don't under sell yourself – the world may be highly commoditised but not all service providers are the same. The professional achievements you can recount for keeping clients out of trouble or in making bad news go away are often understated.
10. Keep in touch-lines – the first year of a retainer relationship is easy, there will usually have been some ‘need’ to address, but persuading clients to stay with you for years 2,3 and 4 is much harder. Ramp up you contact frequency and ‘news’ content so you are seen to provide value even if there are no specific issues to relate to.
11. Snail Mail is back – email marketing has more than peaked, its been devalued, but postal communication is achieving much better penetration and can be very easily personalised and integrated into your wider marketing strategy.
12. Don't get into a ‘deconstruction’ This is where a client tries to break down costs. In the words of Ruskin…”there is nothing one man can make that another cannot make a bit more cheaply- if you buy on price alone you become that other man’s lawful prey”.
There will always be someone prepared to work on a lower hourly rate or cut corners to offer a cheaper insurance – but unless you are expert enough to understand a myriad of technical detail what you can to end up with is a useless hybrid with wings that melt in the heat of litigation!
If your clients think that they know better than us and are happy to go with a DIY solution that simply saves a few pounds it is worth a reminder that you have spent many hours on the technical detail in order to design an integrated solution employers can trust to work when needed.
Straight Solutions is the market-leading specialist in employment protection insurance. For any help on sales, marketing or technical insurance questions our advice is free and easy to access – just call 01935 389812 and ask for Brian or Mark