When I think of the term “product”, what comes to mind is a supermarket aisle packed full of goods. Legal services are not something that you’ll find on a supermarket shelf (at least not yet!), but they can be sold as products nonetheless. A product is simply an item offered for sale. Sometimes a legal product will result in the creation of tangible asset such as a document, but other times they will simply involve the provision of services.
Although we typically speak of “unbundling” legal services, I like to think of products as the “packaging up” of legal services. Unlike bespoke engagements where each retainer is prepared on a per-matter basis, products are a standard service. They include a routine set of tasks, outcomes and a standard, fixed price.
Why should you productise your legal services?
Here are ten reasons why:
- Clients want to know what they are getting. Productised services are easier to identify, evaluate and buy.
- Productised services are more tangible, so clients perceive them to be more credible.
- Having a price tag removes uncertainty about cost and makes it easier for clients to commit to buy.
- Having a price tag also changes the client’s focus from how long something will take (which traditionally dictates how much they will pay) to what they will receive. Often this means you can charge more for a productised service than you would have charged on a timed basis.
- Profit is increased by increasing efficiencies, which means we can work smarter, not harder.
- Standard processes for service delivery result in consistent quality and reduced risk.
- Process-driven work can be automated and outsourced, freeing time to work on other things.
- It is easier to train staff in productised service delivery. Services can be used to train junior lawyers and can also be delivered by staff who don’t have legal qualifications.
- Unlike services, products are not limited by time. There are only so many hours in the day that can be spent delivering services, but products can be sold online 24 hours a day.
- The promotion of products is easier – you are offering a clear solution, not access to knowledge.
Well designed and produced legal products will result in performance improvements, both in sale and delivery. They offer a win-win solution, enabling you to work less and earn more while also providing easily accessible, affordable and better value legal help to consumers.
I’d love to hear what other advantages have you seen from productising your legal services. Get in touch and let me know.