Legal & Professional services:: re-connecting pricing to cost, profit & value


Sell moreWhilst the article from which this extract is taken relates specifically to the legal profession, the truth of the matter is that this isn’t just an issue for lawyers…it’s a fact of life, the new norm for service industries!

The graphic on the right was aimed at Insurance Brokers but these are common issues.

I remember some of my earliest Economics lessons dealing with “elasticity of supply and demand”. We are now in the trough that, inevitably, followed an artificially prolonged series of peaks. As a result, the ‘Supply’ created to serve in the good times, when the revenue was there to sustain it, is now a surplus (excess capacity). The market has contracted, demand or, at least, budgets have fallen. Value and cost is under close scrutiny.

Suddenly “how well you know your client” is back at the top of the agenda. So are a few other questions:

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CII Thinkpiece on networking:: the smell of bs in the morning…no thanks!


imageI’ve been in this business for a long time and, despite there being plenty of people able to bear witness to the fact that I’m a pretty “social animal” the truth is I have always despised networking! I cringe at the type of gathering that has, otherwise typically reserved Brits, feign joy because somebody who sells printing or dry cleaning services has just done some business with the person who sells life assurance or will writing. It’s all…well, how can I say this, FALSE! There is never the enthusiastic whooping and hollering of a Jerry Springer show and I’m sure an awful lot of that is down to the simple fact that most people are there under duress. Their boss or their sales figures sent or led them there out of desperation and the first measure of their success is how many business cards (even compliment slips) they offloaded or collected!

Nor am I keen on engaging with people purely on the basis that there might be some business in it. Exchanging pleasantries and small talk over a glass of wine and canapés whilst trying to ingratiate ourselves to each other would give anyone indigestion.      

If these are the basic ingredients for forming worthwhile, longstanding, business relationships then, to me (because this is only my opinion) the business world (particularly in Financial Services) IS as shallow and undeserving of trust as it has consistently shown itself to be in recent years. The thing about it is that, ALL the people who recognise these scenarios from their own past experiences are both vendors and buyers of a range of different products and services! So, we know bs when we smell it in the room or on our new best friend’s breath. Often it is the smell of fear or business-sponsored insincerity worn like an ill-fitting suit!!!    

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