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  • Liz Whitaker

Prioritise before Personalise

There’s a gem of a comment piece from Alex Novarese, editor in chief, in the last issue of Legal Business – Being most things to most clients isn’t sustainable (and it’s choking the City elite) – note subscription only* but you get the gist. He’s right, except it’s not just the City elite. To be all things to all clients is the default strategy for most professional firms. And this is what leads to the ‘one size fits all’ marketing approach that, as we say in The Power of Personal, meets the needs of none of the people, none of the time. His piece concludes ‘firms should be making far more definitive decisions on where they want to place their bets and which areas are not taking the business forward.’


We agree. And we know how to do it. It’s why we created the Propella process in the first place.


Before we get to personalise in the Propella process, we show clients how to prioritise. We use the Propella business intelligence software to identify areas for growth and the stakeholders, organisations and people, they should concentrate on. This is where they should lavish their power of personal.


We ask;


What’s worked well in the past and provided work, income, profit, reputation, satisfaction?

What are you famous for now and where with what do you want to be famous for in the future?

Where is the money?

What’s emerging that resonates?

What’s your current and potential market share?


All it takes is a change of mindset because the good news is, the information needed to make those decisions already exists and there’s stacks of it if you know where to look.


In The Power of Personal we say;

Gather the information to inform your decision. In Edward de Bono’s ‘Six Thinking Hats’ language, this is White Hat territory – ‘The facts, just the facts’.”


Environmental scanning is almost always an unexploited skill set in professional firm marketing teams. That includes interrogating the internal and external intelligence that will inform decisions. It is, as one converted partner declared, the ‘ability to look round corners’. It’s formalising what we call in the book Listen Big or Commercial Closeness. Environmental scanning is just one of the marketing activities covered in the Making the Impersonal, Personal – Guide to applying Propella across the A to Z of the Marketing Mix which is exclusive to software clients.


And once you know your priorities, the rest is, honestly, a doddle. Personalisation is hard work but worth it because you’re focused on building an exciting new future, not recreating the past but with ever declining margins.


Feedback from readers is they love the stories and I’ve got plenty of examples to illustrate my point here. My all-time favourite was ten years ago working with a Family Law team trying to fathom their future after Legal Aid. The majority wanted to pursue the default and seemingly safe strategy of every other family law team and shift their focus to high net worth individuals. But there was one bright spark of a lawyer in the room who wanted to build a reputation around emerging legal issues associated with IVF, surrogacy and children of same-sex couples. The others thought she was bonkers.


Guess who is the star of the show now?


If prioritising where your growth could come from is something you’d like to explore, book a confidential, one-to-one, Propella 360 Discovery session. In sixty minutes I can show you how to use the Propella Business Intelligence software to identify your macro level priorities. I’ll also talk you through environmental scanning.


You’ll never look back and that is, indeed, the point.



*I found the full comment from the mobile edition of Legal Business.

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