Large law firms can no longer count on profit growth. With demand flat and buyers gaining power, firms must battle for share of market. 

The easiest way to grow market share is winning a bigger share of wallet, that is, the percent of a client’s total legal spend. To do so, law firms must identify top clients and offer them better value.

Identifying “top” clients means more than tallying total client billings. High-revenue clients will make the list but profitability, growth potential, and industry fit with the firm’s strategic focus will influence selection.

Offering more value means improving the service experience. Firms can “play” many instruments: process improvement, project management, deeper business research, better resource selection, sophisticated business intelligence, service level agreements (SLA), client satisfaction surveys, technology to share information and streamline work, alternative fee arrangements (AFA), and knowledge management. The hard part is knowing which to play and how.

Creating an outstanding client experience is like composing and conducting a custom score for each. Today, few firms have composers and conductors to focus on what music each top client likes best. Firms that create and formalize such roles – the ones that play each top client’s favorite music – will win.