In the first of a series of guest posts, ETSOS  explores the theme of “how to grow your conveyancing business in 2015” with the help of a few of our friends. First up is Mike Porter, director of Legal Mentors and author of “7 common mistakes when pricing conveyancing services ,” to discuss the need for firms to continue investing in skills and training in order to equip themselves with the right tools for the job.
Just because the SRA has decided there is no need for solicitors to gain 16 hours of CPD each year does not mean there is no longer a need for training and personal development. Indeed there has never been more need for training, especially for training in the management and simple business skills that many solicitors are rarely if ever taught, suggests Michael Porter, director of Legal Mentors.
Solicitors up and down the country continue to tell us at Legal Mentors that they have never learned some of the basics of business; be it business development, marketing, pricing and charging, understanding cash flow and, dare I say it, selling skills. Solicitors are all targeted to produce fees, and yet very few understand how to go about the most fundamental issue – selling.
Selling is not a dirty word, no business can survive without generating income, and by necessity more income than the costs of running the business in order to make some profit with positive cash flow. Pricing and selling is a skill that can be, and really has to be, learned – even by Solicitors for the longer-term good of their business.
Whilst conveyancing tends to produce positive cash flow it is very often ‘underpriced’. Some clients will be price-sensitive but not all. I might agree that first-time buyers who are stretching their finances are perhaps more price-sensitive but all the research suggests repeat buyers are less so, their number-one priority is communication. They are very often willing to pay something more, if only Solicitors had the confidence to charge more rather than continue to quote low on very thin, if any, margin. There will only be one winner from ‘cheap’ and it won’t be your firm! Let the volume panel conveyancing solicitors do ‘cheap’. Your professionalism and expertise deserves, and can achieve, better returns for the risks involved.
Our ‘test shopping’ experience continues to find that most firms use a single selling point – price. If you only compete on price then the client can but choose on price – low price! It is quite possible to take the ‘selling’ out of selling by helping the client to choose to ‘buy’ your services albeit that your price might be more than other firms have quoted.
The ‘7 Proven Ways to Increase Profitability from Conveyancing’ courses which ETSOS ran in conjunction with Legal Mentors in 2014 helped many firms to rethink the pricing and selling strategies of their conveyancing services so that they could win more of the instructions they really wanted, and on better terms than before.
As these half-day courses proved to be so popular last year ETSOS will again be staging a number of similar training courses with Legal Mentors in 2015, starting with Exeter on Tuesday 24 March, click here to book your ticket. 
We’ll keep you posted of further locations and dates so that your firm too can learn how to enjoy better profitability from your conveyancing activities.
ETSOS provide a FREE business development tool to help firms collaborate more closely with referrers (estate agents, IFA’s), capture more new business opportunities, and convert more opportunities into new instructions. Click here to find out more. 
Come along to one of our regional seminars to find out more ways you can grow your conveyancing business in 2015. Click below to book your FREE ticket.