Posted by Ben Harris, sales and marketing director at Legal Futures Associate TM Group 
“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half” – John Wanamaker.
Many businesses spend exorbitant sums of money on marketing their services, but suffer from John Wanamaker’s problem: they simply don’t know what made their customers choose them.
That’s why, each year, we work with the Property Academy  to ask your clients why they chose you, in addition to a whole host of other questions that give you a powerful insight into their mind-sets.
In fact, it’s the largest survey of its kind and the 2014 survey, conducted in autumn last year, sheds light on the opinions of more than 4,500 home movers – all of whom had moved within the previous 12 months. The aim is to improve your customer service, help you understand what marketing activities work for your firm and ultimately help you win more business.
So what do home movers think of their conveyancers? Well, you will have seen on Legal Futures, and you can read the full report  for all the trends and practical advice on how to take the findings and implement them. But these are the key points to consider.
The biggest trend, building on 2013, was that 87% of home movers did not choose the cheapest conveyancer. This point about price cannot be understated, particularly as we found similar results in the 2013 survey, because when so many of your potential clients agree on something, we think it’s worth paying attention to.
When we split the data down further to see if any particular age groups were more price sensitive, there was a vague trend: the older you are, the less likely you are to pick the cheapest conveyancer.
But even for those in their 20s, only a quarter picked the cheapest conveyancer. So, we believe that you do not need to offer the cheapest fees to win business – home movers understand that you ‘get what you pay for’.
Another of the major findings was that 59% of home movers choose their conveyancer based on a third party recommendation – either from their estate agent or a friend.
The question is, however: what is your firm doing to garner more recommendations? Do you ask your clients for them? It’s important to ensure that your customer service is exceptional which, in turn, should naturally encourage more of your clients to act as advocates for you and your business, long after their own transaction has completed – the best and most cost-effective marketing you can get.
Additionally, if your customers are offering kind words about your firm, you should publish these testimonials on your website, across social media and in your client communications to maximise their reach.
In a study we conducted last year, we discovered that more than 90% of estate agents refer their clients to a conveyancer . Estate agents are willing to refer you to their clients but they want to see evidence of good customer service and expertise and equally, they are hardly likely to refer your firm if you haven’t put the time to build a working relationship with them.
If you don’t already have an arrangement in place, give your local agents a call and set up a quick meeting over coffee to help nurture this potentially lucrative revenue stream.
And finally, one of the more surprising findings was that local knowledge isn’t as much of a motivator when choosing a conveyancer as you may think. Half as many home movers rated ‘local knowledge’ (38%) as ‘very important’ as compared to proactivity and professionalism (81% and 78% respectively).
Why is this? Perhaps most modern home movers have already done their research on an area and don’t feel that the solicitor can add anything. However, this tells you that if your unique selling point is your local knowledge, it is not nearly as important to most home movers as displaying how proactive, professional and what a good problem solver you are.
I hope you find the full report interesting.