How is selling your high end legal services like selling high end toothpaste? I have actually answered that question several times on this blog when I have discussed differentiating yourself to a target market.

When I grew up there was no high end toothpaste, In fact, there were only a few brands. A few years ago, I sat next to a very interesting gentleman on a plane. He was the first to create a $6.00 tube of toothpaste. I don’t remember the brand, but it was a huge success.

He told me that today there are a wide variety of  toothpastes  – toothpaste that stands up, toothpaste that the cap stays on, toothpaste with baking soda, toothpaste that will take care of your gums for life, smokers’ toothpaste, whitening toothpaste, fresh breath toothpaste, toothpaste for attacking plaque, toothpaste for kids, even toothpaste for your dog.

He also told me that drugstores loved his $6.00 brand of toothpaste because instead of losing money or barely breaking even on cheaper toothpaste, the margins for his brand were significant.

I wondered how he had come up with a toothpaste product for which a group of consumers would be willing to pay 3-4 times more than other products. He had narrowed his market, created a product that was remarkable and stood out from the hundreds of other toothpaste brands.

That begs these questions:

  1. Have you narrowed your market?
  2. Have you selected a market willing to pay for higher quality legal work?
  3. What are you doing to become remarkable in the eyes of your clients?

My traveling companion brought home to me that he understood the importance of narrowing the target market.  By the way, after his toothpaste success, he developed a high-end shaving product that was designed to give closer shaves with the new high tech razors.

Inc. Magazine recently published an on-line article: How to Narrow Your Market. As noted in the article, if you are not differentiating yourself, the consumer looks at price as the motivator. Law is no different than toothpaste, shaving products and other products. If you are not differentiating yourself, then your potential clients are motivated by the lowest hourly rates.

Focus on an industry or niche specialty and get known in that industry as a specialist or the “go-to” person in the type of work you want to do.  Be the best at what you do in a niche for which you have a passion and for which there is a need.