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The positive side of law firm bills as marketing tools

At a panel hosted this month by Canada’s Heenan Blaikie, a leading general counsel told the audience that “a law firm’s bill is its best opportunity for marketing its services.” He suggested that the bill can make clear the value the firm delivered that month and, indeed, give some insights into the how well it manages its services. The bill can show adherence to budgets and expectations and indicate the direction the matter is likely to take.

He is right, theoretically, and the positive messages from an invoice that he emphasized do have value. However, to show that time was written off does not inspire confidence and loyalty (See my post of May 20, 2011: invoice with mark-downs is not a shrewd marketing tool.). Even so, far more effective at marketing a firm’s services than any invoice content are such steps as offers of attractive fixed fees or superior and innovative offerings content.