HighQ recently published an eBook, "Expert Insights: Modernising the Legal Pitch Process," for which I wrote a segment. My excerpt is below.
Buyers of legal services purchase on two levels – when they are formulating their short list, they are making a technical and intellectual evaluation – jurisdiction, particular expertise, experience, fee arrangements – things they can check off a list. But, when they are making their BUYING decision – to hire the one firm or lawyer – they are making an emotional decision – do I trust you, do I like you? How would I feel if I got stuck on the tarmac with you for 5 hours? (Would it be a pain or a party?)
To get hired, lawyers have to first prove that they can address the issues that most concern the clients intellectually. Then lawyers have to demonstrate likeability. They have to sell twice. And too many firms are failing the short list test, which means they will never get hired. Not understanding how buyers buy ensures that law firms are wasting their prospects’ valuable time.
This is where enterprise experience management and the right technology comes in. Here is a typical scenario:
A plum prospect asks a lawyer if his firm has expertise and depth in ABC subject matter in Ireland. The lawyer doesn’t know, so sends a firmwide email asking, “Does anyone know who does ABC law in Ireland?” Lawyers respond with a few matters that may or may not be relevant to what the prospect really needs. A pitch is hastily prepared for the prospect and it includes all the matters of the various lawyers who responded to the email, with little vetting for relevancy and currency.
Chances are, this firm won’t get hired. Clients are sick-and-tired of law firms and lawyers that waste their time pretending that they are qualified. A fully searchable enterprise experience database that houses a law firm’s matters is the only way to ensure that you are putting your firm’s best foot forward. Lawyers can not only search by Ireland and ABC law, but read the nuances of the matter (timing, cost), know the industries, the responsible lawyers, opposing counsel, other parties, currencies, etc. – unearthing details that might be highly valuable to this prospect.
Quick access to relevant experience is where the future cash lives in your law firm. The pitch process must start here – then using robust proposal technology to swiftly create a beautiful and tailored proposal is next step in designing a winning strategy.