Lawyers frequently spend a lot of time and effort, and therefore money, on new business pitches and re-tenders for existing clients. Yet despite this, lawyers, whether part of a “pitch team” or acting solo, typically get the basic strategy wrong and make some common errors.
Understanding what the client really wants is fundamental. At best, invitations to tender are vague and at worst they are two or three lines on a page.
Lawyers who read a tender invitation, take it at face value and respond in kind are failing to grasp an opportunity. Often the client uses the tender process to confirm and refine their thinking about what they really want from their supplier.
Firms should challenge the client’s assumptions and requirements. Often, asking questions about what the client is really hoping to achieve can change the whole scope of the tender in a way which may play to a firm’s strengths.
Lawyers should not be afraid of saying: ‘You asked for something to be done. We would be happy to do that and it can be done relatively easily. However, you may not be happy with the result because in our view, it is will not add significant value to your business. It would be better to do something else instead…’ This process allows for a relationship to be built-up between the firm and the client and improves the outcome for the client.
To read more on how to win new business, click here.