It’s nothing personal.
55% of clients actively dislike sitting through law firm pitches, and another 35% say they merely tolerate them. This leaves a scant 10% of clients liking law firm pitches. This insight frames your pitches in a whole new way. They have to want to sit through your pitch to sit with you and do the work.
Here is what the dislikers say:
“It’s just plain boring, they are talking at me and my team, and are so proud of the statistics that every other firm shows us.” – SVP and Associate General Counsel, Large Pharma Company
“It’s the same monotone story, they have a lot of lawyers and handle a lot of matters. I think I could give some of these.” – Top Legal Decision Maker, Growing SaaS Company
“They are overly long and don’t seem to have a point.” – Division Head, Large Media Company
“I leave without learning anything new, including why I would want to hire them.” – Chief Legal Officer, Global Financial Service Organization
Here is what the likers say:
“They taught us so much, I didn’t realize what the options were until we met with them.” – EVP, Growing Mid-size Pharmaceutical Company
“This firm had researched details about how other companies handle our problems and asked really insightful questions, it felt like we were already working together.” – Senior Counsel, Litigation, Large Medical Device Company
“They exuded confidence in every way. I was convinced they would provide insight and deliver on everything they promised, including the budget.” – General Counsel, Global Financial Services Company
Missing the Hidden Criterion
The first thing the best presenters tell you is your audience really wants to like your pitch. They want you to be interesting and/or entertaining. This factor is the hidden criterion. Here are 3 actions you can immediately take to improve:
- Develop a set of 10 insightful questions to serve as a menu for use in pitches
- Find something unique about your client — legal or not. But uncover just 1 unique insight to show you get them
- Teach the presenters to engage the audience with questions such as:
- How does this resonate with you?
- Is this consistent with your current thinking?
- Which topics (on your slide) are most important to them?
- How should we adjust our comments to be more relevant?
Clients were issuing RFPs at a record pace in January and things came to a halt in late February. Law firms are now jumping back on the RFP bandwagon as their needs change and surge. You can delight 90% of clients if you can find a way to get them to like your pitch. The firms able to make this change will enjoy a silver lining from the pandemic and lasting advantage.
Be well. Be safe. Be cautious.
The MAD Clientist
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