Monday, September 14, 2015

Never Bundle. Always Unbundle.

An opportunity to present capabilities to a client is not a request to learn about every practice in the firm. Nonetheless, many attorneys sneak additional practice areas into the materials or presentation ‘just in case they have needs’. But pitching to win a bundled set of services complicates the decision process unnecessarily. A focused proposal offering a viable solution to a specific problem is much more powerful than a broad statement of capabilities, no matter how strong those capabilities are. For one, multiple practice presentations require the buyer to make multiple decisions. In this case, it is much easier to decline all than agree to only one. And once one 'no' is verbalized, it becomes much easier to verbalize 'no' again and again. Conversely, a strong pitch focusing on one practice area makes the decision simpler and lowers the risk to the client should only one practice area not work out. 

Unseat the Competition

The majority of lawyers approach a pitch without regard to how well the work is currently being done for the client by the incumbent firm or professional. Even in situations in which they have knowledge of poor performance, most attorneys don't attempt to understand the dynamics of the poor performance. Instead, they pitch indiscriminately in hopes that serendipity and need conveniently converge to win the client's interest.

No one changes providers until they first question the value they get from their current provider. Shaking a client from the comfort of a long term relationship requires that the client see a much higher reward with at least as low a risk as their current provider. Barring that, clients are unlikely to entertain switching from the devil they know to the devil they don't know.

Clients are constantly questioning every aspect of their business. And they value those who help them through this process. If the incumbent provider is not doing this, it leaves a gaping opportunity for a competitive provider to offer this guidance. Develop a questioning technique that walks the prospective client through every aspect of perceived value in the relationship. Your effectiveness in guiding this process is the key to creating the opportunity to present alternative solutions.