Just over 2/3 of clients tell us the best new ideas they see coming from law firms happen during an RFP process. Somewhere among the sea of bland boilerplate submissions lies one scintillating idea, suggestion or nugget. One firm invested the time and energy to simply blow their potential client away.
This begs an immediate question: why wait until an RFP to strut your stuff? Why don’t corporate counsel get their best ideas from their primary law firms who are in doing the work?
We recommend you take a piece of your business development dollars and use it to fund an effort to find those new ideas, new approaches and changes you would make to improve things with your top clients—before they ever ask. Go to your client once a year and present your boldest and most compelling suggestions, ideas and priorities for change.
Create a mock or unsolicited proposal to ensure your client understands how much you know and care about them. We recommend performing this analysis for your top 20 clients. 20 can be ambitious to start, how about 10, maybe even 5. Start with your largest or highest potential client. But start.
Bring in the attorneys who have day-to-day operating knowledge and those who have strategic perspective. And for added kick, bring in one senior partner who does not know the client to inject an unbiased and independent opinion.
This can seem like an expensive and time-consuming proposition but is one of the most effective client retention and development strategies. The cost of this highly-successful effort is dwarfed by the cost of losing a primary relationship.