Law Firms with the Best Pitch

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It’s your moment. You are asked to come in and pitch. The typical company will ask 14 law firms to respond to an RFP. Next, they ask 3 to 8 to come in and pitch. Your chance to make your compelling case is here. And, out of these pitches—clients say a mere 20 law firms really stand out as giving a great pitch. All the rest sound the same —or worse.

So…who are these firms and what makes a truly great pitch? Let’s start with the second part of this question. Clients tell us a great pitch:

  • Starts with a discussion of the business or goals—not the law firm’s statistics

  • Asks questions and engages clients

  • Provides some unique high value snippet of insight into the company

  • Offers up partners with great executive presence

  • Gets into deep discussion of approach and strategy

  • Places their feet clearly on the ground

  • Goes off script and discusses any topic—and gets back quickly if they can’t

  • Looks so natural they must have rehearsed it 100 times

The message: talk about the client, unequivocally; be confident and candid; be practical and know something meaningful about the company. Success demands more of a change in behavior than skill. Clients tell us law firms just love to start a pitch talking about who they are and how many times they have done what you need—and clients already know this. Or, your insight and demeanor will show clients everything they need to know about your experience.

Please join me in congratulating these 20 law firms who clients say deliver the absolute best pitches:

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer

Cravath, Swaine & Moore

Dentons

Dinsmore

DLA Piper

Greenberg Traurig

Jones Day

Latham & Watkins

Locke Lord

Norton Rose Fulbright

O’Melveny

Orrick

Paul, Weiss

Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick

Skadden

Venable

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Weil

White & Case

MBR

Clients Say Tech Savvy Harder to Find

Law firms able to earn the tech-savvy distinction dropped 9.2% from last year, with 109 firms making the cut this year. This down from 200 law firms in 2017. Clients tell us, like the Movers & Shakers, law firms are looking the same—making it harder than prior years to leave an imprint on clients. 

Please congratulate these tech-savvy firms:

Best of the Best

• Dentons
• DLA Piper
• Latham & Watkins
• Ogletree Deakins
• Seyfarth Shaw

Leaders

• Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld
• Baker McKenzie
• Cooley
• Hogan Lovells
• Jones Day
• King & Spalding
• Littler
• Morgan Lewis
• Orrick
• Skadden
• White & Case

Learn how clients spot tech-savvy firms in the new BTI Brand Elite 2019: Client Perceptions of the Best Branded Law Firms.

12 Tactics Branding Your Law Firm and Boosting Hirability

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A better brand means better hirability—a strong brand makes you much more attractive to clients.

BTI’s brand new research with corporate counsel shows 28% of law firms are strengthening their brand in the eyes of clients. Of these, more than half improved their brand to be ranked at all-time highs—making them the firms to beat to win new work.

36.8% of law firms suffered a drop in their brand, as ranked by clients. Top legal decision-makers see the brands of these firms as having less impact on decision making—so getting hired is harder. A weaker brand means you do more work to get access to new business.

The most common way law firms dilute their brands is inaction; particularly in the face of more aggressive firms actively building the strength of their brand in the market.

Only a few actions truly impact the strength of a law firm’s brand in the eyes of clients—these are broken into 3 categories:

  1. Direct Experience

  2. Transferred Experience

  3. Indirect Experience

Direct Experience

Direct experience will always be the strongest driver in leaving your brand imprint on a client. This includes:

  • Delivering legal services

  • Well-designed websites

  • Client service initiatives; including client feedback, client teams, and client service standards

  • Your pitches

  • Watching your firm from the other side of a matter

  • Attorney bios

  • Interactive thought leadership (such as custom CLEs, webinars, and training sessions)

  • Value-driven digital conversations (typically social media and blog interactions where clients learn new approaches to better manage risk)

  • Memorable encounters where clients and prospects quickly see the direct impact you can have on their business; typically, these occur by active participation in:

    • Trade Associations

    • Industry networking opportunities

Transferred Experience

Transferred experience is the 2nd most powerful way your brand is built up in clients’ minds. This type of strength is built through:

  • Referrals and recommendations

  • Client-to-client conversations about law firms

  • Client comments about law firms in:

    • Articles

    • Social Media Posts

Indirect Experience

Indirect experience ranks 3rd in the small set of activities able to leave a positive imprint on clients, including:

  • Passive, but relevant, thought leadership, such as:

    • White papers

    • Speeches at industry events

    • Quotes in publications

    • Email newsletters—with personal commentary on the relevance to the client

    • Non-custom seminars and events

    • Generic websites

On the other hand, there are a number of activities proven to have a limited impact on clients and prospects—and can sometimes even confuse and dilute brands. These low-impact experiences include:

  • Traditional advertising

  • Brochures

  • Single sponsorships

  • Entertainment

The law firms with improved and better brands are going out of their way to drive more direct experience with clients and prospects. Look for more on exactly how they are doing this in a future post.

You can learn exactly where your law firm stands, including a history and comparison to 8 law firms of your choice, in the about-to-be-released BTI Brand Elite: Client Perceptions of the Best Branded Law Firms 2019.

MBR