Sorting through what’s important to your prospective client and determining what will differentiate you from your competitors can be a daunting task. In hard-fought competitions, how we deal with even minor issues can make the critical difference between winning, and losing.
This list is a useful starting point in determining how best to position your proposal to maximise your probability of success.
- Credentials and evidence of your experience in each area or field required
- Evidence of successfully handling routine matters in each are of interest
- Evidence or examples of successfully handling unusual or high-risk matters in each field
- Depth of your team
- Specialisations of your firm or practice group
- Participation, representation, and profile of your firm in each service area required and the client’s industry or markets
- Any special techniques or strategies used/developed by your firm
- Evidence of the effectiveness of your recommended strategies and approaches
- How can you best demonstrate your track record of success?
- How many files will each lawyer handle?
- What is the right number of files for this type of work?
- Geographical coverage – appropriateness of the location/s at which you offer service
- How you’ll handle regional matters and work outside your normal home patch
- How you” manage the account
- Who will be your key liaison point?
- What service or client satisfaction guarantees will you offer?
This checklist will help you work through issues of fees, pricing, and billing when developing your proposal.
- Your team leader, his/her credentials for the role, and how s/he will relate to the client
- What you plan to contribute to the relationship, besides technical expertise
- Where you can add distinct value to the client’s organisation: the network of useful contacts to whom you will facilitate introductions and related services which the client will access through you
- “Feel good” aspects of being a client of your firm – and how that differs from the alternatives
- Value-added services you will offer – and deliver
- Techniques you propose to obtain client feedback
- How you’ll evaluate you client’s satisfaction – measures or indicators you will use
- How the client satisfaction feeds into your internal appraisal, recognition, and reward systems
- How you will deal with problems and issues which arise
- What action you promise if your client is dissatisfied
- What else you’ll do to establish a relationship with the client which ensures they derive maximum value
- Examples of other clients with whom you’ve developed similar relationships and evidence of the benefits to these clients of your relationship – testimonials, references, case studies
- What this relationship means to you and the “price” you’re prepared to pay for it – how important the client will be to you
- How far you’ll go to protect and advance your client’s interests
- The difference they’ll notice in dealing with you and your firm.
Be clearly and convincingly painting a picture of the working relationship you have in mind, demonstrating that you’ll constructively engage problems, and showing downstream benefits your client will derive, you will vastly improve your prospects of success.
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Remember, nothing is so complex that it cannot be explained simply Albert Einstein was spot-on when he said “nothing is so complex that it cannot be explained simply”. Tenders, bids, proposals, and informal pitches for business are not times to show how clever and capable you are by using legalese (I’m looking at you lawyers), […]