Are you doing client pitches to companies with in-house lawyers? If so, you must read: A General Counsel’s View of Law Firm Marketing Pitches: ‘Blah, Blah, Blah’. If you are a long time reader, you might recall that I have written on this subject before.
Most law firm pitches look alike. To use a Seth Godin analogy, there are no “purple cows” out there. According to the post, in pitches law firms try to be everything to everyone rather than focused on what they do well.
How do you get better at doing a client pitch? The answer is obvious: you practice and get feedback. It is better to be anxious while making a practice client pitch, so you will be less anxious when you are making a real pitch to a client.
In my coaching program, I am a big proponent of “learning by doing.” Yesterday, a group I coach did a client pitch to a fictitious client I created. This is typically one of the most valuable group coaching sessions, and was the case yesterday.
We created four teams and sent each team the fictions client’s web homepage, a summary of recent events and a letter from the company general counsel outlining what she wanted in the pitch. I also sent each team some articles on client pitches I thought would be valuable.
Prior to our meeting, each team had to do some research on the firm’s capabilities in certain practice areas, the firm’s views on alternative billing arrangements and the firm’s diversity program.
We gave each team 20 minutes to make a pitch to a business owner played by me, and the company general counsel, played very well by a firm partner. During each presentation, the general counsel asked each pitch team challenging questions.
After all four teams had made their presentations, we discussed and critiqued each team’s opening, main portion and closing. We focused both on what they said and their style. We encouraged each team to ask more questions and engage the client more when they give an actual client pitch.
In my experience, both giving pitches and watching lawyers do it, I have come up with a list of 25 points for you to consider when you are preparing for the pitch. Here is Client Pitch Presentations: Be Sure to Answer. I believe if you answer the relevant questions in this list, your presentation will not be “blah, blah, blah.”
On Monday, I will share with you ideas on creating a mock one-on-one meeting with a new potential client. Once again, the idea is to practice that kind of meeting and get feedback.