Share your best ideas with your best clients.

When do you share your best ideas? BTI Consulting, a group known for its deep research in client satisfaction and preferences, reports that:

“[j]ust 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.”

Being the firm that came up with an amazing nugget is great, but as the BTI article continues, “why wait until an RFP to strut your stuff?” RFPs may be a necessary part of business, but preserving—and perhaps expanding—client relationships is critical to a prosperous practice.  (The article is directed to large firms, but the principles adhere to small firms as well.)

Read the article for a suggestion on how you can do better by proactively sharing your best ideas with your best clients. In the meantime, ask yourself…

  • How often do you offer the “scintillating idea, suggestion or nugget” in an RFP? How can you increase the frequency?
  • How often do you proactively bring a fresh idea, insight, or approach to your clients? The BTI article focuses on corporate counsel, but regardless of your practice area, you must spend time thinking about what will make things better for your clients. For example, a litigator might recognize a trend in litigation and offer that to clients to help them avoid unnecessary suits.

If you tend not to have repeat business from core clients, identify your ideal client profile and ask what would blow that kind of client away. In other words, is there a new process or resource that would be incredibly helpful?

  • More globally, what do you do when you’re trying to win business that you might do to strengthen the relationship with your current clients? Building a relationship with a current client will, in general, deliver much better results than trying to land a new client. (That doesn’t mean you need not pursue new business, though.)

Offering something eye-catching in an RFP is good, but bringing the nugget to a current client is even better. Read the BTI Consulting article, then apply it.

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