Profit Through Management

Menu Close


Profit Through Management (PTM) provides to law firms a complete range of management consultancy services including Marketing across the following fields:

Profit Through Management (PTM) provides to law firms a complete range of management consultancy services including Marketing across the following fields:

Planning for tenders:

Increasingly, large client accounts are won by tenders. They are time consuming and often distract senior team members from billable work. They are a difficult yet vital aspect of the business of any firm who undertakes institutional work.

There is of course more to planning for tenders than just drafting a tender document:

  • What is the firm’s plan to make itself known to a potential client from whom it hopes to receive an invitation to submit a tender? Has the firm thought of including a potential client in an industry round-table discussion with existing clients or has it invited it to take part in a survey (a variation of a qualitative client survey)?
  • Having received an invitation, should the firm invest in pitching at all? Should the firm apply for appointment to all lines for which its skill base allows?
  • Who is to comprise the tender submission team? How are duties to be divided and co-ordinated?
  • Does the firm rely on in-house skills or does it look externally for input in completing the tender?
  • Having been appointed to a panel, a firm should be planning for the next tender almost straight away. What is the plan for ensuring re-appointment?

Writing a tender document is part only of the tender process. PTM helps firms in devising an overall tender strategy as well as providing input into the completion of individual tenders.

Qualitative client surveys:

Qualitative client surveys are one of the most important marketing tools available to law firms. The surprise is how seldom they are used and, when attempted, the weakness of execution.

The best form of qualitative client survey is one which is conducted by an external agency. Key contacts of the firm are interviewed. The contacts may be people who routinely engage the firm directly on their own account or as part of a client organisation; or supervisors of those who deal directly with the firm; or senior decision-makers. The key is to get inside the mind of the client and find out what it really thinks of the firm.

Qualitative client surveys are sophisticated and not to be confused with the feedback scores so commonly sought these days from nearly every service provider including the local car dealer or mobile phone reseller.

Qualitative client surveys are best conducted face to face. While the interviewer will have some basic questions (designed in collaboration with the law firm) the dynamics of the interview will allow relevant issues to be explored more deeply and for any new issues to be explored.

Qualitative client surveys are meant to gain honest and detailed appraisals by key client contacts. They also, on occasion, result in advance knowledge of business development opportunities. Clients almost always comment that the fact that the firm is investing in conducting these surveys underscores the value that the firm places on their relationship.

Of course, it may not be that such a survey will result in good news. Paradoxically, that of itself is not a bad thing. If a client contact expresses a negative comment in a survey, the firm has an ideal opportunity to show that it listens and is prepared to act. The post-survey action plan is an integral part of the whole process.

PTM assists law firms in both the design and carrying out of qualitative client surveys.

Client development programs:

Just as effective marketing strategy should be adapted to meet changing conditions, so too the law firm needs to keep pace with what is happening in its relationship with all on-going clients, especially institutional clients.

For example,

  • How many points of contact does the law firm’s team have within the client? How many people within the firm operate as points of contact for the client? In other words, how extensively meshed are the two entities?
  • Who comprises the client development program (CDP) team?
  • What is the CDP team’s plan for such things as:
    1. What is the value of current billings and new instructions? How do those figures compare with comparative periods in prior years? What are the reasons for any material change (and any negative change in particular)? Are there resourcing or other issues that require consideration as a result of such change?
    2. Who is moving up with the client organisation? Who’s moving sideways? Who’s come in? Who’s moving out?
    3. When was the client last the subject of a qualitative client survey? Was the post-survey plan adopted? What has been the result?
    4. What is the frequency of training for client personnel and organised social interaction between members of the respective entities?
  • Are there new offerings that can be submitted to the client, such as a new software tool? If so, what is the plan for maximising the impact of that submission?
  • What is the protocol for review of CDPs by senior management of the firm?
  • Are CDPs for different clients compared by senior management? Can one team within the firm learn something from another?

All these questions and more need to be considered in developing a client development program. PTM assists law firms in designing and implementing effective client development programs.