Relationships + Insight = Opportunity (Part 2)

Relationships + Insight = Opportunity (Part 2)

Following on from last month's post 'Relationships + Insight = Opportunity (Part 1)', Kevin Wheeler looks at how to build a 'knowledge pool' on your clients to keep you ahead of the pack.

So, you’ve identified the key decision-makers at the client, ascertained their level of influence in determining which law firms are used by their organisation, and mapped the strength of relationships that the lawyers on your client service team have with these individuals. Now the client service team need to pool their intelligence on the client and conduct additional research to build the necessary insight which will allow them to fully exploit all the opportunities that exist at the client. At Wheeler Associates, we call this building a ‘knowledge pool’.

The other components of this knowledge pool are:

  • Analysis of the client’s business
  • Client perception and needs
  • Billing and margin analysis
  • Competitor activity

Analysis of the client’s business

Understanding the client’s business and industry is a basic requirement for providing effective client service by a lawyer. Sitting back and waiting for instructions is lazy. The most effective lawyers make it their job to be aware of their client’s plans, and developments in their industry, so that they can proactively offer advice.

The client service team need to be able to answer the following questions:

  • What is the nature of the client’s business and how do they make money?
  • How is the business structured?
  • What strategy are the directors pursuing for the business?
  • What issues is the business facing?
  • As a result, what legal services does the business require?
  • Are these requirements likely to change in the future and, if so, how?

Client perception and needs

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About the author:

Kevin Wheeler has been advising professional services firms on all aspects of marketing and business development for nearly 30 years. As a consultant he helps firms to manage and grow their key clients as well as to win new ones. As a certified coach with WABC he works with partners and those approaching partnership to improve their BD skills.