Winning new work: the power of thought

Winning new work: the power of thought

When lawyers are faced with the challenge of winning new work, their biggest obstacle is usually displacing an incumbent legal adviser. The problem is made more difficult when you realise that most clients are reasonably satisfied with their lawyers and their inertia to change is large. So, short of waiting around until the incumbents drop the ball and make their client dissatisfied – and trust me, you will wait a long time – the only way to really influence the client to consider changing is to make them believe that there are extra benefits to be had from changing to you as their legal adviser.

The best way to achieve this – and no you don’t want to start discounting to win work – is to impress upon the client your interest in and knowledge of their business and industry and to demonstrate how these insights enable you to suggest better solutions than those being offered by the incumbents, if these are even being proactive and coming forward with such solutions.

Demonstrating to clients over time an understanding of the issues which are coming down the track towards them and showing how your advice might help them to mitigate the risks or exploit the opportunities is known as Thought Leadership. If executed well, it is the most effective business development tool available to lawyers.

Historically, the accountants (and among these th

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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.