Is Your Law Firm RFP-Ready (Part 3)

With your attorneys focusing their business development actions on the right relationships, and barriers to your firm’s entry into RFP processes identified and removed, will your firm be RFP-Ready when the request for proposal comes?

The steps you take to ensure that your law firm is RFP-ready equips firm leadership and MBD professionals with the knowledge and detail they need in the RFP process. Firms who understand their position within the competitive landscape and are better able to describe their services and value in a persuasive way. 

Deliver a Persuasive and Profitable Proposal

RFP-readiness equips a firm with everything it needs to fully evaluate the RFP and make well-reasoned decisions, starting with deciding whether or not to even to pursue the opportunity. If the decision is made to go forward with a response, the successful firm will pair their practice differentiators and demonstrable value with the needs of the issuing company.

Determining these needs goes beyond reading the RFP and filling in the blanks. The RFP response process is just one part of a conversation with the issuing entity. Your business development efforts up to this point, if you’re doing them correctly, will inform your responses and help you reach decision-makers on a personal AND practical level. You need to know what clients or similar entities value BEFORE you craft your proposal.

Most RFPs include a period in which responding firms are able to ask questions. Successful firms use this opportunity to ask clarifying questions and begin to demonstrate their expertise. At the conclusion of the Q&A period, the questions and answers are supplied to all participating firms. Although the identities of competing firms aren’t disclosed, this is an important opportunity to assess the competition. Are they asking the kind of questions that show they don’t really have the experience to land the work (no matter how inexpensive they are) or are they too beginning to demonstrate their expertise and creativity? 

Speaking of rates, in a typical economy, the spread between the highest bid and the lowest bid is in the 30% range. In the current economy, the spread is much wider. In some cases it is more than 60%. More firms are willing to discount more deeply. Firms offering less steep discounts need to work harder on their proposals to quantify their experience and clearly define their value. The firm that pairs favorable rates with a demonstrable advantage for the issuing entity will advance, leaving unprepared firms behind no matter how low their rates are.

As a veteran law firm business development leader, I have managed, drafted, and finalized hundreds of law firm pitches and proposals including responses to dozens and dozens of RFPs. I know first-hand the value of RFP-readiness. Firms which are organized and actively engaged developing and maintaining experience databases, value propositions, diversity programs, alternative fee arrangements, robust conflict check procedures, etc. before the RFP opportunity arrives allows them to focus on what’s most important: becoming the indisputable choice in a crowded field of legal services providers.

Contact me to help get your firm RFP-Ready.

Published by Kristo Sween

Law firm marketing and business development professional, RFP guru, voice actor, healthy lifestyle advocate.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: