#BizDevTip: Take a copy of the client’s annual report to your pitch meeting…

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Last week (12 May 2015) the Business of Law on the Bloomberg website posted snippets from its most recent conversation with a leading in-house lawyer, this time Teri Plummer McClure, Chief Legal Officer and Senior Vice President of Human Resources at UPS (‘UPS GC: Stop Talking About Your Firm, Tell Me About Ours‘).

Have to say that I’m really beginning to enjoy this growing collection of discussions with leading general counsel and in-house counsel, but the take-out from this latest discussion was without doubt the following exchange between the interviewer and McClure:

Big Law Business: If a firm wanted to start a relationship with you, what’s the best way?

McClure: The best way is for them is to see where our business is going, and identify opportunities where they can add value to what we’re doing. It frustrates me to no end when a law firm comes and does a pitch for us, and the only thing they talk about is what the law firm does. I refuse to sit through most of them these days.

If they don’t know or haven’t taken the time to understand our business, the direction our business is headed, new business opportunities we might be pursuing, and then show us how they can add value, then I really don’t have time to sit through that pitch.

Wow, not sure you can get a much clearer message than that!

So, for all those law firm partners out there who like to go to pitch presentations (or beauty parades or tramps or whatever you call these in your firm) with target and actual clients with reams and reams of capability statements all about your firm and its various practice areas and service offerings, along with the lawyer profiles of everyone you think they may ask about – even if they are all done up in nice presentation packs with ribbons around them – here it is again, not from your business development/marketing manager/director, but direct from Teri Plummer McClure, Chief Legal Officer and Senior Vice President of Human Resources at UPS:

 “It frustrates me to no end when a law firm comes and does a pitch for us, and the only thing they talk about is what the law firm does. I refuse to sit through most of them these days.”

So here’s a tip*: next time you are invited to do a pitch presentation to a client or target client, why not have a copy of the client’s annual report next to you on the desk…

… just a thought.

[*but make sure you have read it of course!]

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