legal business development news

Pitching: ‘Show me don’t tell me’ – is video tendering the future?

Happy New Year to all and welcome to 2018!

One of the more interesting articles I read over the holiday period profiled a Dutch company called Pitchsome.

Heard of them?

Maybe, but I doubt many have.

But they may just end up being a catalyst for of one of the biggest changes to the legal industry in 2018 – namely, how we tender for work in the future.

Under the tagline, “Show, Don’t Tell,” Pitchsome’s business model is a simple one: Show me how your product works in a video and don’t write reams and reams of marketing bluff and expect me to read it in order for me find out what you can do for me/help me fix my problem.

Supporting this business model, the article states that:

Cisco’s Visual Networking Index says video will account for 80 percent of all consumer internet traffic by 2019.

And that got me thinking:

80% of all consumer internet traffic by 2019 will be Visual Networking + pretty much 100% of Government and 70+% of ASX Top100 companies have legal panels in place

so, how long will it be before these government departments/agencies and companies decide to replace the long and tedious word/excel document tender responses with video tenders that ask law firms to:

  • profile key team members,
  • white-board how the law firm can assist the client,
  • evidence how Legal Project Management can be used,
  • visually explain the steps in the pricing,
  • have client referee testimonials,
  • have video of the pro-bono and community activities the firm is involved in, and
  • have other examples of how the value adds being offered are being implemented by other clients in the tender’s industry sector?

Will never happen I’m hearing many in Australia reading this say. “It’s not professional”. “It’s nothing short an advert”, etc., etc.

But I’m left feeling: what, just what, would have happen to the industry if those of us who started down this path in 2008 (and those of you who were involved know exactly what I’m talking about) continued the journey?

It very well may have been disruptive. And that word is a real catchphrase at the moment.

So maybe, just maybe, we will be seeing video tendering by the end of 2019 – and that leaves me asking: what are you doing now to make sure you can met this need?

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To succeed in the future, law firms need to specialise

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Over the course of the past week I have seen two news items that include comments by prominent industry experts advocating that for law firms to success in the future they will need to specialize.

The first item was a short [1 minute 40] video interview of David Lat (editor of Above the Law) titled More ‘Shakeout’ Coming for Big Law, Says Above the Law Editor in which (the recently married – congratulations David) Lat touches on the issue that for firms to survive going forward, they will need to get much better at the specialization game.

The second item, from the same day (11 September), was an article (‘How future-ready is your law firm?‘) on the Australasian Lawyer website that included comments by Keynote speech presenter Jordan Furlong of Edge International and Tim Williams of Ignition Consulting Group at last week’s ALPMA (Australasian Legal Practice Management Association) Annual Conference on the Gold Coast (at which I was not a participant).

In essence the article promulgates the experts opinion that the “future of law firms will be specialisation, rather than expansion” and that “In reality, clients have changed from wanting to be loyal to a full service firm to shopping around for the best firm suited to a particular project.

Both the article and Lat’s interview video raise an interesting issue and I have to say that while I largely agree with William’s view that:

“Buyers [today] are seeking best in class solutions to their problems. They no longer need to fall back on a generalist firm that they can count on for everything in their hometown.”

it has yet to be fully explained to me why some, but certainly not all, full service firms cannot also claim that they provide “best in class solutions to their clients’ problems”.