With formal procurement becoming more commonplace we are constantly being asked how lawyers and accountants can convert more pitches into clients so here is a very easy way to win more tenders, pitches, and beauty parades.
All you need to do is provide evidence you’ve acted for clients that match the profile of the individual or organisation you are pitching to.
This is known as social proofing.
Social proofing is a term coined by author Robert Cialdini in his book Influence. It’s the idea that people copy the actions of others in an attempt emulate behaviour in certain situations.
How can lawyers and accountants use social proofing to win more tenders?
There are 5 practical ways lawyers, accountants and attorneys can use social proofing to improve their pitch conversion rates:
1. Create a capability statement
Traditional brochures that list your service lines are not particularly effective. Prospects know what you do. What they need is the confidence that you can do what you say and will be able to work with you.
A capability statement is a much more effective way to provide the reassurance your prospects need. A capability statement highlights the work you do, the clients you’ve worked with and some detail about how you added value for them.
2. Use case studies
Case studies demonstrate you can do what you say you can do. Using relevant case studies gives prospects more confidence in the claims you make during the pitch process.
To structure your case studies, use the CAR process – Context, Action, Result.
Context – why were you brought in?
Action – what did you do for your client?
Result – what (positive stuff) happened because of the work you did?
3. Use client testimonials
Create a system to collect testimonials from clients after a case, matter, or file is closed and encourage more clients to review you on Trustpilot or Google Reviews.
You can then repurpose these testimonials on your firm’s website, in your brochures and, of course, in your pitch documents.
4. Ask for LinkedIn recommendations
Whatever your views on LinkedIn, there are 3 facts you can’t ignore:
It is the social media platform your clients, referrers, and other professional contacts use.
Used properly LinkedIn is a good way to stay visible in between meeting or speaking to your clients and contacts.
LinkedIn is not going away. It is here to stay!
How can LinkedIn help you to capitalise on the power of social proof?
There’s a feature on LinkedIn called ‘LinkedIn recommendations’ on your profile page. Your contacts are more likely to visit your profile page than they are your firm’s website when they’re checking you out. This provides you with an opportunity to showcase your previous clients and invite your contacts to endorse you.
All you need to do is periodically (say every 6 months) ask a few clients if they would be kind enough to write a 2 or 3 line testimonial for you using the LinkedIn recommendation feature. In our experience your clients will be very happy to do this.
5. Invite prospects to informal events with your existing clients
You should be having informal contact with your key clients outside of open files/cases/projects.
One time-efficient way of doing this and attracting new clients at the same time is to invite prospects to social events like quizzes, curries or drinks after work.
Your clients will automatically say nice things about you while they chat with your prospects and this will help them form a positive impression of you ahead of the tender deadline and which again helps lawyers and accountants win more tenders.