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When law firms pitch you for business, help them avoid the three most important gaffes

This post may roll the eyes of my law department readers, but give me a chance. Research by the Wellesley Hills Group appears in Prof’l. Legal Mgt. Week, 3rd Annual Issue 2009 at 47. The three most common errors of lawyers when they try to sell are “Did not listen to me,” “Did not understand my needs,” and “Did not respond to my requests in a timely manner.”

All three of those common blunders you as an in-house lawyer listening to the pitch can address and improve. Tell a non-stop talking partner who blowhards his way forward to stop talking! Tell him or her you need to make some clear points about your needs and you want them repeated to you. Second, start the session not with the partner extolling the firm’s virtues but with you laying out clearly what you want done and how. Third, if you need something by a date, set the deadline and enforce it. You will benefit if they follow your guidance.