Winning Proposals

The essential Guide for law firms and Legal services providers
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WINNING PROPOSALS helps bid teams to focus on the critical issues affecting the outcome of tenders - and to hone the diverse range of skills involved in achieving the best results.

Law firms and legal services providers today have to compete for business. RFPs (Requests for Proposal) or tenders have become the norm. The winning proposals deliver millions in fees, drive partner prestige and power, and shift the momentum in major law firms. The international trade organization for legal procurement, Buying Legal Council, and consultant John de Forte of de Forte Associates, have teamed to create: WINNING PROPOSALS – The Essential Guide for Law Firms and Legal Services Providers. 

Drawing on his 30 years’ experience, de Forte clearly explains how to get it right. “The stakes are high for both law firms and corporations. Service providers need to show how they will create value on the contract. This book is designed to provide practical guidance to all fee earners involved in proposals, as well as a source of reference for the management team and for business development. It is based on many years' experience of helping firms to improve their win rates.”

“As the voice of the client, we believe that buyers and sellers of legal services have to understand each other and work together to create more value for the client. This book is meant to help firms to become the firm or supplier of choice, and will lead them through the ever-more competitive marketplace,” says Dr. Silvia Hodges Silverstein, executive director of the Buying Legal Council and publisher of the book.

WINNING PROPOSALS provides insight into how clients can best manage the bid function, how to establish rules for responding to opportunities, and guides readers through the initial fact-finding and intelligence phase to developing the bid strategy, preparing the submission and presentation. The content is organized as a reference volume with detailed examples and checklists, including:

• Understanding how buyers think: the factors which are most influential in the selection of legal advisers, and how the procurement environment is changing;

• Managing the bid function to ensure that the right practices are applied consistently cross the firm;

• Using intelligence on the target organisation to develop a winning proposition;

• Developing the bid strategy and a compelling case for being selected;

• Maximising scores from the evaluation of the submission;

• Making presentations memorable; and

• Improving performance over the longer term.

Common Proposal Myths: Click on the link to read the post
Myth No. 1 | To get a good score in a tender, just write about the client
Myth No. 2 | There are no prizes from coming second
Myth No. 3 | You can always trust a good speaker to give a good presentation


Listen to John's interview with Nicole Giantonio on Leftfoot Podcast: You Can't Win if You Don't Play
Listen to John's interview with Ari Kaplan on Reinventing Professionals Podcast: Winning Proposals when Buying Legal


Read Ari Kaplan's article in the ABA Journal: How to create a winning law firm RFP
Read Claire Bushey's article in Crain's Chicago Business: Bye-bye, billable hour? Law firms use Big Data to set fees.