Non-Horror Vendor Stories: Successful Relationships

My last two posts focussed on tips for vendor demos and vendor horror stories. I promised, though, I would be fair to the many excellent vendors in our ecosystem. In this final vendor-related post, I relay some “above and beyond” stories I’ve collected.

Coming Through with the Business Case

As our clients push us to provide better metrics on our legal services, so too have we turned this focus inwards. It’s hard to get a business case or project approved without some good numbers to back up the ask. This is where vendors can, and do, save the day.

About a year ago, I worked with a cross-functional group within a firm to evaluate market offerings on a particular solution type. One was a clear standout and we recommended the firm move forward with a purchase and implementation. But nothing could happen until we provided good evidence the solution would save time (i.e., for a law firm, money). The vendor had, at the ready, beautiful case studies, testimonials, references, and most importantly, impressive proof – not just anecdotal evidence – from its customers that the ROI of the solution exceeded expectations. The vendor was able to show that its solution allowed existing customers to re-deploy valuable billable hours to higher-value work. This, more than anything else, got the PO signed.

  • Vendors that go steps beyond simply showing their customers’ logos come across as partners
  • Vendors can seal the deal by providing rigorous ROI models for firms to test and replicate

Becoming a Trusted Advisor

You know people trust you when they ask you to give a presentation! I’ve had the pleasure of listening to vendor partners of different law firms on several separate occasions. They had developed a stellar rapport with their law firms, turning themselves into strategic partners. Vendors are an untapped source of knowledge, with unique views on the future of the legal industry. As well, the most successful vendors are themselves successful businesses, and we can learn lessons from how they work, develop employees, and communicate.

  • Are there internal presentations and memos that cab be leverages as a value-added training or other information service for your law firm customers?
  • Offer to speak at CLE events.

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