A really good proposal has three key characteristics.  It stands out and neither looks nor reads like the others.  It has a focused point of view and takes control of the subject.  Most importantly, it is client-centric.  Good proposals are primarily about the client and not about your law firm.

“Lawyers like to talk about themselves and what they do,” said Darling.  “A proposal gives them a chance to do this.  Most stuff a proposal with boilerplate information about the firm, its accomplishments and its lawyers.   I have seen proposals that consist of 60 percent partner bios.”

This is a mistake.  A good proposal should be all about the client, the problems that the client is facing and how the firm can help solve those problems.  “In fact, I often recommend that a firm not even mention itself in the first three pages of any proposal,” said Darling.

“Any discussion of your firm, your people and your solution should be used only as supporting evidence, as an illustration of how you can help the client,” said Darling.  “It should always be included in the context of how you help clients save money, make money or make their customers happy.  Otherwise, this information is just decoration and does not carry its persuasive weight.”

This is part four of a seven-part article.  For the entire article:


RFPs:  To play or not to play, that is the question