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Prepared by, The KCALA Business Partner Committee KCALA PRESENTS… TOP 10 REASONS TO BE A BUSINESS PARTNER Top 10 Reasons to be a Business Partner
Business Partner Program Purpose and Benefits Purpose Enhancing the business relationships between Business Partners and KCALA Chapter members. Increasing networking opportunities for both Business Partners and members. Assisting the KCALA in paying for quality education throughout the year by supporting KCALA with your sponsorship fees.
Business Partner Program Purpose and Benefits Benefits The opportunity to develop new and lasting relationships. Quality one-on-one face time with administrators in a relaxed social setting. The opportunity to network with other Business Partners.
KCALA CHAPTER DEMOGRAPHICS 10 or less attorneys25% 11 to 20 attorneys26% 21 to 35 attorneys16% 36 to 50 attorneys 9% 51 to 100 attorneys12% Over 100 attorneys12%
NETWORKING VS. SELLING Network with Administrators to best understand their diverse needs related to size, practice areas and structure. Dont sell, network in order to establish business partner relationships with KCALA administrators enhancing your referral prospects.
UNDERSTANDING HOW TO WORK WITH LEGAL ADMINISTRATORS First and foremost, Administrators are people too! Administrators can have between 2 and 100+ bosses depending on firm size. Listen and learn about their needs. Become a resource to the Administrators you meet. They rely heavily on key vendors as a resource to make firms work from an operational standpoint.
TOP 10 10 Ways to Play successfully in the sandbox with Legal Administrators
No. 10 Do your homework. Use Martindale Hubbell, Web sites and other sources so that you learn all you can about the firm and the legal market. Tip Impress us by knowing a little about our firm. Dont expect the administrator to spend time talking about general firm information. Use your time to discover what the firm needs and how you can take care of those needs. Fit your product to our needs, dont expect us to change our needs to fit your product or your company.
No. 9 Talk about trends youre seeing in the legal industry. Tip We always like to hear about trends from the vendors perspective. Take advantage of your opportunity to be our eyes and ears.
No. 8 You dont usually get a second chance to make a good first impression. Tip Pressing for an appointment may backfire on you. Its always easier to get new business from existing customer referrals. Just like a good movie, we talk about the vendors we like and that help us deliver great services to our clients. Hard selling to an administrator who does not have a use for your product/service will only leave a bad taste in their mouth.
No. 7 Be direct, to the point, and make sure your initial deal is your best deal. Tip There is nothing more frustrating than going back and forth between competing vendors attempting to get the best price. Give us your best price right out of the gate and tell us so. You may not get another chance to put your best deal on the table.
No. 6 Good news and bad news travels fast. Tip Although ALA is a large organization, its still a small world. Dropping the name of another administrator to get your foot in the door isnt always a good idea. One of the biggest ALA member benefits is the ability to find out which products and services other firms have used. We do contact each other to obtain information about vendor experiences.
No. 5 Please offer references of other law firms. Tip Dont wait for us to ask for them and dont seem surprised when we do. We have a unique industry and you need to demonstrate your experience and expertise with law firms on a local, regional and national basis.
No. 4 Dont show up unannounced! Send us resource information about your company and services. We all have resource files, and even if we dont have a current need, well file your information for future reference. Tip A more effective approach would be to mail, fax, voicemail or email information regarding your products/services. When emailing, be mindful of your subject lines so that your message will not get blocked by the firms anti-spam software.
No. 3 Referrals from other administrators will make a better impression than using a partners name. Tip Using a partners name (especially when you dont really know the partner) when calling an administrator to make an appointment may initially get you in the door, but you will have a very difficult time maintaining a good working relationship. We all know most partners have relatives that sell something we need.
No. 2 Ask administrators what they would like your next step to be – and respect that. Tip Law firms do not make quick decisions. Let us rephrase that – the law firm decision making process is extremely slow and grueling. Hang in there. Ask us how often and in what form we prefer you to follow up. Be honest with us and well be honest with you.
No. 1 Make an effort to understand our job. Tip Administrators are typically responsible for everything from plumbing to partners: financial management and office operations; controlling expenses; purchasing furniture and fixtures, equipment, and supplies; hiring, firing and managing expectations of all staff; setting policies, relationships with vendors, landlords, banks, payroll services, getting the bills out, getting money in, etc. Many are also involved in management and politics at the attorney or partner level. Generally speaking, if its not billable, its our responsibility.
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