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Ask the expert: How to navigate a law firm's IT committee

Pitching your services to a law firm's IT committee can be challenging, but there are ways to get your message across, according to Andrew Harrover of Matrix Computer Consulting.

In this Ask the Expert, Andrew Harrover, CEO of Matrix Computer Consulting and an ASCII Group Member Since 2012, discusses how channel partners can successfully sell their services to law firms that often convene an IT committee to make buying decisions.

How do you navigate the law firm decision-making process?

Andrew Harrover: Conducting a successful sales process with law firms can be among the most challenging sales to bring to a close. After all, you're trying to sell a complicated, technical service to highly educated individuals who are fellow technical professionals who just happen to practice law. Successful sales efforts require carefully crafted, digestible messaging.

Law firms, as often as not, will form an IT committee to handle the selection process. Everyone on the committee is generally excited to be there but often lacsk the time to actually attend committee meetings or even read collateral. The meetings where you pitch your services are often chaotic with attendees taking calls and/or actually leaving the meeting. Having all the members of that committee stay in the pitch meeting is crucial but very difficult.

Given all of that, how do you successfully sell your services to law firms? Here are three recommendations:

  1. Come to your pitch meeting with a complete copy of your presentation and proposal for every member of the IT committee. This way, even if they have to leave or are entirely absent, they will get all of the information the attendees have.
  2. Get contact information for every member of the committee. Ensure that you follow up with all of them, not just a managing partner or a paralegal. Yes, the managing partner will probably make the final decision but if most of his IT committee is on board with a particular solution, he is going to be hard pressed to go in a different direction. If you are communicating directly with those team members, they can contact you directly.
  3. The best of advice is the last: schedule your pitch meeting at a separate location. If you do not have your own conference room, then rent a room at a local restaurant. This will get the members of the committee away from their office and the endless phone calls and messages being slipped in the door.

Are you dealing with an IT committee or another potential hurdle in the sales cycle? If you are a channel partner (i.e., VAR, MSPs, SI, IT consultant and so on) with a sales and marketing tip for the community, email John Moore, senior site editor.

Next Steps

Learn how to overcome customer objections when seeking new business

Find out about IT security opportunities in the legal market

What are the rules of etiquette when serving on an IT committee?

This was last published in October 2016

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An IT committee may present an obstacle when selling into a law firm. What other troublesome organizational structures do you encounter when looking for new business?
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