When asked why our accounting firm’s service team won the competition for a large tax pledge at a global hotel chain, the CFO’s attorney smiled and said, “RevPAR! Only your team seemed to know RevPar.
For those who don’t know what RevPAR is (and I certainly didn’t know it before our sales campaign launched), it’s Revenue Per Available Room – a metric calculated by multiplying the average daily rate of a room by its occupancy rate. . It’s a number that every individual in the executive suite monitors, and it’s the benchmark by which investors measure the company’s competitive position.
How did we know the RevPAR? Great research! From the moment the CFO told us why we won, I have never doubted that research is just as important to sales success as social awareness, listening skills, presentation skills and polite perseverance. . That’s why my co-author Silvia Coulter and I devote so many pages to the subject in our recently published book, “SAM-LEGAL – Turning Key Clients in Strategic accounts.
The amount of business information available today is staggering, if not overwhelming. Fortunately, most law firms already have access to the primary sources of information necessary for exceptional business research. improving a law firm’s search function rarely requires significant additional expense. Many leading research companies start by cataloging all potential sources of relevant business information; assess what should be retained, increased or removed; then establish a “standard format” for research delivery, recognizing that more specific responses can be developed as individual needs arise.
While few additional dollars are needed to elevate a sales research program, we believe some investment is required – including identifying an individual or small team to manage the research process and, above all, to synthesize information for ease of use. by the sales and service teams. Having and demonstrating that your sales or service team has this information on hand is one of the best ways to meet one of today’s biggest buyer demands: “Understand the business!”
Customers are busy. The firm’s lawyers are busy. Frankly, the vast amounts of information that can be produced is neither desired nor digestible by the busy attorneys of a sales or service team. That’s why we advocate that a seasoned, business-savvy professional be assigned to “make sense” of all the information that will be generated and connect the dots. Do not provide unfiltered raw data. Do the hard work to make it lawyer-ready and actionable.
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree,” said the world’s most famous rail splitter, Abraham Lincoln, “and I’ll spend the first four sharpening the axe.” This is our recommended rule of thumb for business research. Invest in it from the start. The resulting sales slicing will turn out to be much easier and faster.