“What do you do to build valuable relationships with your key clients and prospects?”

As one of the world’s leading law firms, this question strikes to the core of DLA Piper’s marketing challenge. Being such a large international player doesn’t change the fact that client relationships are so important. 

Developing long-term relationships is essential to the continued status of the firm as a world leader. 

We wanted to explore what successful leaders were doing in this space where companies need to build 1-2-1 relationships with the people that matter within their customer’s organisations.

Below is the answer from Mark Franklin of DLA Piper.

Supporting partners & senior business leaders in building valuable relationships

We’ve tried to encourage our partners to have more of a relationship with our clients to understand why people are asking us questions and gain a better insight into the market, ultimately giving us the opportunity to deliver a better solution.

The way we’ve encouraged these relationships and developed this way of working is to build teams around clients, bringing together business development and account managers so that partners aren’t on their own. These teams work to gain an understanding of the client, their needs now, where they are looking to go in the future and the wider marketplace, including the competition.

Part of what we are doing is encouraging partners to contact clients on non-chargeable matters, moving the relationship away from just billable hours into taking a proactive attitude to the client's problems and challenges and providing them information.

Where the support team has a relationship, they are contributing as well, demonstrating an understanding of the client and offering them something useful in the form of information.

As we move forward, we are bringing together the ideas and learnings for one client and applying those learnings across that sector and in the wider market. 

This means that we are widening the teams we are building around the different accounts. We want to build a holistic view. We don’t want to be in silos, we want to be seeing what everyone else is doing.

One of the ways we are trying to reach our clients is encouraging people to share their expertise across an appropriate platform. We want to be showing the client the opportunity and the potential benefit of choosing DLA Piper.

We're doing this by getting our expert opinion out there into the big wide world.