Driving Growth: Building Your Ability to Lead the Lawyers to Bring in More Profitable Business (LMA Annual Program Review)

This deep dive session entitled “Driving Growth: Building Your Ability to Lead the Lawyers to Bring in More Profitable Business,” encourages us to take many “walks with a purpose” on the journey of developing business. Led by Mo Bunnell, Founder & CEO of Bunnell Idea Group, this session’s key theme is that business development is, in fact, a learnable skill. Business development is complex, and anything that is complex must be learned and earned.

Walking Around the Brain

The session began with attendees walking around the room, looking for cards that described our personalities. The ability to understand one’s own personality and tendencies towards thinking and communication are key in beginning any successful business development program. Working through a module which evaluates personality traits similar to that of a DiSC assessment began the figurative discussion of “walking around the brain.” Understanding how lawyers think and how to adjust their thinking as it relates to clients and prospects is paramount.

Walking Through the Process

Once you understand you how think, how lawyers think, and how your clients think, subscribe to a system of building business. Identify opportunities and relationships that are most important to the lawyer. The goal is to understand where they are with the relationship and identify the next step. We must walk them through this process and set a weekly schedule to review status and determine follow up with very specific to dos.

Walking Down a Path

The ultimate goal is to develop a process where your prospect walks from being a target to becoming a raving fan of your work. While it takes time to make this journey, following a system of identified steps helps to compress the timeline of converting a prospect into actual business. If you know where you are in the journey, then you know what you have to do. In this case, the path includes beginning as a target to moving through the progression to acquaintance to curious skeptic to new client to being their trusted advisor. It is important to take this path with only a few identified targets, or else this could quickly become overwhelming. Bunnell suggests to start with the five most important people to the lawyer’s career over the next five years.

Walking Toward Success

By establishing yourself as a business development expert, you establish your brand and influence within your firm. The age old saying of “less is more” rings true to breed success. Start with one lawyer, and then work your way towards a team, then a practice. Measure your success along the way. Know your results by tracking quarterly, monthly and weekly metrics of deals won, pipeline progress, and activities and behaviors that have changed. For more tips, Bunnell suggests reading his book, The Snowball System.

By Debbie Henry, Director of Marketing & Business Development, Gordon Feinblatt LLC

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