Presentation Review: “Attorney Persuasion: Powerful Techniques for Getting Your Way More Often”

Presented at the 2017 LMA QuickStart® - Legal Marketing Essentials at the LMA Annual Conference by Jonathan Fitzgarrald

Summary by Nathalie Daum, Regional Director of Business Development and Marketing, Dickinson Wright PLLC, for the May 2017 LMA Southwest #LMA17 Conference Recap.

Jonathan discussed the importance of playing the imitation game when it comes to persuading your attorneys. He covered the difference persuasion types, including: Accelerators, Pragmatists, Analyzers and Collaborators.

Jonathan explained that Accelerators gave us clues to their personality type by saying “I know,” being a performer, and focusing on the next shiny thing. He told us that they are often in the CEO, business owner, entrepreneur roles, and include litigators. The best way to persuade that type of personality is to “Be Smart, Be Brief, and Be Gone.” They don’t like tons of detail; try using colorful anecdotes and make sure you move quickly to the bottom line.

As for Pragmatists, they give clues such as using checklists, being process oriented and dependable. They often are in COO, executive director and project manager roles. The best bet to influence pragmatists is to use credentials and traditions, focus on value, and the end game.

Jonathan highlighted Analyzers as providing context when explaining things, are often skeptical, and frequently are cautious and slow to decide/act. They are often attorneys, engineers and professors. They can be persuaded by providing the big picture and evidence to support your idea. They value efficiency, which is a bit ironic, but he explained that because they take time to analyze they often then value efficiency to get the task completed.

Collaborators are the ones who will often say “I feel ____.” They are dramatic and intense and are often idealists. They are normally in roles such as HR directors, leaders in non-profits and counselors. Collaborators want to help make things better in the future, and for things to have meaning.

Once we finished the review of personality types, Jonathan took us through an exercise of planning a networking event. He split us into our different types and had the groups develop their plan. The results were startling. The Accelerators had the basic elements covered, but didn’t provide much detail. Our Pragmatists had started a checklist, but weren’t quite sure about their final decisions. The Analyzers had a detail list of tasks, with assigned leaders for each, a budget and timeline. Our collaborators had focused on the feeling of the theme of the party, ensuring inclusiveness and interaction amongst attendees. Some of the elements most important to one group were the least important to the others!

The overall message: mirror your arguments/talking points to those of the person you want to influence.

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