October Event Recap: Maximizing Impact - Teaching Lawyers How to Develop an Effective Marketing Mesasge
October’s LMA event, Teaching Lawyers How to Develop an Effective Marketing Message, has been one of the most talked about subjects in the legal marketing world for years. Many law firms, large and small, recruit talented new associates every year but somehow are unable to provide them with the correct training they need to make the transition into the real world of law.
Art Bousel, Founder and Principal of Lawyer 2 Lawyer, gave an informative discussion on associate client development and ways in which legal marketers could effectively demonstrate to their attorneys that client development isn’t so bad. I learned that by taking the right approach and identifying an individual method to business development, attorneys will sharpen their marketing message and become more comfortable with the idea of client development, and (gasp) might even enjoy doing it!
Here are the three key points/guiding principals Art touched on:
1. Start with Clients – Understanding what a client wants is the key to effective client development. By demonstrating to the client that you have a unique appreciation of its needs, its business, its industry and its competitive position, you will be well-positioned to earn its business. Drawing on his own career experiences and those of his coaching clients, Art illustrated that understanding client needs is usually more important to gaining client trust, respect and business than factors many attorneys think of as the determinants of successful client development, such as an outgoing personality or ability to “work a room.”
2. Develop an Individual Approach to Client Development that is customized to your temperament and competencies. Everyone has marketing competencies, even if they haven’t discovered them yet.
3.Using the “Sharing Principle” (help others and others will help you; by helping others, you’ll reap greater rewards for yourself) to enhance the impact of your professional relationships and build the network that can put you in front of the audience that can say “yes” to your proposal. Art illustrated the importance of the Sharing Principle in recounting how he coached an attorney who initially feared business development as something unnatural and contrived, to understand the Sharing Principle. Once she understood the “Sharing Principle,” she recognized that business development was not something to fear, but a process that fit comfortably with her self-image, temperament, and interpersonal competencies. She became an inveterate business developer; consistently going out of her way to help others and build a network of supporters that helped her get in front of the key decision-makers who could say “yes” to her firm’s proposals.
By demonstrating to attorneys, who often think of client development as some complex mystery that requires a secret sauce to learn and fathom, that effective client development could be reduced to three simple objectives – having an effective message, an audience that can say “yes” to the message, and a network to get you in front of the audience – successful client development becomes a process to successfully embrace rather than fear.