Mid-Atlantic Program Recap: “Catapulting Your Career: Becoming Your Lawyers’ Trusted Advisor…By Helping Them Become the Trusted Advisor of Their Clients” (Part 1)

By Adam Hopkins, marketing administrator at Perkins Coie LLP

Beginning June 30, the LMA Mid-Atlantic Region hosted a four-part series titled, “Catapulting Your Career: Becoming Your Lawyers’ Trusted Advisor…By Helping Them Become the Trusted Advisor of Their Clients.” Presented by Bunnell Idea Group CEO and founder Mo Bunnell, the series aimed to help legal marketers better serve their attorneys as the latter serve their clients. The series also explored how attorneys could manage their relationships, business opportunities, and even themselves. Part 1 focused on ways legal marketers could adapt their style of thinking to match their attorneys’ styles, thus improving their relationships with them.

Bunnell reviewed the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI), which divides the human brain into four quadrants: 1) upper left (logical, analytical, fact-based, quantitative); 2) upper right (holistic, intuitive, integrating, synthesizing); 3) lower left (organized, sequential, planned, detailed); and 4) lower right (interpersonal, feeling-based, kinesthetic, emotional).

Bunnell noted that legal marketers can identify clues, based on the way attorneys behave, that show which quadrant(s) represent the attorneys’ thinking patterns. He also presented how legal marketers could alter their approach to communicating with attorneys to deepen relationships and build a greater sense of trust.

The presentation offered hypothetical scenarios involving legal marketers sitting in meeting with attorneys who filled each of the HBDI quadrants. In each scenario, Bunnell provided clues on how to identify which quadrant was dominant in the attorney’s thinking:

  • Upper left quadrant: Analyzes, provides realism when examining a case (or an RFP), and relies on numbers
  • Upper right brainers: Prefer to experiment, as well as brainstorm, and they provide strategy
  • Lower left brain: Organized and timely, and depend on processes
  • Lower right brainers: Relatable and empathetic, and enjoy connecting with other people

Bunnell cited research that showed how most attorneys at an unidentified global law firm were truly left-brained (top and bottom), whereas the members of an unidentified global auction house were primarily right-brained.

The program also provided solutions for legal marketers who are interested in building (and deepening) relationships with their firms’ attorneys. Bunnell examined ways legal marketers can adapt to their attorneys. These techniques include:

  • Gathering facts (without fluff) and providing insight (for the upper left brains)
  • Brainstorming a strategy – while still being flexible – and sharing ideas (upper right)
  • Developing a detailed plan (lower left), and
  • Knowing the attorneys’ ecosystem, while showing empathy and support (lower right)

In addition, Bunnell identified solutions for getting attorneys to say “yes” when legal marketers present ideas. Based on each HBDI quadrant, marketers should consider providing the ROI (upper left); offering innovative solutions (upper right); demonstrating a proven process (lower left); and fostering a personal connection (lower right).

In addition to getting that “yes,” the presentation covered the importance of keeping the relationship between legal marketers and attorneys healthy and preventing them from becoming stagnant. Once you identify an attorneys’ dominant HBDI quadrant, marketers must be prepared to have radical transparency (upper left); a strategic growth mindset (upper right); an ongoing systematic process (lower left); and be supportive and communicative (lower right). According to Bunnell, great relationships cover each of these aspects.

Part 1 concluded with Bunnell encouraging the participants to think about their current relationships within their own respective firms, and how they could improve those relationships. He also asked participants to consider the steps they could take to help their attorneys grow their business, thereby becoming go-to advisors for corporate legal counsel.

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