Mid-Atlantic Program Recap: “Catapulting your career: Becoming your lawyers’ trusted advisor…by helping them become the trusted advisor of their clients” (Part 4)

By Adam Hopkins, marketing administrator at Perkins Coie LLP

On Sept. 29, the LMA Mid-Atlantic concluded its 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 4 focused on ways legal marketers could help their attorneys manage their business development efforts and hold themselves accountable in the process.

Bunnell opened Part 4 by stating that professional services to help law firms grow their business (i.e., legal marketers) will be mission critical over the next 10 to 20 years. He then reviewed the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI), which was originally discussed in Part 1. The HBDI explains how people think, based on four brain quadrants. Bunnell said that legal marketers must tap into the thinking preferences of their attorneys, based on which of the four quadrants is dominant in the attorneys’ brains. In doing so, legal marketers can help attorneys tap into their clients’ thinking preferences.

Also, Bunnell argued that attorneys can manage themselves by managing their relationships – his point being that having fewer relationships is better than having many. Fewer relationships, Bunnell explained, are easier to manage, and make it easier to develop long-standing partnerships. The program said that marketers should help attorneys determine which of their relationships are a priority and make personal outreaches to each of them once a month. Most of all, marketers can help attorneys figure out how to conduct their outreach efforts.

Bunnell explained, when attorneys handle outreach to clients (and, indeed, non-clients too), the goal should always be to get a second meeting. He pointed out how attorneys can do this (and manage their relationships well) by creating demand. This is what Bunnell called the “give-to-get.” He then articulated six aspects of a great give-to-get, which every attorney needs to master:

  1. Authority
  2. Social proof
  3. Commitment
  4. Scarcity
  5. Likeability
  6. Reciprocity

In addition to these give-to-get aspects, Bunnell recommended attorneys leave 15 minutes at the conclusion of client meetings to discuss next steps. He said that’s how attorneys can create opportunities out of every meeting.

Bunnell suggested that attorneys (and legal marketers) think about opportunities broadly. Opportunities don’t just have to be RFP responses – they can be client alerts, conferences, speaking engagements, etc.

Bunnell’s advice extended further to legal marketers in that he recommended they manage themselves while helping attorneys manage themselves too. He suggested legal marketers think in terms of weeks, versus months or years. Weeks, he said, are easier to manage, and it’s also easier to stay in front of attorneys. He explained that, overall, the quantity of an attorney’s business development efforts can be measured in the amount of time spent doing it.

Conversely, the quality of an attorney’s business development is best measured by the “Most Important Things” (MITs). By completing three MITs each week, Bunnell said attorneys will be on their way to success. He explained that the criteria for a great MIT spells “BIG”:

  1. Big impact
  2. In their control
  3. Growth oriented

In conclusion, Part 4 provided an excellent summary for the lessons learned throughout the “Catapulting your career” series, as well as a valuable stepping stone for legal marketers in their efforts to support (and enable) their attorneys’ business development success.

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