Before I dive in to the final day’s sessions of LMASE, I did want to speak a bit more about the social events on the first night. In addition to the officially organized pub crawl, many of the attendees followed up by mixing and mingling at the hotel bar afterwards. The reason I wanted to revisit this issue is because I know that for some people, there can be a lot of social anxiety around events like this, especially the more impromptu gatherings. With that said, I encourage everyone to take advantage of these opportunities, even if it pushes you slightly outside of you comfort zone. I had the opportunity to have longer, more in-depth conversations with many of my fellow attendees and really dive into their personal experiences in the industry. So even if you feel like just vegging out in your hotel room with the TV, I encourage you to push a little more and take advantage of the opportunities created by having so many like-minded professionals gathered in one place.
The final morning for me kicked off with a session titled “Business Continuity: Moving Beyond Succession Planning with a Client-Centric Approach”, presented by Tasneem Khokha of GrowthPlay (Pro-tip – Ms. Khokha gave out mimosas to start the session, and this is NEVER a wrong move). The underlying message of the session was that in this environment of clients be more and more willing to shop firms, attorneys must move away from the days of being the “sole” Relationship Partner on a client. In situations where a client has only one key Relationship Partner, they leave 72% of the time if that Partner leaves the firm. That’s contrasted with scenarios where a client has multiple Partner relationships, in which case they will stay 90% of the time even with the departure of a key Relationship Partner.
Ms. Khokha’s presentation was so chocked full of valuable information that I honestly could have written my entire three articles about insights she provided attendees. To highlight just a few takeaways, here are a few lists she provided:
- Five Client Continuity Tactics
- Cultivate the Business Intelligence around and about your client
- Map out key relationships
- Leverage client site visits
- Seek shared projects
- Align around client experience standards
- Six Pillars of Client Experience
- Develop & maintain authentic relationships
- Provide counsel in context of the business
- Communicate in ways that build trust
- Demonstrate appreciation
- Seek and act on feedback
- Demonstrate care & creativity in billing and fees
This is just a sample of some of the great information that came out of this session. As the landscape for firms changes, in is incumbent on Partners and Exec. Committees to reexamine the ways that they build out client teams and client relationships. It serves no one any longer to tolerate client relationships where one Partner serves as the sole gatekeeper.
The final day ended with a lunch session around career advice from other professionals in the industry. I think it was a good session, but in so many ways, these kinds of sessions really vary on applicability for attendees. Some people work in larger environments with tons of opportunity in this same space. Others work in smaller markets with more limited options. However, I’m a firm believer that the skills one develops in the world of legal marketing are applicable across a wide-variety of industries, and so understanding how to “sell” you skills is still valuable.
In closing, I had an overall wonderful experience at LMASE Convention 2018. I met a plethora of talented, engaging professionals. I heard valuable insights from highly-skilled presenters. If given the option to attend another LMASE conference in the future, I wouldn’t think twice, and you shouldn’t either!
Fenwick & West LLP
Business Development Manager