In my last post, we talked about the first part of the client panel session from the Legal Marketing Association’s Annual Meeting, with panelists Jeff Carr of FMC Technologies, Janet Dhillon of J.C. Penney and Ron Barger of the Archon Group. The second part of the session was equally as valuable as the first.
One of the interesting points that the panelists made during their comments was that they need their attorneys to elicit the real end game from them – they went as far as to suggest that attorneys should ask them directly “What does ‘winning’ mean to you?” Jeff said lawyers need to get their clients to be specific, because they often won’t volunteer that information.
He joked that business development is like a relationship – people don’t get better with time. They’re on their best behavior in the “marketing phase,” so attorneys need to get past that, and force their clients to be specific about the results that they want.
The panelists then revisited to the issue of cost, and challenged those in the audience to go back to their managing partners and executive committees and talk to them about how to harness the information that is resident in their technology. The more information that firms have, the more competitive they can be - firms need to figure out their costs.
Jeff made the point that it used to be the “practice” of law, but that’s no longer the case. Now it’s the “business” of law, and firms need to behave accordingly.
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