Posted by: johnocunningham | June 11, 2018

Golden Nuggets from the 2018 RainDance Conference

As always, the Legal Sales and Service Organization hosted a superb gathering of some of the top business minds in the legal services industry on June 6-7 in Chicago, and as always, there were plenty of useful takeaways.

Here are some of the things that stuck in my mind from this year’s RainDance conference:

  • The people at Design Build Legal are using their design-thinking experience gained from working with clients like Nordstrom to help law firms adapt to a fast-changing competitive landscape. With their help, some leading-edge firms are moving from “Here’s what we make – want to buy some?” to “What are your problems? We’ll design and deliver the solutions?” They facilitated a workshop in which audience members built models for solutions to actual problems presented by a senior legal officer at a Fortune 500 company in less than one hour – awesome. You can learn more about them from the Design Build Legal website.
  • Data-masters at Intapp explained how marketing/sales professionals can help their firms to choose the right strategic direction, and get better buy-in from all key partners by focusing on key data that is available in most every firm. Loved a quote they presented by a managing partner: “If we have data [evidence] let’s use that to make decisions. But if all we have is opinions, then let’s go with mine.” Among many data “heuristics” they presented was the “Rule of 3” which says that a client is much more likely to stay and grow with a firm if that client is buying three or more types of services (litigation, corporate, real estate, etc.). They also revealed that clients who seek increasing discounts on bills are likely to jump ship soon if changes in service are not made.
  • Several books were recommended by multiple participants, including Daniel Pink’s “To Sell is Human,” and Patrick Lencioni’s “The Advantage.”
  • We learned from David Ackert of the Ackert Advisory that tracking data indicates that most prospects don’t become clients until an average of 14 impressions or touches are made (meetings, calls, content consumed, etc.). He also explained how important it is to have clear objectives for every interaction with a prospect prior to meeting or speaking with them. Thus, “winging it” is far less likely to produce a successful “impression” on which to build.
  • We learned from Iris Jones of McNees Law how even summer associates can design and implement a marketing program that successfully lands business from a major client prospect.
  • We learned from successful venture capitalist, Brent Jones, who also won a few Super Bowls as tight end for Joe Montana and Steve Young, that success is more about perspiration than inspiration. Jones wowed the audience with true tales from the football and business worlds that exemplified the importance of making a sustained daily effort, practicing your execution, getting out of your comfort zone, having a sense of humor to make the best of things, and being just plain “likeable.” Brent Jones is one of the best speakers you can have at a group event.

Attendees also learned what is on the minds of senior legal officers who are working in-house at three highly reputable global companies, and I plan to post more about that in the days ahead.

Thanks to the conference organizers for another great event, and thanks to all the attendees who shared some marvelous insights from their firms.

 

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