As we approach the three-month mark of the pandemic and alternative working environments, it is important to remember that we still provide a service that is focused upon the needs of people. On the In Seclusion Podcast last week, I talked with four consultants and business development professionals to see how they are adjusting to these unique times. The common theme was that we needed to have more personal and professional discussions with our clients, not less. What that means, however, is that those conversations need to be sincere, relevant, helpful, and empathetic. Clients are drinking from a fire hose of information and it is our job as a trusted counsel to guide them through complex issues and make it simple and easy to understand. Listen in on the insights of four leaders in the industry.
Marcie Borgal Shunk of The Tilt Institute, Inc. is used to working closely with attorneys and law firm leadership. Traditionally, this meant gathering large groups of lawyers into a room for hours, or days at a time, and walking through scenarios together. With the current situation, it means having to adjust to fit the online nature of education and training. For many lawyers, this is new, it’s ambiguous, it’s different, it’s uncomfortable… and they’re actually getting used to it.
Tim Corcoran advises law firms on how to improve the business delivery side of things. One of the positive aspects of the pandemic has been the ability for firms to actually look at the processes of their business, and not just focusing on the tools. As we begin to develop a hybrid office where some people will be working in the office, and some will continue to work remotely, it will test how good our management skills really are. Maybe now we’ll give some real management training.
Clark Hill’s Director of Marketing, Roy Sexton talks with me about how law firm marketing teams have really stepped up over the past couple of months to help their attorneys find appropriate ways to engage with their clients, and with each other. As we begin the slow process of moving away from the needs of the crisis and into the long-term redevelopment of marketing strategies, Sexton thinks that we will have to completely rethink how we engage with people, because of their needs and willingness to do events and interactions changed. We’re going to have to find ways to personally and virtually engage in ways that grab more people than don’t.
Heather Morse, the Chief Business Development Officer at McGlinchey Stafford in New Orleans reminds us of the saying that “one size fits one” and that there isn’t a single way to approach how to manage the current situation. One of the key aspects of legal marketing and business development is that we are in the people business, and especially at this time, we need to understand how to personalize our responses to our staff, our attorneys, and our clients.