Understanding the Science Behind How Clients Think

by | Jun 29, 2016

Understanding the Science Behind How Clients Think

Earlier this month, LexisNexis conducted a webinar series titled: Helping Lawyers Grow Sustainable Pipeline. Each of the sessions, co-presented by Mo Bunnell, founder and president of Bunnell Idea Group, Doug Johnson, managing director of Catapult Growth Partners and Scott Winter, enterprise client engagement manager for LexisNexis Interaction, focused the discussion on the following three areas:

Each webinar provides an engaging discussion around these topics and is worth a listen. This topic also brings up another important part of business development and lead generation that centers on how clients think. Not too long ago, Mr. Bunnell, alongside Nick Araco, senior director of growth strategies and business development for Drinker, Biddle & Reath, presented some compelling insights around The Science behind Law Firm Lead Generation.

According to Mr. Araco and Mr. Bunnell, there’s a science behind how people think based on the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument. According to the HBD Instrument, there are four distinct ways in which people think:

  1. Analytical thinking
  2. Sequential thinking
  3. Interpersonal thinking
  4. Imaginative thinking

While everybody uses all of four of the areas to process information and make decisions, attorneys, says Mr. Araco, tend to “live in analytical thinking all day.”

A better approach, they say, involves listening carefully to how prospective clients like to be communicated with, and applying those specific areas of the HBD Instrument to communicate with them, as opposed to using the ones the attorneys prefer.

According to Mr. Araco and Mr. Bunnell, they have decoded useful lead generation techniques. In their discussion, they outlined four innovative and simple strategies that can help firms generate leads right out of the gate. They include:

  1. Turn Friends into Clients

According to Mr. Araco and Mr. Bunnell, most attorneys know a lot of people who could be clients, however they are unsure of how to turn friendly conversations into business opportunities. They struggle with pivoting the dialogue from friendly banter to a real business conversation.

The best way to handle this, they say, is to craft a short 1-2 paragraph introduction speech called an “across the bridge speech.” The speech, which typically uses all four components in the Hermann Brain Dominance Model, can be very effective. Although very short and simple, an authentic statement that leads with value can pivot the conversation in the right direction.

  1. Develop Value Groups

A value group is simply a group of influential business professionals (e.g. CFOs of major corporations or office managers of the top five consulting firms across the country, etc.) who meet either quarterly, or three times a year and share a common interest.

The first step involves figuring out who the firm’s target group is and then finding a common theme that draws them in and keeps them engaged. Some examples of this include: inviting members of the group to a prestigious event or using a prominent key note speaker for meetings.  Most important, they say, is there needs to be a clear purpose for getting together and participants need to get some value out of the meeting. Lastly, they agree, value groups are less about quantity as they are about quality.

  1. Uncover Strategic Partnerships

Identifying a handful of the firm’s best referral sources can be a great lead generation technique. The key involves focusing on a precious few individuals who can help the firm in a big way and vice versa. This first step involves identifying what makes a great strategic partner and then developing a structure to measure the success of the partnership. In other words, there needs to be some type of measurement of the relationship so the firm can audit how well it is benefitting from the partnership and vice versa. A good way to keep track of this information, says Mr. Bunnell, is to apply a scorecard to gauge the partnerships’ effectiveness.

“Scorecards and dialogue, he adds, are great weapons to maximize ROI of strategic partnerships.”

  1. Leverage Speaking Engagements

Speaking engagements, says Mr. Araco and Mr. Bunnell, are a great way to get the firm and/or its attorney’s exposure in front of prospective clients. However, they add, participation in a speech is simply the first step in the engagement process. True lead generation involves turning the speech into a real one-on-one dialogue with a prospective client:

“Speaking is just the starting line, not the finishing line.”

* * *

This post is by contributor Carla Del Bove, who provides support to the business of law software product line based in the LexisNexis Raleigh Technology Center.

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