Took some work, but I left my converesation with Jim Durham and Gina Rubel and have headed over to the Leveraging the Big 4 Consulting Best Practices to Bolster your Business Development Strategies session.


Maria Abernethy
Marketing Director

Jill Hulse
Director of Marketing
Moore Van Allen

Mike Higgins
Market Sales & Market Leader

Kristin Coda
Director of Marketing
Wilson Elser

Jonathan Mattson
Chief Marketing & Business Development Officer
Tucker Ellis & West LLP

Kristin Coda

Law firms agrowre where accounting firms were 15+ years ago. Lawyers don’t want to be seen as sales people. They don’t know where to begin.

Q. How did the accountants figure this out before the lawyers?

A. They ran the numbers.

Set the goal – grow by 20% – and then go to marketing to back in the “how.”

Top 10 List of What to Do

  1. Business development training.
  2. Client service planning meetings.
    1. Research the client before you even set the meetings.
  3. Got more comfortable and creative in asking for the business.
  4. Teamed together and learned the power of 1.
    1. Working together started paying off. The slice of pie got bigger.
  5. Learned to promote and cross-sell INTERNALLY.
  6. Became out of the box thinkers to out do the competition.
  7. Learned to be problem solvers for clients.
  8. Starting small can produce big results.
  9. Shifted from a “me”-centered culture to a client-centered culture. Became business advisers.
    1. Want to get out in front of the client on what the issues are.
  10. People got really good at focusing. Before doing or supporting anything, had to ask:
    1. Does this advance or enhance the brand? Or,
    2. Does this create a business development opportunity?

Maria Abernethy

Becoming a forward-thinking practice.

Talk to clients. Engage business development team and partners. Give the partners ownership.


Q. How do you implement into law firms?

A. Start small. Be able to measure it – bring in revenue.

Q. How are they using social media?

A. Webcasting for 9 years. More than 2 million viewers. 1500-2500 attendees. Take a webcast and repurpose it: use it to promote other events; take polls during programs and send out press release after; invite ghost writer to recap; use it as a lead generator based on titles nd questions asked; get market research; and, data analytics.

Mike Higgins

Yes. Mike actually said that people buy from people they KNOW, LIKE and TRUST. Hmmmm.

People are more likely to buy from you if you are talking about them and not about you.

Much better return changing 6 partners than 60 junior associates.

Sales and marketing is the only profession where people don’t think they need to practice – I don’t need to practice the presentation. I shoot from the hip. I don’t need to prepare.