Above The Law: Why Curiosity Is Key For Business Development … Observations from the general counsel panel at this year’s #LMA23

Thank you, Jeremy Barker and Above the Law, for this wonderful and thoughtful coverage of Legal Marketing Association – LMA International’s #LMA23, notably our dynamite GC panel, moderated by conference co-chair Jennifer Petrone Dezso with panelists Descartes Systems Group’s Peter V. Nguyen, Bates White Economic Consulting’s Jodi Trulove, and Fender’s Aarash Darroodi. Some great nuggets here for law firm leaders, attorneys, legal marketers, business development pros.

READ HERE: https://abovethelaw.com/2023/05/why-curiosity-is-key-for-business-development/?fbclid=IwAR0mSJdUXabZLnlSmFRhxKi8M4zFxHX9TiR2q4AD3O_MYLSPv5gJUXLvKgo

EXCERPT: Nearly 1,200 attendees packed the Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, Florida, late last month for the Legal Marketing Association’s annual gathering.

The agenda was filled with programs exploring niche areas — ESG guidance for firms, the science behind rainmaking, and DEI communications best practices, to name a few.

A keynote by the author Laura Gassner Otting and networking events like an ’80s dance party helped round out the three days of professional offerings (and good vibes).

“The energy and sense of community at this conference was unique, motivating and palpable,” LMA President Roy Sexton wrote on LinkedIn.

One perennial LMA favorite is the general counsel panel, and this year’s drew inspiration from daytime TV.

Presented on a festival-style stage, “How to Win Big at the Legal Marketing Gameshow” saw Jennifer Dezso of Thomson Reuters leading three GCs through a wide-ranging discussion of what law firms are doing right and what they’re getting wrong.

If there was one clear theme throughout the panel, it’s that private practice lawyers who show curiosity about their clients will score big points with general counsel.

Peter Nguyen, GC of the Descartes Systems Group, described curiosity as the key differentiator in evaluating the law firms he works with.

“I want to have that engagement,” he said. “I want you to really understand — want to understand — what it is about my business that you can help us with.”

This curiosity is often central to the value law firms provide.

That’s because general counsel aren’t looking to just get answers to legal questions. They want guidance based on an organization’s unique goals and circumstances.

“Sometimes lawyers are a little hesitant to actually weigh in and give an opinion on what you should do,” said Jodi Trulove, general counsel at Bates White LLC. “We want you to tell us what you think we should do, but you have to understand us first.”

For law firms looking to demonstrate this trait to potential clients, the RFP process provides one big opportunity.

Fender’s general counsel, Aarash Darroodi, described receiving template-based RFP responses from law firms — an approach he called “fundamentally a mistake.”

Instead, he would like to see a law firm respond to an RFP with an offer to come look at the company’s operations in-depth, gaining a better picture of his organization before a proposal is prepared.

More … https://abovethelaw.com/2023/05/why-curiosity-is-key-for-business-development/?fbclid=IwAR0mSJdUXabZLnlSmFRhxKi8M4zFxHX9TiR2q4AD3O_MYLSPv5gJUXLvKgo