The Industry and Market is Ever Evolving.
A conversation with Laurie MacDonald, Director of Business Development at Hinckley Allen.
Strengths/habits that have led to success: Knowing the partners and the strategic direction of the firm well, also resiliency and good listening skills.
Growth strategy: Identifying opportunities for growth within current clients and getting recommendations from current clients to other potential clients is one of the most powerful ways of getting new business.
Tactical best practices: Created a Business Plan Development Program for partners. Includes a 3 to 5 year business plan customized for each partner. This includes check-ins quarterly – and a yearly check-up. Plans are specific to the partner’s future vision for their practice. Follow-up is to ensure they get there.
Success story: A partner wanted to be a ‘go to environmental attorney’. Got him focused on what he needed to do, speaking, writing, positioning himself as an expert in that field and in the market. His practice has continued to grow and has gone national. He now makes decisions about how he uses his time to ensure he’s making decisions that position him as a leader in his field.
What’s innovative in the Legal business development today: Alternative Fee Arrangements especially if they’re thought through and align the clients’ interests with the firms.
Firm response to changing market conditions: Client expectations have changed. They anticipate better value, and require higher efficiency. Their firm and others have responded by changing their business model – offering alternative fee arrangements; and becoming efficient in the way they deliver services through project management.
Millennial, Mobile, Global: Business development is a contact sport. Communication practices need to be thought through carefully. Then try a lot of different things.
Last Word: New business development takes time, don’t be put off by lack of success. Have patience.