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The discussion immediately turned to creating leads. And how hard it was to develop business with existing clients. What to say, what to do? How to get clients interested, and more importantly — how to get them to want to talk about new topics.

I was leading a training/coaching session for 13 partners of a midsize law firm.

I suggested thought leadership — and they quickly detailed how the firm doesn’t have the budget and they don’t have the time.

I recommended one of my favorite and most effective thought leadership hacks. It goes like this:

    • Put together a group of partners, at least 8, or hijack time from a practice or office meeting
    • Ask each partner to write up the top 3 risks their largest clients face with these constraints:
      • In bullet point form only — no big explanations, no justifications
      • 11 words or less — a perfect length for an email, LinkedIn, or the web (no one says webpage anymore)
      • No more than 15 minutes allowed for writing
    • Volunteer your CMO as the recipient of these bullet points
    • Marketing and Business Development collects, collates, and combines duplicate risks
    • Your CMO publishes the list back to the partners (expect a few more back)
    • Your Current Risk Environment Assessment tool is now complete; a simply designed document detailing current risks clients face
    • Each partner sends the tool to their top clients with a cover email initially crafted by the CMO. The email invites clients to add to the list — and share thoughts and questions.

Their results were compelling:

    • 4 requests for meetings to discuss further
    • 5 clients offering up additional risks
    • 11 of 13 partners engaged with clients
    • 6 unexpected assignments within 90 days

This midsize firm now goes through this exercise quarterly. Clients look and ask for it — and they share it with their peers. More firm partners want to be part of the process. This has been going on since the early days of the pandemic.

These partners enjoy more business on new issues as their dialogue earns them a prime spot in the hiring order. Exactly where you want to be in the world of uncertainty.

And, it’s just as compelling when the world is a little more certain.

Best in the market ahead.

The Mad Clientist

Want to talk about implementing this hack (and more) to develop business at your firm? Please let me know.

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