I just returned from four full days of continuing education and meetings at the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) “Make It New Create The Future” annual meeting and the Private Law Librarians & Information Professionals (PLLIP) Strategic Impact Summit. The city of Chicago was an amazing venue with its fantastic views, river rides, museums, and great food.

Some of my favorite speakers at this year’s event were Eric Seeger of Altman Weil, Will Evans of PraxisFlow, and Megan Wilroy of Akina.

Eric Seeger discussed the pressing issues facing law firms today, which include overcapacity and underperformers, compensation, business development and market share, pricing, sharing information efficiently, managing costs, keeping abreast of new technology, and recruiting as well as identifying lateral hires.

Seeger explained that it is important for partners in law firms to be personally productive and have their “own” clients, and that all members need to be aware of the firm’s strategic plan, as well as its three biggest priorities. As information professionals it is essential that we demonstrate how the work that we do is helping to generate revenue and increase profitability for the firm. Identify what brings value right away.

Will Evans encouraged all entrepreneurs to uncover your customer’s pain points through research, invalidate your assumptions, formulate a hypothesis, collaborate, experiment, remember learning isn’t failure, and amplify what works. One of the best ways to discover what your clients need and want is to get out of the building, or what is known as “GOOBING”. With the information gathered experiment with development, by using small cycles to build processes or products, measure, and learn from your experiment before you scale. In other words – think, make, check.

But what really struck home was what Megan Wilroy of Akina presented when she spoke about the criteria for idea adoption. All of us at some point in our business or career have needed to present an idea with the goal of getting a stakeholder to buy in. According to Wilroy, to ensure an idea is adopted when presenting it, you need to:

  • Identify the Problem
  • Know what the Solution should be
  • Create Urgency
  • Have Access to the Decision Maker
  • Set and Manage Expectations
  • Present the Budget

Build authentic relationships. That is how you get the ultimate client to say yes. How are you fostering business relationships?