Bill Flannery Webinar on Business Development October 7

bill_flanneryMarketing master Bill Flannery and I will present our Webinar, "Strategic Business Development for Higher Profits" on Thursday, October 7. The first time we broadcast it in July there were more than 50 professional firms -- including one from London -- attending. Visit to register.
When we polled the audience in July, we discovered some interesting facts:

  • Very few firms know what their client's total legal (or accounting or consulting) budget is. This is a real shortcoming if you're trying to increase your "share of the client's wallet." You can have a practice that is billing more hours, making more revenue, but decreasing in client share. The only way to find out is to ask the client but their professional services budget is. If you are a trusted advisor, they'll tell you.
  • Many firms are starting to form formal client teams. I was very heartened to see this becuase it is such an effective marketing approach. Informal teams may exist too, and Bill calls these "shadow conspiracies to commit marketing." The formal teams focus on the client's latent needs (the firm is already working on the express needs) because this is where the new business is to be found.

We also got some important marketing points across --

  1. 60% of client teams will fail because the most greedy, dysfunctional partner will assume the leader role. 10% will succeed because a leader who serves the team
  2. The best team leader is like Henry Fonda in the movie "Twelve Angry Men," where he tried to understand the viewpoint of other members of the jury and he didn't seek power for himself.
  3. Only 2-3% of clients use all the practices of a professional firm. Most cherry pick individual practices from a variety of firms. This means that somebody else is getting work that you could be doing.
  4. Only 42% of law firms have conducted a formal client satisfaction survey in the last two years, according to a 2003 BTI Consulting survey. If you don't know what your clients want or are planning, you're missing out on a lot of potential revenue.
  5. An aggressive goal for forming client teams is 10-12 in a year. About five per year is reasonable.
  6. Partners should take their CMO or marketing director along on new business calls. Otherwise the marketer has no real idea of how to direct the firm's promotions. Also, the marketer will be able to see if the partners are totally mucking up their presentations by talking about themselves, by speaking instead of listening and by failing to hear client needs.

We'll be presenting the program again on Thursday, October 7. Visit to register.


Wall-to-Wall Turnout for PM Forum San Francisco

More than 40 marketers from the fields of publishing, law, accounting, consulting, public relations and management consulting filled the private reception room Tuesday night at the trendy Town Hall restaurant in San Francisco. It was the inaugural Kickoff Networking & Cocktail Event of the new PM Forum chapter, and it couldn't have gotten off to a better start.

Chapter Chair Ashley Kanigher of Orrick welcomed the crowd, which gathered a block away from the new Orrick building in the city. Everyone is familiar with the Orrick "O" brand, and their new glass-walled building even has a light well in the center, giving the building an "O" footprint. Let me extend many thanks to Ashley and her highly-efficient staff for organizing a very happy and well-run event.

Nick Gaffney, Regional Director for the Chapter and President of Infinite P.R., spoke as well, telling the crowd that what makes the PM Forum different is its interdisciplinary makeup -- we're not a silo organization -- the Forum attracts marketers from all professions so they can learn each other's best practices and get to know each other.

The SFO chapter will start its educational programs in October. First the chapter will collect strategic-level ideas that appeal to CMOs, and then conduct a Zoomerang online survey to determine which topics are the most compelling. If you came to the kickoff event or if you subscribe to the Forum's free e-mail newsletter, you'll get to vote. Go to and click Free Newsletter to subscribe.

New PM Forum chapters are popping up like mushrooms! Next stop is Philadelphia, which will have its kickoff Happy Hour at the Pyramid Club on October 13. For more information see


Stonefield Josephson's homey online "Back Porch" wins New Business

Stonefield Josephson, a CPA firm based in Santa Monica, CA, has opened its Back Porch, located on the firm Web site The Back Porch shares information on life inside and outside the office and includes features such as "How to Stay Passionate about Your Work" by co-founder Marty Josephson and "A Day in the Life of a CPA," which provides a glimpse of the personal and professional lives of CPAs.

"If you want tips for staying passionate about your work, come to the Back Porch," said President Jeff Garrison and Chief Marketing Officer Lyne Noella.

dayinthelife2The Back Porch is already producing business results, according to Noella. "A banker who was participating with Officer Debbie Zimmerman in our photo shoot offered to introduce Debbie to a steel company in search of a new accounting firm. A couple of weeks later, Debbie landed the client." Noella adds that producing the Back Porch has brought Stonefield Josephson officers closer to referral sources and clients. "Our friends in business are delighted to participate in the productions," says Noella. "The bankers, clients and high-level consultants are happy to receive the visibility."

"You don't expect to get advice on how to play golf or plan dates with your spouse on an accounting firm website," said Allan Koltin, consultant to accounting firms. "Stonefield Josephson has managed to create a website that provides the information you expect along with entertainment. This will get the business community's attention," added Koltin.

Noella said, "While this looks like fun and games, our marketing approach is strategic. We are building a website that gives Stonefield Josephson an advantage over less creative competitors. We all offer the same services, so our branded approach differentiates us from the crowd and raises our visibility. Meanwhile, we are having a great time managing the business for growth."

dayinthelife"The shows include the typical meetings with clients and bankers that you would expect," says Garrison. "What you don't expect are the boa constrictors, Little League games and African barkless dogs." Garrison said, "We want the business community to see that we are real people with outside interests. This creative approach helps us attract the finest talent to our firm. Job candidates see that we have balance between work and play." Noella adds that additional features are planned for the Back Porch and that several are already in production.

Stonefield Josephson Inc. ( was founded in 1975. The 100-person firm serves public and privately held clients throughout the United States and internationally from four California locations: Santa Monica, Irvine, San Francisco and Walnut Creek. Services include:

  • Assurance/accounting
  • Business consulting
  • Business valuation
  • Financial recovery
  • Forensic services
  • Litigation support
  • Public companies services
  • Tax services

  • Four Law Firms Honored For Innovative Achievement

    The College of Law Practice Management Spearheads New "InnovAction"
    Awards for Legal Practice Management

    Four law firms have been honored by the College of Law Practice Management for excellence and ingenuity in the management of legal services.

    Last January, in concert with many orgnaizations including the PM Forum North America as Publication Partners, the College began soliciting entries from law firms throughout the world, of all sizes and types. Dubbed the "2004 InnovAction Awards," their purpose was to identify a handful of stand-out firms that have significantly enhanced client service and the professional experience of their own lawyers.

    In Glasgow, Scotland, the global firm Masons was named in the category of "Market Disruptors" for its 5,000-page web site, OUT-LAW, which targets the IT and e-commerce industries. OUT-LAW includes a print magazine with a readership of 27,000; an extranet-supported retainer arrangement for businesses too small to have in-house legal counsel; and OUT-LAW Compliance, a comprehensive legal review of web sites.

    Two of the four firms were honored as "Leader Ships" for their innovative action in improving internal management or firm efficiency.

    In Des Moines, IA, The Law Chambers of Nicholas Critelli, p.c., was recognized for work space that does away with individual lawyer offices. Each of seven "studios" is wired with an internal video cable network and each studio is designed to represent one of seven general tasks common to litigation practice. Critelli is a litigation boutique that includes both US lawyers and UK barristers.

    In Birmingham, England, Wragge & Co. was honored for pioneering cost accountability. Wragge & Co. filed a patent application for its remarkable fee prediction and transaction management system that costs legal matters scientifically, calculates staffing needs, predicts the number of hours and the seniority of lawyers required, and helps manage the transaction process.

    In Philadelphia, PA, the multi-office Blank Rome LLP was honored in the category of "Knowledge Stars" for a program that integrates training components, including Connections, a formal mentoring program; learning aids such as "Find It," which is a hand-held library research tool; a "Tip-Bit" Program that prints technology information on candy bars; and a board game called "Anatomy of a Matter."

    "We looked at many fine submissions. These represented the very best of what we saw," said Merrilyn Astin Tarlton, a consultant in Golden, Co. and one of the judges. "As judges, we particularly needed to be convinced that clients and lawyers both were better off at the end of the day, as a result of these creative efforts."

    Significantly, however, the award judges did not choose to recognize any of the entries in the "Client Service Virtuosos" category, even though 26 percent of the entries received were in that category.

    "Innovation doesn't come easy to law firms," commented Patrick McKenna, a principal in Edge International, and also a judge. "Innovation requires forward thinking. Lawyers, and the folks who manage law firms, are trained on precedent. They're trained to look backward."

    The InnovAction Awards underscore the College as itself a profession innovator. The College of Law Practice Management was formed in 1994 to honor and recognize distinguished law practice management professionals. To date, 191 practitioners from ten different countries have been inducted as Fellows of the College. The awards will be presented on September 11 at a special session to be held during the Annual Induction Meeting of the College of Law Practice Management in Chicago.

    Sponsors of the four award categories were Edge International, Greenfield/Belser Ltd., Baker Robbins & Company, and Microsoft Corporation. The American Bar Association's Law Practice Management Section, the Association of Legal Administrators, the Canadian Bar Association, and the PM Forum North America were also vital contributors to this year's award program.

    The communications professionals at Levick Strategic Communications, and the member firms of TAGLaw and the MSI Legal & Accounting Network, were instrumental in helping promote these awards world-wide.


    Giving Better Online Presentations

    Web seminars have become increasingly popular, but there are some tricks involved to make them interesting. I've presented Web seminars for 5 years and here are some techniques you can use to keep the audience awake and attentive:

  • Closely examine read the list of attendees before the program so you can tailor your presentation to the audience's interests.
  • Have more than one speaker, because the difference in voices keeps the audience alert. Two male voices will sound exactly the same; it's better to have a male and female speaker.
  • Try to have a "talk radio" sound to the presentation -- have lots of back-and-forth between the presenters.
  • Distribute handout materials that have blanks in key points; during the presentation, display the completed slides; this requies the attendees to write in the blanks, causing them to follow more closely.
  • Use polling questions to query the audience. Ask them about what's going on at their offices, or how many of the ideas you're talking about they are already using.
  • Use the e-chat feature to allow attendees to ask questions and interrupt the program to respond to a question.
  • Let attendees ask questions live over the phone at the end of the program.
  • Change slides frequently. Too much spent on one slide takes too long to go through and thus, too boring.
  • During the show, make sure you go through all your prepared material. Attendees hate it when you talk to long and don't cover everything.
  • Track results with a system that supports data collection (not just polls). This way, you will have a record of all important decisions made on the call.
  • Take the audience on Web tours (the attendees to other web sites).
  • Use the annotation tools -- operate the pointers, check marks, underlining and other emphasis features to explain a slide.
  • Record the program and offer CDs that contain the audio, slides and handout materials.

    A Webinar is just like a TV or radio broadcast. It must start and end exactly on time. The more you can be like a broadcast show, the better, becuase this is what your audience is used to.

  • Marketers Must Understand Blog Behavior, Intelliseek Says

    CINCINNATI, OHIO (August 11, 2004) -- Marketers can't afford to ignore the power and influence of blogs, says Intelliseek, a leading marketing intelligence firm that specializes in blog analytics and online consumer "buzz" and behavior.

    "Blogs are quickly transforming the marketing and branding landscape. Consumers are using them as platforms to talk about products and services. Companies are using them as tools to capitalize on employee loyalty and enthusiasm," says Pete Blackshaw, CMO of Intelliseek. "Journalists are increasingly looking to blogs as real-time tip sheets for news content." On August 25, Blackshaw will lead an Intelliseek-sponsored online seminar about blogs for marketers.

    Intelliseek monitors up to two million blogs daily on BlogPulse (, a free blog analytics tool it launched in May. BlogPulse applies Intelliseek's advanced text mining technologies to
    understand key trends, topics and issues being discussed by blog writers. For more info, see


    Public Speaking Pointers from the ABA Annual Meeting

    It unusually, delightfully temperate now in Atlanta at the American Bar Association annual meeting. Adding to the pleasure was that we attracted 40 experienced litigators (people who have tried 30+ cases to a verdict) to our program: Public Speaking: The Basics and Beyond..

    On the program were Tim W. Hrastar of Rapport Marketing in Englewood, Ohio; Robert Kincaid, Litigation Partner at Baker & Hostetler in Columbus, Ohio; Chris Fritsch, Legal Technologist with Martindale-Hubbell; Leah Pappas, Partner in Government Relations with Calfee Halter & Griswold in Columbus, Ohio, and yours truly.

    Tim led off by noting that many speakers fail because they:

  • Lack of audience rapport
  • Have stage fright, fear of failure
  • Have an awkward stage presence and posture
  • Are too serious, have no sense of humor
  • Don't make eye contact
  • Present a data dump. Give facts only, no emotional appeal
  • Are not prepared
  • Show no enthusiasm, passion or energy
  • Use non-words or useless words (like um, er, ah)
  • Make little or no use of visual aids or verbal support

    I following next by explaining that you can overcome stage fright by (a) preparing in advance and (b) practice, practice, practice. I recommended picking a single topic and speaking on it again and again, researching the audience so you know whom you're addressing, and using the 1-2-3 formula: tell them what you're going to tell them, tell them and then tell them what you told them.

    Noting that PowerPoint is now taught in high school, it is essential that every professional know how to run a slide show and make a slide: I offered some practical PowerPoint tips:

  • Minimum headline size: 44 points
  • Minimum second level size: 32 points
  • Minimum third level size: 28 points
  • Max: 6 words in a line
  • Max: 6 lines in a slide
  • Use a single font, maximum two

    me_as_abe_lincoln_closeup135I pointed out that research shows that there are aggressive or warm colors: Red, Orange, Yellow; and receding or cool colors: Blue, Green, Purple

    Then I showed how to do bad PowerPoint: use too many special effects and put your entire speech on your slides. Finally, I showed how PowerPoint can ruin even a superb speech by giving the Gettysburg Address with PowerPoint, donning an Abe Lincoln stovepipe hat and fake beard. I found the original Gettysburg PowerPoint Presentation online at

    Chris Fritsch
    emphasized the importance of knowing your audience, finding out about their interests, accommodating their learning styles and asking questions of the audience. Every time someone asked her a question, she would give them a T-shirt or piece of chocolate, which I thought was very clever.

    Before the presentation, speakers should pass out additional handouts, know your material cold, rehearse, time you presentation, and meet audience members at the door to get to know them.

    During the presentation, she advised speakers, "when in doubt, slow down," to smile and look relaxed, and to tell stories. She recommended using props and humor, to stay within your allotted time and to leave time at the end for questions. Here speech clearly resonated with the audience because she got more questions than anyone else.

    After the presentation, speakers should network with the audience, post their slide show on the Web, send copies of the slides to people in exchange for their business cards and to follow up on all leads.

    Robert Kincaid was the only trial lawyer among us. He noted that today's jurors are younger people from Generation X and Y, and they've grown up with TV, video games and AOL. Typical jurors have seen 300 ads before 9 a.m., have watched two million TV ads before age 30 and seen 24,000 supermarket items per month. They expect to see graphics in a presentation, and will remember what you say much better if you show illustrations in your speech. In fact after 12 hours, only 10% of people retained verbally presented information; 20% remembered visually presented info; but 85% remembered verbally and visually presented information.

    Kincaid strongly recommended using computer animations in trials, noting research that 90% of jurors favor multimedia presentations. The trick is to get the court to admit your demonstrative multimedia evidence at trial after you've spent $10,000 of the client's money to create it.

    Courts are so high-tech now that he showed a cartoon depicting a judge looking at a TV replay monitor on the bench. The judge said, "After viewing the replay several times from different angles, it's clear that counsel did, in fact, badger the witness. Objection sustained."

    Leah Pappas is a lobbyist whose target audience is legislators. Clearly knowing your target's occupation, family and personal facts make a big difference. She also advised knowing your opposition's argument, style of communication and environment for communication.

    In delivering a lobbying speech she advised:

  • Communicate that you understand their position.
  • Show political sensitivity.
  • Understand their different pressure points.

    She recommended using the echo effect, where you let others voice your client's message. It's always smart to get independent, third-party affirmation of your viewpoint.

    Repetition is key in lobbying. When addressing a legislator, she recalled her key target leave the audience just as she was about to make her main point. She continued, waited for him to return to the room, and then reiterated her key point.

    And Pappas gave us a point we can all benefit from: Don't be outworked by others.