These are great opportunities because you've been invited, and the client is assembling a number of potential buyers who are specifically interested in these topics. Here's how to get the most out of it.
The first thing you need to do is lose the "event" mentality, i.e., seeing the hour you're in front of them as the primary value. Expand your thinking to recognize the value of the period leading up to the event, and trailing it.
Your first decision, even before you proffer the education to your client, is to define and shape your topic optimally. Most lawyers choose narrow legal issues, which usually attracts only in-house counsel. Here's what to do to optimize this opportunity:
Shift your perspective
If you haven't already watched the free six-minute video, Why You Need to Market and Sell Differently: Buyers' Comments, please do. It will re-orient your thinking to better align with what buyers want. At about the 2:15 mark, you'll see and hear verbatim comments from legal service buyers, expressing their loathing for being pitched.
1. Choose the right topics to tee up the discussion, and establish or reinforce your relevance
The 'Door-Opener': Associate Yourself with Business Problems that Drive Demand for Your Expertise is the foundation concept for everything in RainmakerVT. It will teach you how to recognize which business problem serves as the first domino in the causal chain to getting hired, and lets you frame your discussion through a perspective that will either attract in-house counsel's clients to join them, or at least alert in-house counsel to how their internal clients are affected.
Thought Leadership: Uncovering a Business Issue that Will Open Doors for You teaches you that your “brand” is whatever people hear you talk about regularly. Become known as relevant regarding issues that are just beginning to be recognized, but that have likely impact that will make the count.
2. Identify others who care about this topic
Getting Inside the Tent: Identify Less Obvious People Who Can Provide an Entry Point primarily addresses how to create an initial entry point into a company that's not yet a client, but it also shows you places where you might be able to expand the client relationship, and how to go about it. Your education session is an opportunity to apply this principle from within.
3. Connect with and expand your audience beforehand
You'll usually have a fair amount of lead time before your presentation. Don't waste it. Making Thought Leadership Pay Off: Expand Your Network from Your Desk teaches you how to contact likely audience members ahead of time to make sure your remarks are as valuable as possible to those who show up. By asking people to share their opinions about what's important, you'll accomplish three important goals: 1) Your presentation will be as good as it can be; 2) you'll have established or reinforced your relevance with longstanding clients or contacts; and 3) you'll have gotten introduced to, and begun establishing a relationship with, people you may not have known, or not known well
4. Get the most out of "game day"
If your marketing effort begins and ends with your speech, you'll never get anywhere. How to Get the Most Out of a Speaking Engagement teaches you how to make it the starting point and foundation of a successful campaign. You’ll learn how to:
- prepare compelling remarks that engage your audience and make you memorable (without spending a crippling amount of time preparing) and
- manage Q&A like a seasoned pro.
Why You Need to Market and Sell Differently is free. Simply click on the title to access it.
The other courses are available through your firm's Marketing or Business Development department