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By Larry Bodine
Law firms worldwide are buying copies of a comic book titled AttorneyMan. The humorously written publication is designed to teach lawyers the ins and outs of successful business development. AttorneyMan is the alter ego of Tim Silver, who just made partner at Cha Chingi Changa LLP. Guiding him in his mission to become a marketing superhero is Dr. Development, a sales training concierge who gradually reveals to Tim the Six Rules of Sales. Liselaw Gold, a fellow lawyer at Cha Chingi Changa, joins AttorneyMan in his quest. The villain is Harry Hoard, the senior partner at the firm: “Hoard refuses to share, make introductions on behalf of others or mentor junior attorneys. His Mantra is ‘MINE.’” The comic, which can be purchased for $10 a copy at www.attorney man.org, is the brainchild of Karen Katz, a business development consultant and former attorney. “I was thinking of fun ways to inspire action in my trainees and coachees,” she says. “So I melded the ‘sales talk’ with the superhero genre—and AttorneyMan the Client Supersatisfaction Superhero was born.”
Womble Carlyle is once again proving that law firms can have a keen sense of humor, too. First, the firm came up with Winston the bulldog, a “spokesdog” that barks inthe firm’s ads, onits Web site and on the radio in Washington, D.C. And now Winston is dancing in the elevators of the competition. Working with Greenfield/Belser Ltd. to target a southern market, the law firm created a sassy video of Winston doing a two-step while funky music plays in the background. It concludes with the hook line, “A partner who knows how to lead. In Charlotte and throughout the Southeast.” The kicker is that the firm put the video on those Captiva flat-screen displays that are in the elevators of modern office buildings—specifically choosing buildings that house the offices of the competition. In your face, law firms with no mascot! (To see Winston dancing, go to www.lawmarketing.com/images/ dance_full.mov.)
Focus on your “platinum accounts” so they don’t walk away, advises Alvidas Jasin, director of business development for Thomson Hine, a 380-lawyer firm with offices in eight cities. “We found that we had a preponderance of clients—3,300 clients—whom we were billing only $1,500 a year. We had way too much time, energy and resources devoted to unprofitable clients.” The solution? “We put guidelines in place on what a client might produce in revenue for us.” Some lawyers would argue that a less-profitable client is still worth the investment of energy because the client could turn out to be the next Google. However, that’s a pretty poor bet. Jasin used RedWood Analytics to determine that the likelihood of a $5,000 client becoming a significant client was only 1/10 of a percent.