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Leigh Dance has written, published and spoken extensively on many aspects of global legal services, at major global conferences and in business and legal industry publications worldwide, including The Wall Street Journal.  Click here for our extensive archive of past (we believe still insightful!) published articles.

Dance is author of Bright Ideas:  Insights from Legal Luminaries Worldwide, published by Mill City Press and available on Amazon.  Bright Ideas is a compilation of 23 original essays by leaders and influencers around the world.

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November 20th in London

I’m psyched about a keynote speech I get to make on November 20th in London at Professional Services Marketing Group’s (PSMG) annual conference.  Gail Jaffa, who heads PSMG, has encouraged the speakers to shake things up.  After all, this conference is about our future. The title of my talk is BOOM, BOOM, POW!  I’m a conflict avoider by nature, but I’m looking forward to a not-so-gentle prod at legal services marketers and law firm management.

And yes, thought lots of us love the Blackeyed Peas’ song with this title (the coolness of:  “I’m so three thousand and eight, you’re so two thousand and late”), the song is not exactly 2014.   But it has the guts and energy that we need.

The online description of PSMG’s annual conference on November 20th beckons law firm and other services marketers to “seize their time” and, given tough and competitive markets, “to now move from the fringes to the centre, provide high quality strategic thinking, develop the client base …”

Does Business Development and Marketing in your organization have the impact on growth, service offering and financial performance that it should?  In most law firms I see, my answer is No.

Is it the marketing team’s fault?  BOOM!  Sometimes.  It’s our responsibility first, and many law firm marketers need to improve their skills and tactics—today’s demands require that they up their game.  Many marketers have eventually lowered their expectations to settle for being competent order takers – and while I understand the dynamics causing this to happen, it leads to less added value when we really need to deliver more.

Is it the lawyers’ fault?  BOOM!  Often it is, since lawyers rarely support marketing teams to follow strategic priorities.  They won’t defend the marketer who says No to the many low-value, off-strategy marketing requests from firm lawyers.

Often it’s the lawyers’ fault because they don’t hire marketing or business development staff with the skills and experience to be true impact players.  POW!  And if they do hire those people, they often don’t listen to their advice – or give them the access and information the marketers need to make an impact.

I don’t want to give my whole speech away, and it’s not all about throwing around insults.  I’m itching for a change.  And as usual, I have a few ideas.  “Gotta-get-get” (that instruction), gotta get-get (that client).