Monthly Archives: April 2008

Managing Partners, Report to the LAB

My friend Patrick McKenna has been working hard on a Leadership Advisory Board (LAB) for Managing Partner magazine. Though populated with large firm lawyers, the LAB is shaping up as a pretty amazing resource for managing partners for all sized law firms. Here’s a description:

The LAB was formed as a resource to provide pragmatic advice to assist new managing partners with their critical burning issues and help them succeed. The LAB is comprised of the following distinguished current and former law firm leaders: Angelo Arcadipane (Dickstein Shapiro LLP); John Bouma (Snell & Wilmer LLP); Brian K. Burke (Baker & Daniels LLP); Ben F. Johnson, III (Alston & Bird LLP); John R. Sapp (Michael Best & Friedrich LLP); Keith B. Simmons (Bass Berry & Sims PLC); William J. Strickland (McGuire Woods LLP); Harry P. Trueheart, III (Nixon Peabody LLP); together with Patrick J. McKenna (Edge International).

Check it out, and keep on eye on Managing Partner Magazine for more.

LMA Senior Marketers’ Program

I’m please to announce that I’ll be helping out at the LMA Senior Marketers’ Program: Thought Leadership Amidst Relentless Change. I’m going to be doing a new presentation, titled “The Ten New Rules of Legal Marketing,” as well as facilitating several collaborative brainstorming sessions for the entire group. It takes place June 19 and 20 in Washington D.C., and is shaping up to be a pretty cool event. If you are interested (and an LMA Member), check it out.

My Upcoming Travel

I’ve got lots of stuff coming up for work and fun, and would love to meet some readers of this blog when I’m on the road. Here’s where I’ll be over the next several weeks:

Dallas, TX: April 23-25.
Orlando,FL: May 16-19.
Washington DC: June 18-22.

Also on the “tentative” horizon:

Herndon, VA
Irving, CA
Atlanta, GA

If you’re in the neighborhood and would like to meet, drop me a line and we’ll see if we can connect.


Charge $297 per hour and not $300.

Here’s a fascinating article in Scientific American titled Why Things Cost $19.95 that discusses the psychological impact certain prices have over others. If you’ve always wondered why we see odd prices so often ($19.95 vs. $20.00), the article gives the answer. Two University of Florida marketing professors studied how consumers relate a ticketed price to the perceived wholesale “cost” of a good or service:

There were three scenarios involving different retail prices: one group of buyers was given a price of $5,000, another was given a price of $4,988, and the third was told $5,012. When all the buyers were asked to estimate the wholesale price, those with the $5,000 price tag in their head guessed much lower than those contemplating the more precise retail prices. That is, they moved farther away from the mental anchor. What is more, those who started with the round number as their mental anchor were much more likely to guess a wholesale price that was also in round numbers. The scientists ran this experiment again and again with different scenarios and always got the same result.

Why would this happen? As Janiszewski and Uy explain in the February issue of Psychological Science, people appear to create mental measuring sticks that run in increments away from any opening bid, and the size of the increments depends on the opening bid. That is, if we see a $20 toaster, we might wonder whether it is worth $19 or $18 or $21; we are thinking in round numbers. But if the starting point is $19.95, the mental measuring stick would look different. We might still think it is wrongly priced, but in our minds we are thinking about nickels and dimes instead of dollars, so a fair comeback might be $19.75 or $19.50.

I’d really recommend you read the entire article, but the initial takeaway for me is this: If you want clients to believe your rate (or set price for a given service) is close to your actual cost, price in odd numbers.

Three Things Wrong? Move On!

Saw this tip about buying antiques on the Rules of Thumb Blog, and thought it applied even more to potential clients:

Don’t buy a piece of antique furniture if you can find three things wrong with it.

So, if you’ve just finished your first interview with a potential client, and there are three (or more) things about that person or their case that don’t seem right, take a pass.  You’ll be glad you did.

Bill before the ‘moneymoon’ is over.

The Urban Dictionary’s Word of the Day today is Moneymoon, defined as:

The time after your purchase of a good or service and before ‘buyer’s remorse’ happens. “The moneymoon is over, I realzie now that buying that boat was a waste of money.”

Made me think of the number one rule of small business cash flow: Bill your clients before the moneymoon is over.

Pick up the phone!

Just a reminder to call your clients every week:

Each week, no matter the condition of the weather, the color of Ethan’s mood ring, or the extra hours it will take to meet our deadlines, we call each of our clients. We check in, ask how they’re doing, and give them an update on the activities surrounding their project. We call every week throughout the project, and even two to three weeks past the time we’ve delivered our work—all to make sure the client doesn’t have any last-minute needs, or has run into any problems.

That’s how we roll. We care like that.