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E48: Season 5 Episode 3 – Business Development & Marketing Your Professional Services

  • By dbllawyersv2
  • November 22, 2022
  • Season 5

Tom Dunlap chats with Mo Bunnell, the founder and CEO of Bunnell Idea Group, about how professionals such as lawyers, doctors and accountants can market themselves and their services. We also discuss his book, The Snowball System, which is a deep exploration of these topics.

Bunnell Idea Group  

Mo Bunnell explains in more detail the services that Bunnell Idea Group offers. They work with individuals, small firms, and large corporations, to help education professionals learn how to better market themselves and their services to potential clients. They focus on experts who have a deep expertise in a field but have never been taught how to properly relay this.  

The Long Game and Screening  

Mo discusses the main issue with business development: it has no instant gratification. You may not see results right away and that can discourage people, which only focuses their attention on activities that make them feel immediately. However, Mo stresses that business development might be the most important thing for your career 

He encourages professionals to follow the give to get method, or in other words, offer a bit of your services. Here, you are playing the long game. You may not get the client away, but you are opening the door to more potential.  

In giving your time to those you don’t know, it’s important to know how to screen so that you aren’t wasting your time on outlandish idea or those milking you for information. Additionally, it can be challenging to tell those who appear put together from those who actuallyTherefore, Mo devices a system to help lawyers screen: determine what your 3-5 areas of focus are and after chatting with them for a bit, relay your focus to find a better match 

Mo also relays some advice on how to charge for consultations, and why it’s important to do so. Listen to the episode to hear more.  

Closing the Book on Closing the Deal  

While you may be tempted to charge less in order to maintain clients or not deter potential clients, the opposite may be true. In fact, the research has shown that if you charge more, you are viewed as more credible and more desirable. Mo speaks on how we talk about money is actually more important than the actual dollars. He dives into how we are good at assessing value when we buy something, but when we are selling ourselves, we often fall short out. 

Mo also touches on how the identity of the value of your time changes slowly over time by making micro improvements. In other words, slowly pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone, slowly gets you used to valuing yourself more. He emphasizes how imperative micro-shifts are over a time period in order to make a habit stick.   

How to Motivate the Unmotivated  

Sometimes, certain lawyers, if only a few, don’t necessarily want to learn business strategy, even when monetarily motivated. How can we motivate those to see the value in learning business and marketing skills, if compensation doesn’t work? 

Mo suggests taking something that a lot of people want and limiting the number of people who have access to it. If, for example, 50 people in your firm want to take the class, limit the class size to 15, because scarcity is a huge driving factor. This also builds a reputation around the service.  

How to Market in the Time of Zoom 

If you’re like our host Tom, who loves to meet in person or get a drink and shake hands, this time of Zoom can be hard when trying to connect with others. Though doing activities together can build connections, so can commonality. Mo stresses the importance of simply asking someone how they’re doing, how their weekend wasas people are more likely to answer genuinely in this time and the connection is more appreciated  

He also discusses how there is nothing wrong to do a little LinkedIn stalking people to find common ground. However, he also suggests setting aside time on the calendar to do that catch up, to find mutual interest with those you’re about to meet via Zoom, and don’t be afraid to reach out to mutual connections. 

Mo also delves into how potential clients are comparing you to their past experiences or other lawyers and sometimes it has nothing to do with you, but you want to rise above those expectations and distinguish yourself. 

How to Make your PowerPoint Effective 

We also touch on the importance of less wordy PowerPoints. As Mo points out, when you have many words on the slide, it takes the attention away you and what you’re sayingInstead, focusing on a few words and expanding on that when speaking. He stresses giving the potential client great experience 

At the end of the day, the goal of a business development meeting is to get another meeting with that person. If your potential client goes in one direction, follow that, do what you can to get that second meeting 

Mo also relays specific advice on how to sell other partners in a meeting to match up with potential clients 

The Three Most Important Piece of Advice  

As experts, Mo believes we need to get good at managing opportunities, relationships, and ourselves. He mentions that his company offers a free course in which he goes through the exact science in learning how to manage these three areas. He stresses the importance of writing down opportunities and the 8-10 relationships that are the most imperative to our success. He also points to self-examination and review in order to focus your business development. Listen to the episode to hear more.  


Tom Dunlap: LinkedIn 

Blackletter: Website 

Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig: Website 

Mo Bunnell: LinkedIn

Bunnell Idea Group: Website

Real Relationships Real Revenue Podcast:  Apple Podcasts

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