On March 6, 2018, more than fifty attendees gathered in the screening room of The London West Hollywood for a panel discussion put on by the WLALA Business Development Committee entitled “In-House Insights and Practical Tips for Building Business.”
Debra Baker, the managing director of GrowthPlay, a sales growth consulting firm, moderated a panel of in-house counsel: Sharon A. Borak from Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., Karen Pang from Roku, and WLALA board member Jeannine Taylor from the University of Southern California.
Ms. Baker provided many practical tips for networking, including taking the time to think about answers to common questions in advance. Rather than answering the most common question, “What do you do?” with “I am a lawyer” – a potential conversation killer – she recommended answering in the form of “I help [type of clients] accomplish [type of result].” Rather than responding, “I am so busy” to the question “what’s new?” she recommended beginning a response with “I am so excited about . . . .” Simple strategies such as these not only encourage the conversation to continue, but help the other person associate you with accomplishing specific goals that they may want to achieve as well.
The panelists discussed effective strategies used by attorneys who approach them for business. All three panelists were impressed by those who had done their research into their respective companies. Ms. Pang said she would expect someone to know what Roku does and keep up-to-date on notable news, such as Roku's recent IPO and the fact that it was mentioned by John Oliver on his television show “Last Week Tonight.” Ms. Borak said she would expect someone to know that Sony Pictures, where she works, is different from its parent company, Sony Corporation.
Ms. Baker discussed shifting the focus from what the potential client could give or do for you, to what you could do for the potential client, with a tailored approach based on the potential client’s needs. The panelists provided simple ways to keep the relationship going by keeping this focus. Each of them appreciated the attorneys who send them relevant articles with a personal note or invited them to free MCLE events. Ms. Taylor said she appreciates it when the attorneys whom she hires cater their work product to her specific requests and make her job easier.
The panel was followed by an opportunity for attendees to put their new skills to the test by networking with one another during a reception hosted by The London.
To view photos of the night, please CLICK HERE.