While working at a boutique M&A firm, Amanda Bakken was given the opportunity to work closely with business owners as they transitioned through a sale or buyout. She was hooked.
“Those experiences gave me exposure into the legal side of the deal and I was intrigued by the challenge of marketing professional services,” she said. That led to her own transition, over to Stinson Leonard Street, where her work as a business development manager involves supporting corporate attorneys and focusing on client service.
“In every aspect of my job, I look for ways to improve the client experience and develop raving fans,” she said. “Our greatest source of work is through existing client recommendations and professional advisor referrals. If our clients and contacts are singing our praises, then my job is easy.”
Most likely, Bakken only makes it look easy. The firm’s business development director, Sona Pancholy, noted that the past year was filled with post-merger activity and the firm was often short-staffed. Bakken stepped up to lead significant business development efforts, providing assistance to multiple divisions across the firm’s 14 offices.
“She focuses on identifying solutions, not focusing on problems,” Pancholy said. “The legal profession, and the legal marketing industry, is better for having people like her, who understand why lawyers and law firms do what they do, see how they can do better, and is excited and enthusiastic to be part of the solution.”
To be that effective, Bakken feels that her strongest attributes are discipline and focus. “Too often, good marketing intentions get lost in heavy workloads,” she said, adding that she enjoys developing routines and reminders for attorneys to ensure that they implement their good ideas. She noted, “I like the challenge of wading through the everyday minutiae to find our priorities and put a laser-beam focus on them.”