Tips For INTA Meetings: What In-House Counsel Want

Tips For INTA Meetings: What In-House Counsel Want

As I work with my clients to prepare them to get the best return on investment from INTA, two questions often come up: “How do I get a meeting with in-house counsel?” and “How do I make the most of a meeting with in-house counsel?”. In addition to SC&C’s usual tips for making the most out of business development activities – setting goals, narrowing the target audience and preparing in advance – here are some tips I gathered while interviewing Myrtha Hurtado Rivas, Global Head Trademarks, Domain Names & Copyright, Novartis Pharma AG about her goals for INTA. Click here to read Part 1 of that entire interview.

1. DON’T send generic emails asking for a meeting.

Myrtha Hurtado confirmed what many of us already know; in-house counsel ignore impersonal emails requesting a meeting.

2. DO consider sending personalized, in depth emails to your target dream clients.

What might come as a surprise is that emails that are personalized to the recipient, show an understanding of the issues faced by that person, indicate specifically how the sender can help and why they are the best choice, are well received and the senders noted, even when it is otherwise a “cold call”.

3. DO attend INTA Table Topics.

In-house counsel attend and sometimes moderate Table Topics addressing their area of interest. You should too. Come prepared to speak knowledgeably and do share your views. It will help you get noticed.

4. DON’T wait for in-house counsel to bring up issues at meetings.

Come prepared to acknowledge what did not go well over the last year. Follow it up with what measures you have taken and why it won’t happen again. In-house counsel will appreciate your initiative and your pro-activity will likely over shadow any past failures or weaknesses.

5. DO come to meetings prepared to discuss how you have improved efficiencies.

The number one thing on the mind of many in-house counsel is efficiency and cost effectiveness. When Myrtha Hurtado meets with her Agents at INTA she wants to know what processes and tools they have put into place over the last year that have increased efficiency. Firms that address this point without being asked get extra points, especially when they then offer to pass the cost savings on to the client.

6. DON’T push for a meeting or to receive work.

Remember that, on average, it can take 5-12 “touches” before a contact becomes a client. If you are not successful in getting a meeting with in-house counsel through your personalized and relevant email (Point #2 above), Ms. Hurtado suggests approaching them at less formal events and reminding them of your email while pursuing a more human connection. Follow up by email from time to time when you really have something concrete to share that would be of interest to the potential client. They might be interested.

7. DO be ready to share stories, anecdotes, opinions that will be of interest to your target audience.

It might sound like a bit much but, the more you prepare, the more you will come across as natural and authentic on the day. And don’t under estimate the power of asking informed questions. In-house counsel wants to know that you care about how to serve them better.

8. DO bring your Team with you.

Myrtha Hurtado and her Team want to meet with the people that actually do their work. If this is not possible, ensure you meet with your Team before you go so you are up to date on all issues that might arise during your planned meetings.

9. DO spend time and effort on the relationship with your existing in-house clients and contacts.

Of course, we all want satisfied customers. If you need an additional reason to strengthen your relationships with existing clients, keep in mind that they are your best source for referrals. Myrtha notes that this is especially true in highly regulated industries where experience is appreciated. Her number one resource when looking for new counsel is the pool of colleagues within her industry.


Wishing all of you a successful and enjoyable Conference. See you in San Diego!


How can SC&C help?

Do you need help getting better return on your investment from conference attendance? SC&C can help. Please contact me at or on +1 647 978 5502 to find out more.

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