Firm Academy provides users with updates on their priority subjects from the world's leading experts. Below is a selection of recent updates.
The Latest Buzz

How To Stop Competing On Price
2 May 2013
Debra Baker

The pressure to discount rates has never been greater. Yet studies of complex sales like legal show that less than 10 percent of decisions are based on the value-to-price ratio:

So why has price become the cornerstone of so many conversations between lawyers and their clients? There is no question that legal budgets have become a greater focal point for companies in the post-recession economy, but it is more than that.

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Business Development Clinic: 7 Simple Tips to Help You Memorise People's Names
28 Apr 2013
Heather Townsend

Visualise yourself working the room…. How many people are you meeting at the event? 5, 10, 15 or more? Do you find it hard to memorise people’s names?

It’s acutely embarrassing to forget someone’s name – and how many of us feel we are good at remembering names? In fact, forgetting people names at networking event is a real fear for many individuals, business people and professionals in general and actually a skill which should be learnt by all.

 

 

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Business Development Clinic - How to help others remember your name
21 Apr 2013
Heather Townsend

Whether you are trying to come to the notice of your managing partner, or make a positive impact at a networking event, your first hurdle is to help others remember your name. After all, it’s up to the other person to memorise your name, using whatever technique works for them. I’m not sure about you, but being a little bit of a control freak, I don’t like leaving this sort of thing to chance.

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Client Engagement Week 3: What Happens Next?
15 Apr 2013
Jamie Pennington


Following week 1: "Selling the Bill"- and last week's vlog on week 2: Rejuvinating Networks.

If you've been a lawyer for any length of time you will have a met large number of people in the course of your profession. Clients, potential clients who didn't become clients, other-lawyers'-clients who were on the other side of a deal, intermediaries, colleagues, former colleagues and even friends.

 

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Business Development Clinic - Keep in Touch but Never Chase!
2 Apr 2013
Heather Townsend

This is the third blog in a series by David Tovey, author of ‘Principled Selling – How to Win More Business Without Selling Your Soul’ published by Kogan Page. He is a business development consultant, coach and speaker with over 20 year’s experience of working with professional service firms in the UK and internationally.

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Business Development Tip of the Month: Measure Results
1 Apr 2013
Jim Hassett


The business development tactics that work with one client may fail with another. What works for you may fail for your partner. And what works this year may fail next year. Markets change, people change, and fashions change. The only thing that does not change is the need for testing. As it says in the New Testament, “test everything, retain what is good.” (1 Thessalonians: 5:21)

 

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Create a Vacuum, Don't Fill It
28 Mar 2013
Seth Godin

On the path from awareness to a sale, the marketer has to create a vacuum.

The goal of that short film or that sales letter or that invitation to a seminar shouldn't be to answer every question and completely describe what's on offer. No, effective marketing amplifies awareness of a problem or an opportunity, a problem the product or service solves or an opportunity it creates.

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Social Media for Law Firms: 30 minutes a day
26 Mar 2013
lawmarketing.com

Is it really possible to practice law, market your law practice, manage your current clients, and follow up with potential clients all at the same time?

Many attorneys I speak to have shared frustration in implementing and managing legal marketing strategies, as well as keeping up with continuing updates, particularly in the area of social media. As a result, they either avoid regular updates all together, or they may have bursts of updates, with essentially no activity for several weeks after.

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LawZam App Enables Video Consults with Lawyers via Iphone
18 Mar 2013
Robert Ambrogi

An app introduced this week enables legal consumers to engage in free consultations with lawyers via an iPhone.

The new app, LawZam, was developed by the company of the same name, LawZam. As I wrote about LawZam last June, its website connects consumers with attorneys by facilitating free, face-to-face consultations conducted live via videoconferencing.

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On Turning 500: LinkedIn Marketing Strategy Revisited
18 Mar 2013
Hinge Branding and Marketing Blog

I just turned 500.

My LinkedIn profile now shows that I have joined the select group of folks that have accumulated 500 or more LinkedIn contacts. It seems like the perfect time to reflect on the strategy that got me there and whether it has been worth it.

Coincidently, Hinge just released a newly updated LinkedIn Guide for Professional Services Executives. So what better time to revisit your LinkedIn marketing strategy?

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Macro trends don't matter so much
9 Mar 2013
Seth Godin

How many people will be using the internet in 2016?

Are women more likely than men to choose the brand of potato chip the family buys?

What percentage of the world's population will speak Spanish in a decade?

Everyone's talking about mobile, it's the next big thing... If you're General Electric or Yahoo or a presidential candidate, long term trends might matter. If you need not just a plurality but a majority to make your numbers, then by all means, pay attention to these tectonic shifts.

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Video is the Killer App to get found in Google
8 Mar 2013
Larry Bodine

There is a "killer app" that will greatly improve the likelihood that potential clients will find you in a Google search. Research confirms that it is online video, and many lawyers have gotten the message. Just pay a visit to the LawyersDotCom channel you YouTube and check out the 500+ lawyer videos.

 

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What do your Clients Want? Ask Mom!
1 Sep 2012
Matthew Homann

Over at A List Apart, Steph Hay writes about how Being Real Builds Trust. In her article, she shares an interesting way to get inside the heads of her users (customers):

I start by writing down my assumptions about what my users care about. Then I ask, “Would my mom ever say these things out loud?”

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Getting the Door Slammed in your Face Means You are Doing It Right
30 Aug 2012
Keith Ferrazzi

In the investment world there is an accepted relationship between risk and return. In order to get a big return, you generally have to accept a significant level of risk. In her Social Capitalist interview, legendary networker Heidi Roizen shared her thoughts on the relationship between risk and return in relationships - and why, if doors aren't getting slammed in your face from time to time, you probably aren't risking enough.

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How to Meet People in a Room Full of Strangers
25 Aug 2012
Dan Schawbel

What do you do when you find yourself in a room full of strangers and don’t know anyone? Maybe you’re attending your first networking event. Maybe your spouse brought you to their office Christmas party. Maybe you’re attending your first ever industry convention and are at the networking party. Whatever the reason, people often have trouble meeting someone new at a time like this.

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The 118-Second Elevator Pitch
23 Aug 2012
Keith Ferrazzi

Never underestimate the importance of the elevator pitch. Here’s marketing expert Jeff Hayzlett on why brevity and that first impression is so critical to success:

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Win the Business with this Elevator Pitch
21 Aug 2012
Steve W. Martin

Pretend that you are in an elevator at one of your industry's trade shows. You're heading down to the lobby when the doors open on the thirtieth floor. You instantly recognize the executive who walks in and quickly glance at his name badge to confirm he is the CEO of the most important account you would like to start working with. You have never met him before nor have you been able to generate any interest from his organization. You have forty-five seconds to introduce yourself, explain what your company does in a way the CEO would find interesting and applicable, and motivate him to take the action you suggest. Ready? Go!

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How Buyers of Legal Services Select a Law Firm
21 Aug 2012
Larry Bodine

The other day I received an interesting e-newsletter from The Rainmaker Institute that highlights a study of how buyers of legal services select a law firm. Here is a snippet:

The researchers on this study produced a report titled "Professional Services: How Buyers Buy" that's available on their website hingemarketing.com.

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Marketing by Teaching
13 Aug 2012
Michelle Golden

Since 2005 (for years and years) I've raved about the effectiveness and amazing coolness of sharing your intellectual capital in order to build business.

It's still one of the most effective and affordable means of marketing out there for professional firms. Today I came upon a recent(ish) post on Mack Collier's blog called "5 Reasons Why You Need to Stop Marketing and Start Teaching." Couldn't agree more.

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Using Twitter for Small Law Firms
27 Jul 2012
Larry Bodine

There's a nifty new guide you can download, Twitter for Small Business - a Guide to Get Started -- published by of all organizations, Twitter itself.

It's a free 21-page guide that is useful for novices as well as veteran users.

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Are You a Name Dropper? Take the Test
12 Jun 2012
Keith Ferrazzi

Today's post is dedicated to one of the most common social mistakes made by otherwise savvy relationship people: Name dropping.

First, let’s define it. Namedropping: the low art of tossing a famous or influential name into a conversation to inflate your own worth – especially when you don’t really have much of a relationship with the person in the first place.

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Do THIS in the Next Day, Week and a Month for a Stronger Network
5 Jun 2012
Keith Ferrazzi

I’ll be joining Reid Hoffman for the Social Capitalist this coming Tuesday, June 12. Everyone on the call will leave fired up with new ideas to build their network, online and off, and I’m sure we’ll get some good stories from Reid.

To warm you up, here’s Reid’s advice from The Start-Up of You on the most important things you should do to invest in building the strength of your network:

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Tips from Rainmakers on Selling Legal Services
4 Jun 2012
Larry Bodine

My friend Stacy West Clark, a sales coach for lawyers in small firms, published a terrific list of business development tips from four million-dollar rainmakers she knows. She has been helping Pennsylvania lawyers and law firms expand their practices or 25 years. She is a former attorney with Morgan, Lewis & Bockius and was its first marketing director. Here are a few tips from the field:

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The Beginners Guide to LinkedIn
23 May 2012
Stephanie Buck

LinkedIn is considered the non-sexy, sleeping giant of social networks. It keeps a low profile, perhaps due to the professional nature of its users. Nonetheless, LinkedIn continues to exert a powerful influence on connected job seekers, brands, recruiters and industries.

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The Real Truth about Overnight Success (It's possible, but only if you do this...)
23 May 2012
James Clear

OK, so you want to be successful. That’s good.

And you’d like to be successful as soon as possible. Nothing wrong with that.

Here’s the problem: It’s hard to be successful when there are good people and bad people lying to you at the same time. And that’s happening to you right now.

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How and Why I Use LinkedIn Groups to Build my Business
21 May 2012
John Jantsch

As I’ve written here in the past, I think there are solid business reasons for participating in most social networks these days, but if your business sells primarily to other businesses, you must get more active on LinkedIn.

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Writing Articles to Generate Business
18 May 2012
Mark Herrman

Check out these 10 marketing tips from Mark Herrmann, the Vice President and Chief Counsel – Litigation at Aon, which sells risk management services, insurance and reinsurance, and management consulting. He is author of The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Practicing Law, and writes for Above The Law.

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Stop Wasting Time - Network Smartly
10 May 2012
Tom Kane

First, get over your fear of networking. How? Treat it as an opportunity to meet and get to know new friends.

As I said in another post, don’t put pressure on yourself by thinking you have to come away with a new client every time. Just enjoy yourself!!

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More Business Development Tips from Law Firm Partners
4 Apr 2012
Larry Bodine

Yesterday I wrote about Business Development Advice from Law Firm Partners. The advice came from a survey of practicing lawyers who belong to the ABA, conducted for the ABA Young Lawyers Division’s recent New Partner and In-House Counsel Conference.

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Business Development Advice from Law Firm Partners
3 Apr 2012
Larry Bodine

"To be successful, you need to develop your own client base," advises a savvy law partner. "The marketing skills you need are generally not taught in law school. Find the marketing techniques that fit your personality.”

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Seven Tips for Building your LinkedIn Network
23 Mar 2012
Robert Ambrogi's Lawsites



Here is a post I wrote for the ABA Techshow blog: Seven Tips for Building up Your LinkedIn Network.

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'Ask Keith' video: How do I Network in a New City?
15 Mar 2012
Keith Ferrazzi

I was asked the question:

I'm moving to a new city where I have very few contacts. What would you recommend is the best of preparing for this?

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Does LinkedIn Work for Lawyers
24 Feb 2012
Jamie Pennington

So does LinkedIn work for lawyers? If you read the press the world is inundated with social media platforms (blogs, twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, Pinterst, Google+, youtube.....) which have changed the face of the world. But is this true for lawyers too, or is it a foreign tool - both geographically and culturally?

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Involve your Staff in Developing Business
16 Feb 2012
Tom Kane

Lawyers do not have to do all the marketing and business development by themselves. They can and should involve their staff as much as practicable.

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60 Tips in Marketing Checklist for Young Lawyers
10 Feb 2012
Larry Bodine

Check out my latest post on Lawyerist: by using the marketing checklist I composed, associates and young lawyers can transform their legal careers from supporting associate to rainmaking partner.

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How to Stay Top of Mind for New Work
8 Feb 2012
Tom Kane

It should be patently obvious that when a client or prospect has a legal matter that needs to be addressed, you would want them to think of sending the work to you . If you are not the first lawyer or law firm they think of, you have some work to do.

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Applying Twitter's Best Practices to Lawyers
7 Feb 2012
Larry Bodine

I spotted this practical blog post on the Lawyerist by Gyi Taskalakis:

Twitter provides the following business best practice advice to build your following, reputation, and client’s trust:

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Trust Tip Video: Get off your "S"
3 Feb 2012
Charles H. Green

We want our clients and partners to trust us and so we often focus on what we can do better to appear, and to be, more trustworthy. But even more than doing certain things, we have to stop doing one thing in particular.

We need to get off of our habitual Self-Orientation. As my colleague, Andrea Howe, says we need to Get Off Our S.

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Live from LegalTech: How Lawyers Should use Social Media
2 Feb 2012
Larry Bodine

Colin O'Keefe interviewed me about how lawyers use social media (pardon my laryngitis). Points we covered include:

The point of social media is to get to know people, not to collect connections or followers, but to meet people "IRL"

...More

Raise Your Profile in 2012!
1 Feb 2012
Tom Kane

It is always a good idea for lawyers to focus on raising their visibility to attract clients directly and via referrals. Amy Campbell’s Web Log recently suggested three steps to increase fame and fortune this year that should help in developing business. They include:

...More

Public Speaking - Remove the Lectern
24 Feb 2012
Great Public Speaking

To get started in your efforts to involve the audience I recommend that you take a big axe with you to each one of your presentations and chop the lectern into tiny little pieces. That way you won't be tempted to stand behind it. The behind-the lectern speaker is quickly going the way of the dinosaur.

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Begin Your Presentation with the Result in Mind
14 Feb 2012
Marketing Catalyst

 

Working the last few years as a promoter and event producer I've seen all sides of people either exciting their audience or boring them to death. The "boring them" part is too easy a trap (the result of doing the same thing as everyone else time after time). The difference I've noticed between great and grinding is how the presenter approached their presentation.

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Throw Away the Maps
6 Feb 2012
chrisbrogan.com

People judge us by the path they’ve seen us walk before. They can’t anticipate our future steps. We, ourselves, look to how things have been, what seems to be the lay of the land, without realizing that the maps are not the territory.

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People Buy 'Why', not 'What'
22 Jan 2012
Personal Branding Blog

Simon Sinek is the author of “Start With Why”, a book that explains the theory behind finding your passion and how that passion helps us become effective leaders that can inspire change.

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Does Having a 'Vision' Make More Profit?
27 Jan 2012
Jamie Pennington

Are Vision statements a complete waste of time for law firms? What do they actually contribute to the bottom line? Do they have their place in advertising agencies, management consultancies and similar places where fluffy people gather, but not in practical places like law firms?

...More

Develop Leaders the Montessori Way
27 Jan 2012
Ambiga Dhiraj

 

When it comes to employee development, most companies traditionally follow the 10/80/10 rule: The top 10 percent are promoted, the middle 80 percent are nurtured and the bottom 10 percent are let go.

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Learn From Adele - Build Your Platform
3 Feb 2012
Chris Brogan

Jacq and I just watched Adele Live At The Royal Albert Hall (amazon affiliate link), and though every song was just wonderfully done, I found myself fascinated by what Adele was doing in between each song. Because even though most people would be interested in hearing her belt out her amazing repertoire of hits, what I took away from the performance was Adele’s real magical ability: the ability to resonate with her audience.

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90.04
25 Jan 2012
ChangeThis Newsletter

“Millions of meetings and presentations occur daily. Each of these presentations is meant to drive 'someone' to do 'something.' And what do the vast majority of [them] have in common? Unfortunately, they usually fail to get anyone to do anything.”

...More

The Pricing Formula (S&S)
23 Jan 2012
Seth Godin

Years ago, my bosses and I needed to finalize the pricing for a new line of software I was launching. In the room we had MBAs from Harvard (2), Stanford, Tuck and, I think, Wharton. We had three prices in mind, and the five of us couldn't agree. So we did the only scientific thing: we flipped a coin (two out of three, just to be sure).

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Value Pricing Shouldn't be Left Entirely to the Client
11 Jan 2012
Tom Kane

Obviously, pricing is an important part of marketing your legal services. There is no question that price sensitivity is real; and that clients, particularly in these economic times, are feeling the pressure to minimize legal costs.

...More

Live from LegalTech: How Lawyers Should use Social Media
2 Feb 2012
Larry Bodine

Colin O'Keefe interviewed me about how lawyers use social media (pardon my laryngitis). Points we covered include:

The point of social media is to get to know people, not to collect connections or followers, but to meet people "IRL"

...More

Raise Your Profile in 2012!
1 Feb 2012
Tom Kane

It is always a good idea for lawyers to focus on raising their visibility to attract clients directly and via referrals. Amy Campbell’s Web Log recently suggested three steps to increase fame and fortune this year that should help in developing business. They include:

...More

Your Question and answer Session: Turn Negatives into Positives
2 Feb 2012
Pivotal Public Speaking

Many people fear having a Q & A session in their presentations. They fear that they will lose control of the audience, that people will take advantage of them, that they will be exposed as less than the expert. And it is a fear based in reality, because without preparation and some ideas on how to handle this session, it can, quickly, become a disaster.

...More

90.04
25 Jan 2012
ChangeThis Newsletter

 

“Millions of meetings and presentations occur daily. Each of these presentations is meant to drive 'someone' to do 'something.' And what do the vast majority of [them] have in common? Unfortunately, they usually fail to get anyone to do anything.”

...More

Why should you open your speech with a quotation?
21 Aug 2011
Pivotal Public Speaking

1. It will build your credibility. If you choose a striking quotation, or one from someone the audience knows well. If you quote someone the audience knows you call up the reputation and memory of that famous person, and that gives an additional power to the words.  ...More

Public Speaking - 4 Reasons Why Humour is your Best Friend
18 Aug 2011
Tom Antion

HELPS RELATE FACTS AND FIGURES. A friend of mine says, "I don't want to bore you with sadistics." Technical and financial presenters must be especially careful to spice-up long lists of numbers and generally dry material. You must keep in mind that most people in your audience are not as passionate about your subject as you are or they would be up in front of the group. Think from the audience's point of view and do whatever it takes to break up boring material so you don't lose your audience totally. ...More

Presentation Skills - Using Humour in Sales
27 Jul 2011
Tom Antion

Humor is great for helping you overcome problems that arise during a sales presentation. You certainly don't want your one big chance in front of Megabucks Corporation to be blown because of minor problems.

I'm not suggesting you substitute clever one-liners for solid preparation. I'm suggesting that your ability to use appropriate humor in the face of adversity will send a subtle, but clear, message to your prospect. The message will be that you are polished and unshakable when a problem arises. Some salespeople are afraid of humor because they think they won't be taken seriously. In fact, being able to use appropriate humor makes you more powerful. ...More

50 Great Questions to Build Conversations in Law Firm Marketing
25 Jul 2011
Larry Bodine


Nancy Fox of Los Angeles has put together a great list of questions to break the ice, build conversations and become a people magnet at networking events. Here are the top 10: ...More

3 Minutes to Create a Good Impression
18 Jul 2011
Trusted Advisor

It was five months ago, but I remember it like yesterday. I had given a speech for an important Fortune 500 client.

The event had about 300 attendees, and I was one of several speakers.

The person preceding me overran his time, cutting 15 minutes into mine. That is rude to other speakers, and to the audience, who have the right to view an agenda as a promise. I never do that to others, and don’t like it when someone does it to me. ...More

How Clients Choose Lawyers
15 Jul 2011
Larry Bodine

Thanks to AttorneyAtWork for publishing this article I wrote. Let me know what you think of these ideas. ...More

Clients Still Hire Lawyers Not Law Firms, So Get Off Your Duff!
7 Jul 2011
Legal Marketing Blog

Over the years I have met many a lawyer who wasn’t into marketing or sales. The reason: the firm will do it. Well, the firm can’t do it. Individual lawyers must, because clients continue to hire lawyers, not law firms. ...More

How to Sell like Steve Jobs
6 Jul 2011
Russ Henneberry

It’s a simple formula.

To convert readers into buyers of your product, you must provide them with:

1. Jaw-droppingly relevant benefits

2. Reasons they can give to their spouse

If you can provide your prospects with the reasons that they want/need/expect to own your particular product, it can go a long way toward helping in that crucial — and inevitable — spousal “sales” conversation. ...More

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