Friday, December 20, 2013

The ABC's of Legal Marketing - N is for Networking

Growing a legal practice can be an all encompassing experience. Many lawyers put so much attention into their current client matters that they fail to honor the time to make, grow and keep their business relationships. The immediacy of issues surrounding today's problems leaves little space for things that do not create instant billable "ROI".

The pressures inside law firms to meet an annual billable requirement takes away the focus from all other activities.  With limited hours in the day, and the intensity necessary be a successful attorney, it becomes easy for a lawyer to push the cultivation of relationships to a "nice to have" activity instead of a "must have activity". 

 While time is limited and precious, it is important for lawyers to remember that all opportunities come from people and that law is a relationship business.  If you have the right network in place, most of the challenges faced (including developing future business) will quickly be solved through a few well through out phone calls.

However, you cannot wait until you have a need to try to build a network. If the only time you show up at business events or place calls to those you already know is when you have need, you will find it difficult to get the responses you desire. Building long-term and mutually beneficial relationships takes time, and even in our fast paced digital world you cannot create a friendship through sending a LinkedIn request (or a bill).

It is through people that you can quickly find new business or other things you will require to have a successful practice.  There are not short cuts to meaningful connections with people who know, like, and trust you and that understand your business.

Lawyers often make the mistake of only wanting to network with other lawyers. While this is a good idea for certain practices, if you only socialize with others who hold JDs you will never have a well rounded life. There must be diversity in your network.  This also goes beyond the types of jobs people have... and includes diversity of race, religions, sex, and age.

Out of sight is out of mind. Even when you are busy serving your existing clients, you cannot disappear from your extended business community. There will come a time when you will need other people, and you cannot expect them to be sitting around waiting for your call. You must cultivate the connection always and everywhere.
Make networking a priority.

Have A Great Day.

thom singer

Thom Singer is experienced in legal marketing and business development.  He regularly speaks at law firm retreats inspiring attorneys to embrace their brand and increase their sales.  He also teaches lawyers ways to improve their presentation skills as the firm's secret weapon for business development success.  More information at

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