The 5 steps every lawyer/accountant/patent attorney/barrister/architect needs to take if their networking is going to be successful
20 Sep 2018
If I had 20p for every time one of the lawyers, accountants, patent attorneys, barristers, clerks or architects told me networking doesn’t work because they’ve tried it and didn’t get any work, I’d probably have enough for a very nice night out. Why? Because all too many still miss the point …
… successful networking isn’t about turning up, it’s about following up!
If you want to see a return from the time and effort you’re investing in networking you need to follow this very, very simple 5-step model:
Pretty obvious I know but for this to work you will need to go things!
And once you’re there, have a chat to a few people. This is often the bit that worries lawyers, accountants, patent attorneys, barristers and architects but please remember, everyone is there for the same purpose – to meet new people. Make it easy for them; walk up, say hello and see what happens, you won’t be rebuffed (and if you are then that person isn’t worth knowing anyway).
3 Follow up
Once you have a new contact ask yourself one simple question – do I want to get to them better?
The way to answer this is to think about whether or not there was a bit of a connection and not to think about whether they’ll deliver immediate opportunities for new work. If it’s a ‘yes’ LinkIn then send an email suggesting a coffee and a few dates and times to drink that coffee.
If the answer is a no, don’t worry, LinkIn with them and do the necessary to make sure they get your firm/Chambers’ updates and invites.
4 Follow up again
Results aren’t generated from one coffee. You’ll need to follow up again and keep the conversation going. This is another reason to ask and answer the all important question because if you don’t want to get to know your new contact better, you’ll find every reason under the sun to sidestep the follow up. However, people only refer to and introduce the people they get on with so if you’re not prepared to follow up properly (i.e. repeatedly!), it really isn’t worth taking the time out to go to events in the first place.
5 Meet regularly
And once you have your conversation up and running, you’ll need to see your new contact pretty regularly. This isn’t a case of door-stepping or stalking, a couple of times a year will do and try to mix your contact between the informal (coffee, beer, lunch) and the formal (meeting in the office, team-on-teams, roundtables) so you build both a personal and a professional connection.
The key to managing regular contact is to have a system, something to remind you when you last saw someone and to prompt you when you need to see someone again.
If you would like a copy of our ‘coffee plan’ template to help you manage your follow up, please email us.
Tenandahalf train lawyers, accountants, patent attorneys, barristers and architects on every aspect of networking, business development and marketing. You can find out more here.
Posted by Douglas | 0 Comments