28 Mar Nurturing your Network In Real Life, in Three Simple Steps
Last year I wrote a post about the importance of looking beyond the superficial wins of likes, retweets and shares. No one would argue that social media can be a helpful part of an attorney’s marketing plan. However, big deals – the important problems that people expect attorneys to solve – are always done in real life.
I realize this isn’t earth shattering…but are your marketing activities reflecting that?
It is so easy to get caught up in scrolling – and believe me – I’m guilty of that as much as anyone – but unless your day-to-day activities are helping you to grow an actual relationship, you are wasting your time.
In-person networking or even phone calls are your potential clients’ sneak peek into what it is like to work with you. And it is critical that you work these into your regular business development activities.
What can you do to build the foundation for a solid network that you serve and can, in return, be a source for new business? Below I share my top three ways for nurturing your network.
Do your best to regularly attend an industry meeting or networking event at least once per quarter. If your target client is a pharmaceutical manufacturer, you should be seen and be talking to people in the pharma industry regularly. And if going to an event once per quarter is impossible, find a way to engage with a quick coffee, lunch or drink. Building relationships takes time and regular activity is the best way to develop them.
Show up regularly to a scheduled meeting with yourself to review your list of priority contacts and to make appointments for in-person coffees, drinks or lunch. Track your activity and set aside a few minutes to research an industry event or meeting you may want to attend. A half hour of uninterrupted time per week can go a long way toward building a great network. Remember, even the busiest people will sometimes make time for an early breakfast. (You don’t get the meeting unless you ask). Make the meeting about them by finding out what is on their plate and by being a sounding board. Always look for ways to add value. Practice solving their mirco problems so they will be comfortable coming to you with their macros.
Be known for what you do in your existing network. Don’t overlook the people around you…do your friends and family really know what you do and who you serve? I’ve worked with dozens of attorneys throughout the years who didn’t talk about their work in their communities. Worried about being pushy? It’s not. Ask first what they do, and if they ask, then share.
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