Once upon a time lived in a place far, far away from here (that I won’t name in order to protect the lovely, innocent people who still live there) that I hated. And I mean white hot scorch of a million suns HATE. It wasn’t the place’s fault, it was mine. I had left a city, job and friends that I loved. And boy howdy, I regretted it. So I did the mature thing by plunging into an 18 month long mope. Shockingly, I managed to make a lot of friends in this place and one of those friends said to me one day: “Allie, the man of your dreams isn’t going to walk through your TV screen into your living room and sweep you off your feet, you know.” This seminal moment is kind of a humiliating memory (as many of them are), because 1) the person who said this was a man, and he said it in front of his wife and about 10 other people; and 2) how did he KNOW I was spending all of my time in front of the tv? HOW?!?
I was jolted into action – and I am truly grateful to him for that. Shortly afterward, I moved to a place that felt right, expanded my horizons and yes, I met the man of my dreams (eventually). And, shocker, he didn’t walk through my TV screen.
How does this tie in to your law practice, you ask? I know a way for you to make it so your clients magically walk through your computer screen and right into the comfy chairs in front of your desk….
How? YOU get yourself out there.
It’s called networking! (For the record, I seriously hate that word…that’s another topic for another day.) But it’s true. And you know it. Your clients sometimes do just walk right in, but in the depths of your heart, in the dark of the night, you know that’s probably not sustainable.
New clients desperately in need of your help actually AREN’T going magically walk through your computer screen and into your heart, er, office.
You have to go out and get them. You have to talk to people. You have to take people to lunch. You have to accept speaking invitations. You have to amp up your social media activity. You…well, you get it.
I’ve built my entire business on my clients using the internet to market their practices, but the truth is I’ve seen those efforts fall flat without being reinforced by in person networking activities. You can have a great website, mad legal skills, the best staff in the land, but in the end of the day, the best way to create a sustainable practice for the long term is by shaking hands and saying yes to invitations.
It’s magic, truly. So get on out there, smile, hand out those business cards, invite people to lunch. And while you’re at it, be sure to ask people about their lives and businesses. Because unless you have a specific need at that exact moment, this is not the time for the hard sell. Remember that these professional recommendation relationships are reciprocal. You can help them, they can help you, and the opportunity to recommend each other will present itself.
Go get ‘em!
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