Networking isn’t what it used to be. Although many of the key principles are still viable for growing a professional network, there are tools and strategies that you should consider to get better results for your law firm.
Networking must be viewed as an essential component of a broader marketing plan. It must be done strategically and use best practices to provide a greater return on your investment.
The following will help you harness the power of networking to align yourself with industry leaders and position your law firm as a valuable resource for current and future clients.
Networking as a Component of the Sales Process
Networking must be viewed as an essential part of your sales process. For many, it’s the starting point of an ongoing relationship that leads to a steady stream of new clients for your law practice.
The marketplace requires law firms and other businesses to cultivate long-term relationships and provide value rather than simply broadcast marketing messages in the hopes of securing new clients.
Adopting this new perspective enhances your entire sales process and provides lasting results from your networking efforts.
Successful networking begins with a strategy. Having a plan provides a purpose to your activities, which makes networking more efficient for your law practice.
Developing a networking strategy allows you to uncover hidden opportunities that might otherwise be missed.
There are important steps you should take prior to any networking activity. This includes doing research on the groups and individuals with whom you want to connect. This lets you identify the events and opportunities that you should focus your energy on when networking.
Many organizations provide information online including details related to events and the individuals who organize and attend them.
Identify key individuals and research any websites or social media profiles that can provide a deeper insight into the work they do. The more you learn about the people with whom you want to network, the more successful your efforts will be.
Your strategy must include the ways in which you’ll articulate your value to others. Don’t make your value proposition sound like a typical elevator pitch. Instead, consider your own unique voice when sharing what you do, whom you do it for, and why you do it.
This gives your value proposition more authenticity, which helps build trust among your audience. It makes your message compelling and memorable to your network and leads others to want to learn more about the services you provide.
Networking Best Practices
Effective networking must produce results. If it doesn’t, then you need to revise your strategy to ensure that you’re taking the right approach for your law practice.
You can measure the results of your networking efforts by tracking the number of events and their costs. Consider how many potential clients you connected with and track the number of prospects who hired you for your services.
There are client relationship management (CRM) tools that you can use to measure your networking results. These platforms manage networking tasks that need to be completed along with the various phases of interaction you have with potential clients.
Respect the time and expertise of those you network with. Avoid asking for professional advice or concealing your motives. Be honest and genuinely curious about what others do and your interest in connecting with them.
Focus on the value that you have to offer and the service you can provide to others. This approach is much more effective in gaining the trust and attention of your audience in any networking setting.
Harnessing the power of strategic networking is a powerful way to grow your law practice while increasing the value you provide to others. Let us know what strategies have worked best for your law practice in the comments below.