Networking is an evergreen topic of discussion among lawyers. From “I can’t do all that glad-handing!” to “I feel so lucky to be blessed with such a wonderful collection of friends and associates,” every lawyer has something to say about it. Here are five must-read posts with networking tips from some of our favorite Attorney at Work contributors.
Bad Networking Ain’t Networking
John H. Snyder | “If you want your law practice to survive, you’ve got to network!” When I was starting out as a solo, I heard that hundreds of times. And every time, my stomach turned. I’m not a natural networker, at least not as I understood the term. To me, the term itself was a turnoff, reeking of insincerity and an attitude of “what can this person do for me.” Now I realize, however, that my problem was not with networking, per se. It was with bad networking! READ MORE
How to Suck at Networking
Ruth Carter | Recently, I’ve noticed an increase in annoying networking behaviors that are at best ineffective, and at worst a guarantee that I will never do business with those people or send them any referrals. I wasn’t sure if it was just me who was getting frustrated by these behaviors, or, frankly, which ones are the most annoying, so I sent out a simple survey to get input from lawyers and other professionals. According to the 50-plus people who responded, these are the three worst networking offenses. READ MORE
Stop Wasting Your Time Networking
Roberta Montafia | Networking, like every other aspect of your professional life, is based on a set of skills and behaviors — skills that are easily learned and behaviors that can readily become habits. What will you get in return? You will reduce the time you invest and gain a network that goes to work for you. Here are a few easy steps to help you get on your way. READ MORE
Successful Networking Is a Numbers Game
Roy S. Ginsburg | When putting together the networking portion of your marketing plan, it helps to have a “numbers game” mentality. Let’s say you compile a list of 10 prospective clients or referral sources to meet for coffee or lunch. After that, you contact these people to try to set up something. What’s a good “hit” rate? READ MORE
Disengaging from Dead-End Networking
Mike O’Horo | We’ve all found ourselves trapped in a dead-end conversation at a networking event. Someone drones on about a topic in which you have no interest. Or, it’s simply someone you don’t like. Or maybe you just don’t want to spend that much time speaking with any one person. You need an escape that doesn’t require you to be rude. READ MORE
Bonus: A Nurturer’s Guide to Networking
Really, isn’t networking about nurturing relationships? Merrilyn Astin Tarlton thinks so. Click here to download her handy collection of networking tips and definitions.