How Should you “Mine” your Network to Build a Prosperous Book of Business?
We’ve all heard over and over again: make time to get out of your office and network; meet your clients, referral sources and potential clients on a regular basis; develop a contact list, and load those contacts into a CRM (client relations management) tool; make sure that list is updated regularly and current, and so on.
And, if you are in the majority of attorneys who meticulously adhere to those habits, you are also one in the majority who believe and behave as if your work is done with this specific business development tactic.
Sorry, folks, but you are very wrong! Actually, your work has just begun, and here’s why: you must stay in contact with your network with information that you believe will be of interest to them and their business. Consistently and persistently!
Having worked with thousands of attorneys in developing techniques to maintain ongoing relationships with their networks has identified many effective methods; however, we have found some more successful than many others. Here are four ideas we believe attorneys should consider implementing:
- Sort your contacts by general industry or service, and segregate out those groups that operate a business in areas that can benefit from the area of law which you – or other lawyers in your firm — are most qualified to counsel them about. The last thing you want to do is send to any prospect information of little or no value to their business. Doing so will land on deaf ears, and will turn out to be a waste of time for both your prospect and you.
- Rather than leave reaching out to those groups on an ad hoc basis, i.e., when you can find the time or reason to contact them, mark your calendar and set aside a block of time to reach out to your network no less than once a quarter. Even moderately active marketing and business development programs produce materials or events quarterly which you can repurpose and convert into a communication worthy of sending to your network or a segment of your contacts.
- At least once a month (more often, if possible), plan a breakfast, lunch, dinner or social/sport event with someone in your network. The “guest” you identify obviously should be dictated by current events in that person’s business or life, not necessarily with what’s going on in your life. Please remember that business development is all about the client and prospect, not you.
- And probably the most important aspect of maintaining contact with your network is following up with those you do target each and every time you make contact. At the end of each “contact”, make clear to your party what the next step is and which of you is responsible for taking that next step.
Our experience has proven that implementing on a regular basis the four steps outlined is a significant contributor to business growth. We have also found that once implemented, most attorneys find it easy to make the process a habit.
To learn the requisite concrete habits you must develop to become the rainmaker you are meant to be, click the buton below for a free download of Top Habits of Successful Rainmakers.