A blogpost by Ian E. Scott, Esq. entitled The Art of Networking for Business Generation, which was posted on the Corporate Lawyer Network on LinkedIn recently highlights the importance of networking for corporate lawyers.
Mr Scott, an attorney who recently began his own law practice, Scott Legal Services, P.C.in New York, stated: “As a start-up law firm or business owner… it is imperative to get out and meet people in order to get them interested in what you have to offer. In short, it is essential to network.” I agree wholeheartedly with Mr Scott’s message about the importance of networking for lawyers. But also as important, is the importance of networking with a plan. Therefore, for corporate lawyers in particular, I would also recommend, in addition to networking: targeted outbound business development efforts, as well as robust social media engagement with blogging as a centerpiece.
1. How to select networking events
When selecting networking events, attend events where your target audience will be. If you are a corporate lawyer – events of particular interest to and which are attended by corporate management (CEO’s, CFO’s, etc) are best.
2. Create and host events yourself
Creating events yourself around a theme of importance to CEO’s, CFO’s and other corporate management is an excellent outbound business development initiative for corporate lawyers. When creating an event – always focus on inviting your ideal client base. Use a customer relationship management (CRM) database to identify companies and their management by revenue, sector, ownership structure, and geography. A good CRM will include the names and contact information of senior corporate executives.
3. Fill the room with CEO’s and CFO’s and always follow up
Focus on issues of importance to your ideal client base as a seminar theme. Invite corporate management within a radius of perhaps 10-20 miles of the event using your CRM database. Ensure you follow up with those who attend to secure meetings to discuss representation. Also follow up with those who did not attend to determine if there may be an interest in a discussion on issues of importance to them.
4. Use events as a means to generate more reciprocal referrals
If your event attendees do not have an instant need for your services, but need debt, equity, accounting assistance, insurance, a valuation, are interested in making an acquisition or perhaps selling their company – or other services provided by those who are your traditional referral sources – refer that person to someone in your referral network – as it will increase your inbound referrals.
The seminars you host will create two opportunities: (1) The opportunity to provide legal services to your ideal client base, and (2) to refer business to your referral network, which in turn will result in additional reciprocal referrals to you.
5. Proactively Engage on Social Media
Finally, blog about issues that are of specific importance to your core audience. A recent American Bar Association (ABA) study showed that lawyers win new business from blogging. Once you’ve written a blogpost, distribute it across relevant social media platforms and engage your audiences, which should include corporate management teams and referral sources you’ve identified and are following. For corporate lawyers, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google plus, Facebook Pages and PE Hub are all very good social media platforms on which to be active.
Increase your revenue with an effective plan
The initiatives I’ve outlined above, working together, will ensure your corporate law practice is maximizing its’ ability to secure new business in what has become an increasingly competitive legal services landscape.